The Melanoma Research Alliance provides funding to support investigators in preventing, detecting, and treating melanoma.
The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) recently announced its 2023 Dermatology Fellow Award Recipients.1 The 4 awardees will each receive a $50,000 grant to support their research focusing on advancing melanoma prevention or detection.
The fellows are all early career dermatologists or researchers focusing on dermatology. In addition to the financial award, awardees will have the opportunity to collaborate with MRA’s network of melanoma experts, as well as receive networking and career development opportunities.
The 4 areas of focus of this year’s fellows are:
“Developing prognostic models for patients with acral melanoma
Studying novel gene regulators, EN2 and HOXD13, that are overexpressed in melanoma cells to determine their potential as druggable targets
Examining genomic instability as a potential indicator for the future risk of metastasis
Study of the gene APOE, and its subtypes, as the hereditary basis in rare melanomas”1
The 2023 award recipients are: Pietro Berico, PhD, New York University Grossman School of Medicine, researching EN2 and HOXD13 are two novel melanoma-specific transcription factors; Neil Neumann, MD, PhD, The Rockefeller University, investigating the role of APOE isoforms in the hereditary basis of rare melanomas; Simon F. Roy, MD, Yale University, studying epigenetics and the acral melanoma prognostic model for skin of color patients; and Xiao Zhang, PhD, The University of California, Los Angeles, investigating micronuclear rupture and DNA damage in primary cutaneous melanoma prognosis.
The MRA Dermatology Fellowship program is underwritten by Denise and Michael Kellen, and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation. Since the program began 5 years ago, research areas it has supported include telemedicine, artificial intelligence, non-invasive imaging, detection of melanoma in skin of color, and others.
"We are making transformative advances in the treatment of advanced melanoma," said MRA Chief Science Officer Joan Levy, PhD, in a press release. "However, with over 100,000 new cases of invasive melanoma expected this year, it's clear we need to continue to advance precision prevention and the early detection of disease, when melanoma is most curable. We are proud of our newest awardees and welcome them into the greater MRA community of patients, researchers and advocates."
The MRA is the largest non-profit funder of melanoma research. Since its founding in 2007, more than 15 new management approaches for melanoma have received FDA approval.