Melanoma Research Alliance Announces 2023 Dermatology Fellowship Award Recipients

20 July 2023 | News, Prevention, Science

Melanoma Research Alliance Announces 2023 Dermatology Research Awards

The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the largest non-profit funder of melanoma research, is proud to announce its 2023 Dermatology Fellowship Award recipients. MRA’s Dermatology Fellowship program is building a pipeline of scientists and clinicians who specialize in melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer and the fifth most common cancer in the United States.

MRA’s commitment to accelerating bold, emerging science is underscored by MRA’s continued investment in the next generation of dermatologist scientists and clinicians. The awardees, all early-career dermatologists or researchers focused on dermatology, will each receive a $50,000 grant to support an independent research project focused on advancing melanoma prevention or detection. Along with critical financial support, the fellows will have the opportunity to collaborate with pioneers in the field through MRA’s extensive network of melanoma experts and researchers, and career development and networking opportunities.   

This year’s four awardees focus on:

  • Developing prognostic models for patients with acral melanoma
  • Studying novel gene regulators 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

The MRA Dermatology Fellowship program, generously underwritten by Denise and Michael Kellen, and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, is part of a broader effort by MRA to champion research focused on prevention and early detection of melanoma and other skin cancers. Over the program’s five-year history, it has supported a broad range of research projects across the United States, including telemedicine, artificial intelligence, and non-invasive imaging, detection of melanoma in People of Color, among others. 

“We are making transformative advances in the treatment of advanced melanoma,” says MRA Chief Science Officer Joan Levy, PhD. “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.”

2023 MRA Dermatology Fellowship Awardees:

Two Homeodomain-Dependent Gene Regulatory Networks Rewiring Melanoma Heterogeneity and Enhancing Tumorigenesis 
Pietro Berico Ph.D., New York University Grossman School of Medicine  

The Role of APOE Isoforms in the Hereditary Basis of Rare Melanomas 
Neil Neumann M.D., Ph.D., The Rockefeller University 

Epigenetics and Acral Melanoma Prognostic Model for Skin of Color Patients 
Simon F. Roy M.D., Yale University 

Micronuclear Rupture and DNA Damage in Primary Cutaneous Melanoma Prognosis 
Xiao Zhang Ph.D., The University of California, Los Angeles