News & Press

Congratulations to the 2020 Medical Student Research Award Recipients!

In addition to supporting established investigators and multidisciplinary research teams, the MRF is committed to funding the future of melanoma research by supporting the most promising studies being conducted by medical students early in their careers. Since 2011 and including the recipients below, the MRF has awarded 69 grants to medical students totaling over $200,000! In 2020, the MRF is proud to announce the award of 12 medical student research awards. Please join us in congratulating:

Usman Baqai
Mentor: Andrew Aplin, PhD
Institution: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Proposal Title: BAP1 Dependent Kinome in Uveal Melanoma

Samantha Black
Mentor: Keith Argenbright, MD
Institution: UT Southwestern Medical School
Proposal Title: Improving Melanoma Screening Education for Primary Care Providers Serving Patients of Skin of Color
Looney Legacy Foundation Medical Student Award

Umair Khan
Mentor: Jerry Chipuk, PhD
Institution: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Proposal Title: The Mitochondrial Unfolded Protein Response Predicts the Immune Landscape During Melanoma
Looney Legacy Foundation Medical Student Award

Jez Marston
Mentor: Douglas Nixon, MD, PhD
Institution: Weill Cornell Medicine
Proposal Title: Human Endogenous Retrovirus Expression Profiles in Acral Melanoma
Silverstein Family Medical Student Award

Alexander Mathew
Mentor: Richard Price, PhD
Institution: University of Virginia School of Medicine
Proposal Title: Leveraging Focused Ultrasound to Sensitize Refractory Melanoma to Immunotherapy
Randy Lomax Memorial Medical Student Award

Breanna Nguyen
Mentor: Daniel Kaplan, MD, PhD
Institution: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Proposal Title: Examining the role of TGFβ activating Integrins B6 and B8 in melanoma
Michael Atkins, MD Medical Student Award

Brennan Olson
Mentor: Daniel Marks, MD, PhD
Institution: Oregon Health and Science University
Proposal Title: The Neuroendocrine Role of Lipocalin 2 in Melanoma Cachexia

Victoria Orfaly
Mentor: Sancy Leachman, MD, PhD
Institution: Oregon Health and Science University
Proposal Title: Applying Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning to Melanoma Prevention Education in High School Adolescents

Megan Trager
Mentor: Larisa Geskin, MD & Yvonne Saenger, MD
Institution: Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons
Proposal Title: Image-Based Deep Learning to Predict Melanoma Recurrence

Sarah Wang
Mentor: Andrew Dudley, PhD
Institution: University of Virginia School of Medicine
Proposal Title: Mechanisms of perivascular dispersal by brain-resident melanoma cells
Christopher Westdyk Medical Student Award

Kevin Yang
Mentor: Nabiha Yusuf, PhD
Institution: University of Alabama at Birmingham
Proposal Title: Therapeutic intervention of melanoma

Angela Zaladonis
Mentor: Jeffrey Farma, MD, FACS
Institution: Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
Proposal Title: Immunization Effect in Patients with Multiple Primary Melanomas

The MRF is proud to support this important work and looks forward to following the progress of these innovative studies. For more information about the the MRF’s research grant program and the additional scientific initiatives we support, visit the MRF Research Center.