Pilot Awards

MRA Pilot Awards test potentially transformative ideas that do not have extensive preliminary data but articulate a clear hypothesis and translational goals. Resources for such “high-risk, high-reward” projects are important to establish proof-of-concept, which may then leverage additional funding through more traditional avenues.

Development of Novel YAP-TEAD Inhibitors for Uveal Melanoma:
Seeks to develop a novel, first-in-class drugs for the treatment of melanoma of the eye.

MRA Pilot Award

Fernando Camargo, Children’s Hospital Boston

Mitochondrial Control of Melanoma Initiation:
Aims to delineate how changes to mitochondria, the body’s energy-producing cellular machines, impact melanoma initiation, progression and treatment.

MRA Pilot Award, collaboratively funded by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Jerry Chipuk, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Blood Vessel Co-option by Brain Tropic Melanoma Cells:
Seeks to better understand how melanoma cells invade the brain via their ability to interact with the brain’s blood vessels, and target this process therapeutically.

MRA Pilot Award

Andrew Dudley, University of Virginia School of Medicine

Spliced Immune Receptors for Immune Regulation and Melanoma Immunotherapy:
Aims to explore the mechanism of action on potential therapeutic applications for a novel immunostimulatory molecule.

MRA Pilot Award

Michal Lotem, Hadassah Medical Organization

Targeting Ferroptosis to Combat Resistant Forms of Melanoma:
To determine whether a novel pathway of cell death can be therapeutically manipulated to kill melanoma cells.

MRA Pilot Award

James Olzmann, University of California, Berkeley