A Message from the Melanoma Research Alliance

21 April 2022 | News

Marc Hurlbert Named CEO of MRA

Michael Kaplan, MRA’s President & CEO, will retire on April 30, 2022. Kaplan, who has led the Melanoma Research Alliance since 2016, will be succeeded by Dr. Marc Hurlbert. 

“On behalf of the MRA Board of Directors, I want to thank Michael for his years of dedicated service and leadership,” said MRA Co-founder and Chair of the Board Debra Black. “During his tenure, Michael launched numerous initiatives that expanded MRA’s reach and impact, particularly related to patient engagement and community support for the organization.”

Michael further noted: “I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had at MRA and proud of the team and what we have accomplished. It has been such a pleasure and honor to lead MRA, and I look forward to witnessing MRA’s continued impact under Marc’s leadership and future advances made by the melanoma research community.”

Marc Hurlbert, PhD, a pharmacologist by training, joined MRA in November 2018 after fifteen years of working to advance breast cancer research. After quickly learning the melanoma field, he partnered with MRA’s scientific advisors and staff to enumerate scientific gaps and opportunities to advance melanoma research. 

“Serving as MRA’s Chief Science Officer over the last few years has been an honor and I look forward to stepping up and serving as MRA’s next Chief Executive Officer,” says Marc Hurlbert. “I want to thank Debra Black, Mike Milken, and the entire MRA Board of Directors for their vote of confidence in me.”

Under Marc’s leadership, top priorities for MRA will include advancing research on and developing new treatments for rare melanomas – including acral, mucosal, uveal, and pediatric. As part of this focus, MRA will launch the RARE Melanoma Registry, a community for patients and caregivers with acral and mucosal melanoma later this year. MRA will also continue to advance research into treatment-resistant disease for both immune- and kinase-targeted therapies, prevention and early detection, and patient-centered research.

“MRA is a powerful member of the melanoma community – as a funder, convener, and partner – and I look forward to seeing the progress we make together,” says Marc Hurlbert. “It is my privilege to call the MRA team colleagues and I look forward to leading us to new heights.”