Articles by Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications


“Seeing his Family Grow-Up Thanks to the Promise of Clinical Trials”

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 10 October 2017 In Melanoma Stories

In August 2012, T.J. Sharpe walked into the emergency room with a fever. He’d been ill for a couple of days and didn’t want to get his four-week old son sick if he could avoid it. Sixteen days later, he left a full 30 pounds lighter and with a stage IV melanoma diagnosis.

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Safe and Sound: Balancing Safety with Innovation in American Sunscreens

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 10 October 2017 In Allies & Partnerships, Policy, Prevention

Currently, Americans have access to 16 sunscreen active ingredients approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent skin cancer. The last time a new OTC (Over the Counter) sunscreen ingredient was added to the FDA sunscreen monograph was 1999. Meanwhile, Europeans have access to 29 sunscreen active ingredients. In the United States there are currently eight new sunscreen ingredients that are pending FDA review, which have been used in Europe – many for over ten years. These new, and potentially better, active ingredients could allow sunscreens to last longer and provide better full spectrum coverage that could help us reverse trends of increasing melanoma incidence in this country. Unlike in Europe where sunscreens are classified as cosmetics, in the United States the FDA is required to evaluate all active ingredients in sunscreens as OTC drugs. Meaning, that all U.S. sunscreen ingredients must be found generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE) in the same manner as other OTC medications. The FDA says that this is critical to keeping us safe, but is it possible to balance innovation and safety?

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Are Nanoparticles the Answer to the Question: Is it Working? An Interview with MRA Young Investigator, Dr. Ashish Kulkarni

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 4 October 2017 In Science

When we think about cancer researchers, we don’t always think of engineers. Dr. Ashish Kulkarni proves that maybe, we should. His pioneering work as a chemical engineer is helping us answer the critical, yet difficult to answer question that is at the forefront of every patient’s mind as they start treatment: ‘is it working?’

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A Mother’s Perspective: New Options for Pediatric Melanoma

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 6 September 2017 In Melanoma Stories, News, Treatment

When Cheryl Trocke’s nine-year old son Graham was diagnosed with melanoma four years ago, she quickly learned that when it comes to kids, there were no great treatment options and that care can vary greatly based on where your child is treated. After surgically removing the primary tumor, Graham’s doctors suggested a treatment plan of ‘wait and see.’

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Measuring Progress: Skin Cancer Prevention in the United States

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 6 September 2017 In News, Prevention, Science

On July 29 2014, Dr. Boris Lushniak, the then acting U.S. Surgeon General at, issued a landmark call to action when he declared skin cancer as a major public health problem. He called on everyone, from government agencies to community-based organizations to schools to come together to increase awareness of skin cancer and ways to reduce risk. Since the Call to Action, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released an annual report each year documenting progress, celebrating success, and identifying areas where improvement is needed. The key areas of the Call to Action and the update from the CDC 2017 Progress Report are highlighted below.

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Doubling Down: Brandon Barniea Bets Big on Combination Therapy

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 6 September 2017 In Melanoma Stories, Treatment

Brandon Barniea didn’t believe he needed to visit doctors. The athletic 35-year-old had always been healthy – even when his wife and two kids were sick at home with the flu, he would miraculously avoid falling ill. So, when he found what felt like “beads” in his neck, reality came crashing in; following a biopsy, he was diagnosed first with stage III melanoma in August 2015 and later that year it progressed to stage IV.

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About the Author
Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications


Cody R. Barnett joined the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) as Director of Communications in August of 2017. He works to develop and cultivate strategies, messages, and stories that propel MRA’s mission forward. Cody is responsible for media relations, web and social marketing, publications and materials development, and organizational branding. He is committed to using the power of visual, verbal, and written communications to promote MRA as a powerful force for advancing melanoma research.

Before joining the Melanoma Research Alliance, Cody served as Director of Communications at AIDS United, where he directed all internal, public, member, and online communications for the national HIV-focused organization. Previous to this, he managed digital communications for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) initiative.

Cody earned his Master of Public Health (MPH), concentrating in health policy, from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health in 2013 and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from York College of Pennsylvania. 

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