Funded Research

The MRF has funded millions of dollars in melanoma research since 1998.

The Melanoma Research Foundation is proud to award research grants supporting the study of melanoma prevention, diagnosis and treatment across the spectrum of the disease, including cutaneous, ocular and mucosal melanoma. These include the following:

  • Team Awards (established in 2014) - Two-year awards, up to $250,000 per year
  • Established (Senior) Investigator Awards (established in 2006) - Two-year awards, up to $100,000 per year
  • Career Development (Junior) Awards (established in 1998) - Two-year awards, up to $50,000 per year
  • Medical Student Awards (established in 2011) - One-year awards, up to $3,000
  • Society for Melanoma Research Young Investigator Awards (sponsored by the MRF since 2013) - One-year awards, $5,000 per year
  • Society for Melanoma Research Christopher J. Marshall Award (sponsored by the MRF since 2015) - One-year awards, $5,000 per year

View a summary of the 2019 Research Recipients here.

Immunization Effect in Patients with Multiple Primary Melanomas

Medical Student Award
Principal Investigator: Angela Zaladonis
Institution: Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University


Therapeutic intervention of melanoma

Medical Student Award
Principal Investigator: Kevin Yang
Institution: University of Alabama at Birmingham


Mechanisms of perivascular dispersal by brain-resident melanoma cells

Medical Student Award
Principal Investigator: Sarah Wang
Institution: University of Virginia School of Medicine
In honor of Christopher Westdyk


Image-Based Deep Learning to Predict Melanoma Recurrence

Medical Student Award
Principal Investigator: Megan Trager
Institution: Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons


Applying Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning to Melanoma Prevention Education in High School Adolescents

Medical Student Award
Principal Investigator: Victoria Orfaly
Institution: Oregon Health and Science University


The Neuroendocrine Role of Lipocalin 2 in Melanoma Cachexia

Medical Student Award
Principal Investigator: Brennan Olson
Institution: Oregon Health and Science University


Examining the role of TGFβ activating Integrins B6 and B8 in melanoma

Medical Student Award
Principal Investigator: Breanna Nguyen
Institution: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
In honor of Michael Atkins, MD at Georgetown University


Leveraging Focused Ultrasound to Sensitize Refractory Melanoma to Immunotherapy

Medical Student Award
Principal Investigator: Alexander Mathew
Institution: University of Virginia School of Medicine
Established as the Randy Lomax Memorial Award


Human Endogenous Retrovirus Expression Profiles in Acral Melanoma

Medical Student Award
Principal Investigator: Jez Marston
Institution: Weill Cornell Medicine
Generously supported by the Silverstein Family


The Mitochondrial Unfolded Protein Response Predicts the Immune Landscape During Melanoma

Medical Student Award
Principal Investigator: Umair Khan
Institution: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Generously supported by the Looney Legacy Foundation


Improving Melanoma Screening Education for Primary Care Providers Serving Patients of Skin of Color

Medical Student Award
Principal Investigator: Samantha Black
Institution: UT Southwestern Medical School
Generously supported by the Looney Legacy Foundation


BAP1 Dependent Kinome in Uveal Melanoma

Medical Student Award
Principal Investigator: Usman Baqai
Institution: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University


Therapeutic Strategies to Induce Dormancy in Disseminated Melanoma Cells

Career Development Award
Principal Investigator: Maria Sosa, PhD. Mentor: Marisol Soengas, PhD
Institution: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Funded by the William H. Canon Foundation


Targeting Melanoma Developmental Programs to Overcome Therapy Resistance

Career Development Award
Principal Investigator: Vito Rebecca, PhD. Mentor: Meenhard Herlyn, DVM, DSc
Institution: The Wistar Institute
Funded by the Denver and Philadelphia Gala Fund-a-Grant


Role of PRAME in Epigenetic Reprogramming and Chromosomal Instability

Career Development Award
Principal Investigator: Stefan Kurtenbach, PhD. Mentor: J. William Harbour, MD
Institution: University of Miami


Augmenting Melanoma Response to Immunotherapy via Commensal Microbiota

Career Development Award
Principal Investigator: Matthew Griffin, PhD. Mentor: Howard Hang, PhD
Institution: Rockefeller University


SOX10 Role in WT BRAF Melanoma

Career Development Award
Principal Investigator: Claudia Capparelli, PhD. Mentor: Andrew Aplin, PhD
Institution: Thomas Jefferson University


Modulating p53 Transcriptional Activity to Reduce Melanoma Brain Metastasis

Career Development Award
Principal Investigator: Venkata Saketh Sriram Dinavahi, PhD. Mentors: Gavin Robertson, PhD; Sheri Holmen, PhD; Arthur Berg, PhD
Institution: Penn State University College of Medicine
Funded by the NYC Gala Fund-a-Grant


Pharmacological Targeting of Estrogen Receptor to Enhance Melanoma Immunity

Established Investigator Award
Principal Investigator: Donald McDonnell, PhD
Institution: Duke University


Cellular and Genomic Landscape of Uveal Melanoma at Single Cell Resolution

Established Investigator Award
Principal Investigator: J. William Harbour, MD
Institution: University of Miami