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.

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


The Development and Characterization of Cellular Models of Uveal Melanoma

Team Award 2019
Principal Investigator: William Sellers, MD
Institution: Broad Institute, Inc.

Co-PI: Keith Flaherty, MD

Funded by Jonathan and Shelley Isaacson, Ted and Joan Newton, Mark Weinzierl and Amos Cader


Characterizing the Role of the Hippo Pathway During Melanoma Immunotherapy

Team Award 2019
Principal Investigator: Genevieve Boland, MD, PhD
Institution: Massachusetts General Hospital (Mentor: Keith Flaherty, MD)

Melanoma Research Foundation Breakthrough Consortium – Bristol-Myers Squibb (MRFBC-BMS) Young Investigator Research Team Award to Advance the Field of Translational Immuno-Oncology


Identification of Src Family Kinases that Drive Resistance to Mutant BRAF Inhibition

Medical Student Award 2019
Principal Investigator: Eliot Zhu
Institution: University of Iowa