AGA features Dr. Juanita Merchant as researcher of the month

The AGA Research Foundation recognized Juanita Merchant, MD, PhD, as its researcher of the month for July.

Three insights:

1. Dr. Merchant is a gastroenterologist who has a body of work around chronic inflammation and its association with gastric cancer.

2. She received the AGA-R. Robert & Sally D. Funderburg Research Award in Gastric Cancer in 1998, which allowed her to intensify her research on chronic inflammation and its relation to cancer cell growth in the upper gastrointestinal tract.

3. Dr. Merchant started her more than two-decade career at Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan. She now is at Tucson-based University of Arizona, where she is chief of the gastroenterology division.

"Colon cancer gets a lot more attention than gastric cancer," Dr. Merchant said. "We do colonoscopies to look for colon cancer, which has led to reduced mortality. But we don't screen for gastric cancer. Some people never come to a physician because they have no symptoms."

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