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 2020 Research Recipients here.

Develop a prognostic scoring system in node-negative melanoma patients

Established Investigator Award 2010
Principal Investigator: Dr. Kelly McMasters
Institution: University of Louisville

In honor of participants of Team M4M and the Miles for Melanoma program; Year two: In memory of Kent McCullough, Scarlet Lawrence Akins, Wolfgang Schlinkert, and Mandy Dean, and in honor of Ted Murphy and MelanomaGirl Foundation;


Improving melanoma response to BRAF V600E targeting

Career Development Award 2010
Principal Investigator: Dr. Roger Lo
Institution: UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

In memory of Brad Lanpher, Peter Labyak, Jim Foy, Larry Katz, James O’Robbins, Larry Poplawski, Cathy Beelaert, and Kathy Bowers; and in honor of Katie Brennan: Year two: In memory of Larry Poplawski, Harold Quade, and Jim Foy, and in honor of Full Spectrum Dermatology and Katie Brennan;


Understanding molecular mechanisms for the role of NEDD9 in melanoma progression

Career Development Award 2010
Principal Investigator: Minjung Kim
Institution: H. Lee Moffitt Cancer & Research Center

In memory of Bill Walter III, George A. Wilkins, Edward A. Merullo, Randy G. Johnson, Leonard E. Warren, Amanda Carter-Horn, and Don Aronow: Year two: In memory of Amanda Carter-Horn, Leonard E. Warren, Edward A. Merullo, Jan Wright Niles, and George A. Wilkins, and in honor of Hugh Allen’s USA Bike Ride for Melanoma Research;


Molecular determinants of apoptosis resistance in melanoma clinical immunotherapy

Career Development Award 2010
Principal Investigator: Ali Jazirehi
Institution: The Regents of the University of California

In memory of Kevin Anderson and Aaron Anchor, and in honor of Neil Gaines and participants from Dermatology Interest Group Association; Year two: In memory of Aaron Anchor, Herbert Bates, Jr., and Tom Triphahn, and in honor of Neil Gaines and participants in the Dermatology Interest Group Association fundraising effort;


Study of the role of MicroRNAs in melanoma brain tropism

Career Development Award 2010
Principal Investigator: Dr. Eva Hernando
Institution: NYU School of Medicine

In memory of Tom Triphahn, Harold Quade, and Marilyn Taheny; and in honor of the Too Faced Cosmetics’ Love Lisa Award and participants of the Ragnar Relay; Year two: In memory of Peggy Spiegler, Kevin Brue, Douglas Grant Gillespie, and Thomas W. Barner;


Regulation of Fas Ligand in Melanoma

Career Development Award 1998
Principal Investigator: Warren Chow
Institution: City of Hope National Medical Center

Diana Ashby Memorial Research Award


Testing E2F1 as a Candidate Oncogene Involved in Melanoma

Career Development Award 1998
Principal Investigator: Mark A. Nelson
Institution: The Arizona Cancer Center, of the University of Arizona at Tucson

Diana Ashby Memorial Research Award


Scientific Meeting Support for Novel Melanoma Research

Career Development Award 1999
Principal Investigator: Dorothea Becker
Institution: University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Presented at a scientific meeting related to novel melanoma research held in June of 2000


Role of cadherins in melanoma transmigration and metastasis

Career Development Award 1999
Principal Investigator: Andrew P. Kowalczyk
Institution: Emory University School of Medicine

Diana Ashby Memorial Research Award


Induction of anti-melanoma immune responses with interferon-g-polarized DC (Dentritic Cells)

Career Development Award 2000
Principal Investigator: Pawel Kalinski
Institution: University of Pittsburgh

Kathy Salling Memorial Research Award