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 genomic mechanisms of resistance to immunotherapy

Career Development Award 2017
Principal Investigator: Rizwan Haq, MD, PhD
Institution: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

With support from John and Amy McCarthy


Exploring neuritin-mediated immune suppression to improve melanoma therapy

Career Development Award 2017
Principal Investigator: Joseph Barbi, PhD
Institution: Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Funded by the Draeger Family – Honoring Richard Arthur Draeger from his Family


Targeting Elongation Factor-2 Kinase to Reinforce Melanoma Immunotherapy

Established Investigator Award 2017
Principal Investigator: Jin-Ming Yang, PhD
Institution: The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine


GPER Signaling in Melanoma

Established Investigator Award 2017
Principal Investigator: Todd Ridky, MD, PhD
Institution: University of Pennsylvania


MC1R-selective small melanocortin analogs for melanoma prevention

Established Investigator Award 2017
Principal Investigator: Zalfa Abdel-Malek, PhD
Institution: University of Cincinnati

In Memory of John N. Decker


Impact of a germline variant on response to targeted therapy in BRAF wild-type melanoma

Medical Student Award 2017
Principal Investigator: Michael Gowen
Institution: New York University School of Medicine

Looney Legacy Foundation Award in Memory of Peter B. Looney


Combination therapy of intralesional IL2, hypofractionated radiotherapy, and PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint blockade in metastatic melanoma

Medical Student Award 2017
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Wang
Institution: UC Davis School of Medicine

Frank C. Campbell, MD Memorial Award


The role of MAP3K1 in melanoma progression and therapeutic resistance

Medical Student Award 2017
Principal Investigator: Abbey Vandersall
Institution: The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Looney Legacy Foundation Award in Memory of Peter B. Looney


Characterization of recurrent melanoma using a 50 gene expression panel

Medical Student Award 2017
Principal Investigator: Madelyn Renzetti
Institution: The Research Institute of Fox Chase Cancer Center

The Craig P. Merkel and James K. Saunders Memorial Award


The association of cutaneous changes in the skin site of melanoma vaccination with improved circulating immune response

Medical Student Award 2017
Principal Investigator: Alexandra Hickman
Institution: University of Virginia School of Medicine

Looney Legacy Foundation Award in Memory of Peter B. Looney