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.

Characterization of melanocyte transformation by Grm1

Career Development Award 2004
Principal Investigator: Suzie Chen
Institution: Rutgers University

Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation Award


Yeast vaccine: A novel melanoma vaccine

Career Development Award 2004
Principal Investigator: Mayumi Fujita
Institution: University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Award in Honor of Char Kurant and Heidi Coughlin


Functional significance of the activating V599E B-Raf mutation in melanoma tumorigenesis

Career Development Award 2004
Principal Investigator: Gavin Robertson
Institution: Penn State University, M.S.Hershey Medical Center

Foundation for Melanoma Research Award


Identification of novel molecular targets for the treatment of melanoma

Career Development Award 2005
Principal Investigator: Sheri L. Holmen
Institution: Nevada Cancer Institute

Diana Ashby Memorial Research Award


Targeting BRAF and INK4A lesions in melanoma treatment

Career Development Award 2005
Principal Investigator: Jianli Dong
Institution: University of Texas Medical Branch

Bill Walter III Melanoma Research Fund Award


Investigation of FGFR2 as a novel oncogene in melanoma

Career Development Award 2006
Principal Investigator: Pamela Pollock
Institution: Translational Genomics Research Institute

In memory of Brian Anderson and Dr. R. Scott He; Year two: In memory of kerry Daveline, kathy Domijan, Paul Mikalauskas, Kathy Salling, Deb Sandry, Leanard E. Warren and SSgt Jon Warrington;


Small molecule antagonists of oncoprotein myc as inhibitors of malignant melanoma

Career Development Award 2006
Principal Investigator: Mikhail Nikiforov
Institution: University of Michigan

Award in memory of Thomas W. Barner and Michael Benso; Year two: In memory of Thomas W. Barner, Kathy Bowers, Art Fuller, Robert Hansen, Randy G. Johnson and Linda A. Transou;


The role of coactosin in melanoma motility and metastasis

Career Development Award 2006
Principal Investigator: James E. Bear
Institution: University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Award in Memory of Thomas E. Coveny and Jack Maroulis; Year two: In memory of Don Aronow, Michael Geltrude (Mike Geltrude Foundation), Jack Riemen and Murray Richardson;


Mechanisms of immune system-mediated tumor regressions in patients with melanoma

Career Development Award 2006
Principal Investigator: Antoni Ribas
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles

Award in Memory of Don Aronow and Cathleen Roe Eagan; Year two: Two Faced Cosmetics’ Love Lisa Grant;


Generating and maintaining post-excisional immunity against poorly-immunogenic melanoma

Career Development Award 2006
Principal Investigator: Mary Jo Turk
Institution: Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth College

Year two: In memory of Barry potter by Susan Comeau and Tricia Elain Black by Teb’s Troops;