About Us

Scientific Leadership

The MRF’s Scientific Leadership is comprised of multidisciplinary experts in basic and translational research, dermatology, epidemiology, genomics, pathology, surgery and medical oncology. Membership includes representatives from the private and public sector.

MRF Scientific Advisory Committee


Michael B. Atkins, MD
Deputy Director, Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Georgetown University
Washington, D.C.

Glenn Merlino, PhD
Senior Investigator
Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics
Scientific Director for Basic Research
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute, NIH
Bethesda, Maryland


Andrew Aplin, PhD
Kalbach-Newton Professor in Cancer Research
Associate Director for Basic ResearchProfessor, Department of Cancer Biology
Program Leader for Cancer Cell Biology and Signaling, Kimmel Cancer Center
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Menashe Bar-Eli, PhD
Professor and Deputy Chair
Director, Cancer Biology Program, Graduate School of Biomedical Science
Co-Director, Metastasis Research Center
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and UTHealth Science Center
Houston, Texas

Marcus Bosenberg, MD, PhD
Professor of Dermatology and Pathology, Yale School of Medicine
Co-Leader, Genomics, Genetics and Epigenetics Program
Co-Director, Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer
Yale Cancer Center
New Haven, Connecticut

Clara Curiel, MD
Alan and Janice Levin Endowed Chair in Cancer Research
Associate Professor of Medicine and Dermatology
Vice Chief of Dermatology
Director, Cutaneous Oncology Program
Clinical Director, Skin Cancer Institute
The University of Arizona Cancer Center
Tucson, Arizona

Adil Daud, MD
HS Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology)
Director, Melanoma Clinical Research
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
San Francisco, California

Keith T. Flaherty, MD
Director, Henri and Belinda Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies
Director, Developmental TherapeuticsMassachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts

Alan Geller, MPH, RN
Senior Lecturer on Social and Behavioral Sciences
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Harvard School of Public Health
Boston, Massachusetts

Teresa Landi, MD, PhD
Senior Investigator, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
National Cancer Institute
Bethesda, Maryland

Martin McMahon, PhD
Cumming-Presidential Professor of Cancer Biology
Senior Director for Preclinical Translation
Huntsman Cancer Institute & Dept. of Dermatology
Salt Lake City, Utah

Ze’ev A. Ronai, PhD
Professor and Scientific Director
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
La Jolla, California

Keiran Smalley, PhD (Grant SRO)
Professor and Donald A. Adam Endowed Chair in Melanoma Research
Director, Melanoma and Skin Cancers Center of Excellence
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Tampa, Florida

Jeff Sosman, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director, Melanoma Program
Director, Faculty Development
Co-Leader, Translational Research in Solid Tumors
Robert H. Laurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
Chicago, Illinois

Jennifer Wargo, MD, MMSc
Associate Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Surgery
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

Ashani Weeraratna, PhD
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Cancer Biology
Co-Program Leader, Cancer Invasion and Metastasis Program
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
The E.V. McCollum Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, Maryland

MRF Breakthrough Consortium Steering Committee

The Melanoma Research Foundation Breakthrough Consortium’s (MRFBC) strategy and efforts are overseen by a Steering Committee comprised of members of the Consortium, MRF Board of Directors and melanoma patient advocates.


Michael B. Atkins, MD
Deputy Director
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Washington, D.C.

Keith T. Flaherty, MD
Director, Developmental Therapeutics
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts


Jeffrey E. Gershenwald, MD
Professor, Departments of Surgical Oncology and Cell Biology
Medical Director, Melanoma and Skin Cancer
University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

Anthony T. Hendrickson
Chief Financial Officer, MRFBC
Board of Directors, Melanoma Research Foundation
Saratoga, California

Meenhard Herlyn, DVM, DSc
Professor and Program Leader, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program
The Wistar Institute
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Alison Martin, MD
Board of Directors, MRF
Washington, D.C.

Ze’ev A. Ronai, PhD
Professor and Scientific Director
Deputy Director, NCI Cancer Center
Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute
La Jolla, California

Lynn Schuchter, MD
Chief, Hematology/Oncology, Professor of Medicine
Leader, Melanoma Program
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Steve Silverstein
Chair, Board of Directors, MRF
Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey

CURE OM Scientific Steering Committee

The CURE OM Scientific Steering Committee is an international, multidisciplinary team composed of scientists, researchers, and doctors that provides expert guidance on ocular melanoma science and helps shape the direction of future research into ocular melanoma.


Keith T. Flaherty, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Director of Developmental Therapeutics
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Boston, Massachusetts

J. William Harbour, MD
Professor and Vice Chairman of Opthalmology
Director, Ocular Oncology Service
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
University of Miami School of Medicine
Miami, Florida


Laurence Desjardins, MD
Head of Department Ophthalmic Oncology Service
Curie Institute
Paris, France

Elizabeth A. Grimm, PhD
Professor, Melanoma Medical Oncology
Deputy Division Head for Research, Division of Cancer Medicine
University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

Hans E. Grossniklaus, MD
Professor of Ophthalmology and Pathology Director
Ocular Oncology and Pathology Service
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia

F. Stephen Hodi, Jr, MD
Director, Melanoma Disease Center
Associate Professor of Medicine
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Jacob Pe’er, MD
Professor and Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology
Jonas Friedenwald Professor of Ophthalmic Research
Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center
Jerusalem, Israel

James F. Pingpank, Jr, MD, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology
Hillman Cancer Center
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Takami Sato, MD, PhD
K. Hasumi Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology
Department of Medical Oncology
Kimmel Cancer Center
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dirk Schadendorf, MD
Director and Chair, Department of Dermatology
University Hospital Essen
Essen, Germany

Sara M. Selig, MD
CURE OM Director, Melanoma Research Foundation
Department of Internal Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts

Stefan Seregard, MD, PhD
Professor of Ophthalmology
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute
Chairman, Department of Vitreoretinal Diseases
St. Eriks Eye Hospital
Stockholm, Sweden

Carol L. Shields, MD
Co-Director Oncology Services
Wills Eye Institute Professor of Ophthalmology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Michael J. Weber, PhD
Professor of Microbiology and Weaver Professor of Oncology
Director, University of Virginia Cancer Center
University of Virginia Cancer Center
Charlottesville, Virginia

David J. Wilson, MD
Professor and Thiele-Petti Chair, Department of Ophthalmology
Director, Casey Eye Institute
Oregon Health and Science University
Portland, Oregon

Pediatric Steering Committee

The MRF’s Pediatric Melanoma Leadership is made up of two different groups: the Scientific Steering Committee and the Parent Steering Committee. These volunteers dedicate their time and efforts to advancing the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of pediatric melanoma.

Scientific Steering Committee

  • Robin Gheris, MD – Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Cynthia Herzog, MD – MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Jane Messina, MD – H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
  • Alberto Pappo, MD – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Krista Rubin, NP – Massachusetts General Hospital & Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation
  • Brittani Seynnaeve, MD – Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
  • Vernon Sondak, MD – H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center

Parent Steering Committee

  • Collette Dahl – California
  • Daniell Jarrell – Louisiana
  • Kara Little – Georgia
  • Stephanie Mainer – Florida
  • Andrea Smith – Utah
  • Ali Thackeray – Utah