Articles by Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications


Full Sails Ahead: Immunotherapy Shows Continued Survival Benefit for Patients Facing Advanced Melanoma

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 28 July 2021 In News, Science, Treatment

After carefully following patients enrolled in Checkmate 067 over the last 6.5 years, he and the research team determined that 49% of patients treated with Opdivo + Yervoy were alive at 6.5 years and 77% of these patients remained treatment-free. This represents the longest reported median overall survival in a phase 3 melanoma clinical trial – ever.

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For Amanda, Research is Personal

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 26 June 2021

For Amanda, melanoma research will always be personal. In addition to her own history – she is very aware that her four children will also always be connected to this disease. “We’ve made some real progress – and that’s great – but we aren’t there yet. My kids now have a history of this, too – and I’m also doing this for them. Discoveries don’t happen by accident – we have to be willing to invest in them.”

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Advancing Melanoma Research in Times of Uncertainty

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 9 June 2021 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories, Policy, Prevention, Science, Treatment

Each year, the annual MRA Scientific Retreat brings hundreds of people from across the melanoma research ecosystem together to exchange ideas, report on scientific progress, celebrate achievements, and mourn the losses. In these ways, the 2021 Retreat was no different.

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Separating Hope From Hype in Melanoma Research

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 4 June 2021 In Science, Treatment

In the last decade alone 13 therapeutic approaches have earned FDA approval giving patients, families, and clinicians new tools to treat melanoma. But there can be a fine line between hope and hype, especially today when news — both true and inflated — travels instantly via the internet and social media.

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Firming the Foundation: Pathology, Rare Melanomas, and Moving the Field Forward

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 21 May 2021 In Science, Treatment

When Dr. Priyadharsini Nagarajan talks about her work at MD Anderson Cancer Center, her energy and excitement could light up any room. That’s because Dr. Nagarajan – a pathologist who specializes in skin (called a ‘dermatopathologist’) – sees her work as critical to creating a firm foundation for all subsequent...

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SPOTMYUV: Your Sunscreen’s New Best Friend

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 20 May 2021 In Allies & Partnerships, Prevention

SPOTMYUV, a small, water-resistant sticker applied to any skin exposed to direct sunlight such as your arm or shoulder, helps the wearer know when it is time to reapply their sunscreen by changing color. Throughout the day, a SPOT sticker works to absorb the sunscreen’s UV protecting ingredients at about the same rate as your skin. The SPOT is clear when you are protected by your sunscreen and quickly turns into a deep purple as the sunscreen loses its effectiveness. By monitoring the SPOT, you get a real-time way to monitor your sunscreen without chancing sunburn.

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Melanoma Research Alliance Announces $8.1 million in Research Awards

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 27 April 2021 In News, Prevention, Science, Treatment

The Melanoma Research Alliance, the largest non-profit funder of melanoma research, is proud to announce $8.1 million in funding for 34 new research awards. The awards, issued on the cusp of Melanoma Awareness Month, provide critical funding to address urgent unmet needs in melanoma.

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Mitch Diamond Honors His Grandfather’s Legacy By Raising Awareness of Melanoma

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 13 April 2021 In Melanoma Stories

Five years ago, when he was just 8-years old, Mitch Diamond lost his grandfather due to melanoma. Now, for his Bar Mitzvah, he’s asking his friends, family, and community to help him raise awareness of and help prevent melanoma.

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Craig Finds Meaning in His Melanoma Diagnosis in the COVID-19 Era

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 11 March 2021 In Melanoma Stories

“I believe there is a reason that I’m going through this. If I can help prevent someone else’s melanoma, or make their journey easier, or help advance research – that’d be worth it,” says Craig. “I feel honored to be part of the melanoma community. It’s a powerful community – and I feel obligated to do something in support of it.”

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Denise Kellen is On a Mission to Advance Melanoma Prevention & Early Detection

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 23 February 2021 In Melanoma Stories

Growing up – from June until August – Denise Kellen and her family practically lived at Lido Beach on Long Island’s south shore. They’d swim, play on the surf, read, and sunbathe. Like clockwork she’d develop two to three severe sunburns that would leave her pale skin a fiery red before peeling away. If only Denise knew then what she knows now.

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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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