GIST Awareness Day

July 13, 2022

On GIST Awareness Day, Wednesday, July 13, Dr. Jason Sicklick and his team gather, united in their quest for a cure for SDH-deficient GIST, in memory of Merak Melikian Hatounian. 

“Merak inspired this work and bravely fought his disease with the utmost courage, dignity and determination,” shared Debra Melikian, Merak’s mother. 

According to the UC San Diego Health, GISTs can be found throughout the gastrointestinal tract. They originate from the so-called “pacemaker” cells that signal muscles to contract and move food and liquid along the digestive tract. Most of these tumors occur in the stomach, but they can also occur in the small intestine, colon, rectum or esophagus. Learn more about GISTs in their Health Library.

Jason Sicklick, MD, FACS is a surgical oncologist, GIST specialist, and professor of surgery and pharmacology with UC San Diego, and a former recipient of Global Genes’ Champions of Hope Award.


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