American Gastroenterology Association – Gastric Cancer Foundation Research Scholar

In 2014, the Gastric Cancer Foundation and the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) awarded a $270,000 three-year research grant to support innovative research in gastric cancer.

Jose Saenz, MD, PhD, with the Division of Gastroenterology at Washington University School of Medicine, is the second Research Scholar for gastric cancer – announced in May 2017.

The first recipient was Dr. Mohamed El-Zaatari, PhD, from the University of Michigan, who focused on studying how chronic inflammation causes certain cells to become malignant and changes in inflamed stomach tissue that lead to precancerous conditions.

With the help of the Foundation’s initial funding, Dr. El-Zaatari has now received Congressional medical research funding through the Department of Defense to continue his breakthrough research on “Targeting B Cell-Mediated Type II Autoimmunity in Gastric Carcinogenesis.”

“This grant has enabled me to pursue research and show substantial results so I can seek larger grants to continue these important studies. With grants like this one, the Foundation has the ability to develop an army of investigators to pursue research on this scarcely funded cancer.” Dr. Mohamad El-Zaatari, first Foundation Research Scholar, 2016

About the Foundation’s Research Program

In 2013, the Gastric Cancer Foundation established a partnership with the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Research Foundation to initiate a research grant program in gastric cancer. The AGA Institute is matching Gastric Cancer Foundation’s commitment of $1,125,000, to create a $2,250,000 endowment to fund young investigators who are researching the fundamental pathobiology of gastric cancer. Research data will be used to understand and ultimately prevent or develop a cure for these diseases.

AGA–Gastric Cancer Foundation Research Scholar Awards in Gastric Cancer provide young researchers with $90,000 per year for three years. Research data will be used to understand and ultimately prevent or develop a cure for the disease. These efforts will be strengthened by Gastric Cancer Foundation’s continuing investments in the Gastric Cancer Registry and Genomic Sequencing. Researchers interested in applying for the AGA-Gastric Cancer Foundation Research Scholar Award in Gastric and Esophageal Cancer should visit