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.

Youth participatory video intervention to reduce risk for skin cancer

Career Development Award 2016
Principal Investigator: Lori Crane, PhD
Institution: University of Colorado Denver

Funded by Elise and Brian Barish


Mechanism of metastasis in a less common molecular subset of uveal melanoma

Career Development Award – CURE OM 2016
Principal Investigator: Jae Hyuk Yoo, PhD
Institution: University of Utah

CURE OM Junior fellowship award made possible by a grant from AstraZeneca


Epigenetic effectors of tumor response to immune checkpoint inhibitors

Career Development Award 2016
Principal Investigator: Kunal Rai, PhD
Institution: MD Anderson Cancer Center


The role of the Anaphase-Promoting Complex in human melanoma

Established Investigator Award 2016
Principal Investigator: Mark Solomon, PhD
Institution: Yale University

Funded by Ross and Jeanne Bierkan


Regulation of the response to targeted inhibitors in uveal melanoma

Established Investigator – CURE OM 2016
Principal Investigator: Andrew Aplin, PhD
Institution: Thomas Jefferson University

#CUREOM Unite! Grant and matching funds by Mark and Alison Weinzierl


Use of selective HDACi to improve antibody blockade immunotherapy

Team Award 2016
Principal Investigator: Alejandro Villagra, PhD
Institution: George Washington University


Investigation of BET proteins as prognostic and therapeutic tools for melanoma

Medical Student Award 2016
Principal Investigator: Madeleine Gantz
Institution: Drexel University College of Medicine

Looney Legacy Foundation Award in Memory of Peter B. Looney


Identifying long non-coding RNAs that function as microRNA sponges during melanoma initiation

Medical Student Award 2016
Principal Investigator: Li-Wei Chang
Institution: Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Looney Legacy Foundation Award in Memory of Peter B. Looney


HLA antigen mismatch and melanoma outcomes in organ transplant recipients

Medical Student Award 2016
Principal Investigator: James (Yi) Gao
Institution: Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

Looney Legacy Foundation Award in Memory of Peter B. Looney


Introduction and reactivation of tissue-resident memory t-cells for immune-mediated treatment of melanoma

Medical Student Award 2016
Principal Investigator: Meagan Dechen
Institution: Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

MRF Medical Student Award in Dermatology from Donna Budjenska in memory of Craig P. Merkel and James K. Saunders