Lab Canada

Inaugural research award supports research into rare GIST cancer

Guelph, ON – The inaugural Glenita Mungcal GIST Research Award in aid of gastrointestinal stromal tumour research in Canada has been granted to medical oncologist Dr. Yoo-Joung Ko at the Sunnybrook Research Institute. The award is presented by the Life Raft Group Canada, which is a registered Canadian charity supporting patients who suffer from GIST, a rare and life-threatening gastrointestinal cancer.

The award is worth $5,000 and will be used to support Rehana Jamani, a student working with Dr. Ko, who will test the idea that the protein target for checkpoint inhibitors – a new class of drugs that act by empowering the immune system to attack tumours – may be present in GIST cells.

David Josephy, president of the Life Raft Group, says a request for proposals was sent out across Canada last fall, and applications were reviewed by the Life Raft Group Board, with advice from international experts on the science of GIST. The award will be given annually.