Articles by Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications


MRA Announces $11 Million for 26 Grant Awards to Advance Melanoma Research

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 30 April 2020 In News, Science

With the world’s attention focused on the response to COVID-19, the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) knows that long after this pandemic has ended, melanoma research will still be urgently needed. To this end, and in recognition of Melanoma Awareness Month, the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the largest non-profit funder of melanoma research, is proud to announce funding for 26 research awards totaling $10.9 million.

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To the Twilight Zone & Back – Ian Schuman’s Story

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 31 March 2020 In Melanoma Stories

For Ian Schuman, the news of his melanoma diagnosis came as a shock. For him, it all started in the spring of 2018 when he noticed a small lump on his left collar bone. As part of preliminary testing before the surgery to remove it, he also had a biopsy.

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Dr. Villanueva Takes Aim at NRAS Mutant Melanoma

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 28 March 2020 In Melanoma Stories, Science, Treatment

When Dr. Villanueva began her work in melanoma, some 15 years ago, it was the perfect scientific challenge. How could a disease be so aggressive – and still be such a mystery?
Then things got personal.

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Keeping You Connected to the Melanoma Community

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 18 February 2020 In Allies & Partnerships

With the launch of the brand-new Inspire App, the Melanoma > Exchange community is getting even better. Available for iPhone and iPad – the app was designed from the ground up to make connecting and sharing even easier and as mobile as you are.

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Stage 4 Melanoma, a Vaccine Clinical Trial, and the Power of Family & Faith

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 7 February 2020 In Melanoma Stories, Science, Treatment

“Clinical trials allow you to take advantage of the latest research and experiences from doctors and patients who’re blazing the trails. Clinical trials are also a way for you to help the next person who is going to have to go through this. If you have the opportunity to be part of something that helps others, why wouldn’t you at least try it?”

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Brown Skin Too: If You Have Skin, You Can Get Skin Cancer

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 6 December 2019 In Melanoma Stories, Prevention

While pervasive, the myth that people of color don’t need to worry about skin cancer, is entirely untrue. And while the rates of skin cancer among people of color are lower than rates for people with lighter skin, low risk doesn’t mean no risk.

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Mutations and Melanoma

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 8 November 2019 In Science

Cancer is caused by mutations in our DNA that allow cells to grow uncontrollably – and eventually invade surrounding tissue. Melanoma is a specific type of cancer that is formed in pigment-containing cells, known as melanocytes, which are found primarily in the skin but also in places like the eye and on mucous membranes. Thanks to advancements in research, the same mutations that cause cancer are proving helpful in treating it.

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Bob Enrolls in Clinical Trial Testing NeoAdjuvant Therapy for Melanoma

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 2 November 2019 In Melanoma Stories, Science, Treatment

After being diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma, Bob chose to enroll in a clinical trial at Georgetown University, comparing the effectiveness of treating melanoma with pembrolizumab before or after surgery, what doctors call neo-adjuvant and adjuvant therapy respectively.

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SPORE Grants: Putting Collaboration Front & Center

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 24 September 2019 In Allies & Partnerships, Science, Treatment

In medicine, sometimes the biggest and most game-changing advancements come from a single person – who through tireless work – arrives at a true ‘eureka’ moment. This ‘go it alone’ concept is not only reinforced through television and movies, it’s also bolstered in the way the medical community makes research...

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Living Life With Melanoma

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 13 September 2019 In Melanoma Stories

Ken Billett’s life-long journey with melanoma began in 1995 when he took a leap of faith and had a spot checked out on his shoulder at a health expo. He knew that he had had more than his fair share of sunburns growing up in Florida during the 60’s and...

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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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