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Scientific Initiatives


Partnerships to Advance Science

The MRF has established important partnerships with leading organizations to accelerate melanoma research. Specific partnerships include:

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)/ Conquer Cancer Foundation

Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology is the world’s leading professional organization for physicians and oncology professionals caring for people with cancer. Since 2023, the MRF has partnered with the ASCO/ the Conquer Cancer Foundation to sponsor an endowed merit award for a promising investigator in melanoma.

The Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI)

Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI): the MRF is a member of CTTI, a public-private partnership that consist of more than 80 organizations across government, industry, and foundations. The goal of this group is to increase the quality and efficiency of clinical trials.

The Department of Defense (DoD)

The MRF strives to increase melanoma research funding through the Department of Defense. In addition to our lobbying efforts, the MRF recently partnered with the DoD to record the 2022 Melanoma Research Program Funding Opportunities: Tips for Success webinar. The webinar outlines the federal application process, a variety of tips for success, and the importance of the pre-application submission deadline.

In 2022, the Department of Defense Melanoma Research Program will award up to $40 million in research funding, with a focus on melanoma prevention as well as rare subtypes. Five award types are offered in 2022, with the first deadline for pre-proposals being September 14, 2022. Additional information about the grants and eligibility requirements can be found on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) website.

The Metastatic Brain Tumor Collaborative (MBTC)

As melanoma is the third most common source of brain metastases, the MRF has joined the Metastatic Brain Tumor Collaborative.  Created and organized by the American Brain Tumor Association, the goal of the Collaborative is to “inform, support, and empower patients diagnosed with a metastatic brain tumor.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration & National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS): in 2019, the MRF participated in a workshop focused on product development for Central Nervous System (CNS) metastases co-sponsored by the FDA and the NBTS. A workshop summary has been posted on the NBTS website.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI)

The MRF CURE OM Initiative co-hosted a global science meeting with the SMR and NCI which resulted in a publication as well as advocating for, and ultimately achieving, inclusion of ocular melanoma in The Cancer Genome Atlas (the results published in Cancer Cell).

The Society for Melanoma Research (SMR)

The MRF has partnered with SMR to sponsor two awards – a Young Investigator Award “presented to an individual researcher, in the junior stage (typically within first 5 years) of their career and who has made contributions in the area of melanoma research that significantly exceed the average for this career stage” and the Christopher J. Marshall Award “presented to a student who has made substantial published and original contributions to studies of signal transduction and melanoma within the previous two years”. In addition, since 2010, the MRF CURE OM Initiative has partnered with SMR to co-host its annual global science meeting.