The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA)

Advancing Discoveries, Changing Lives, Curing Melanoma

MRA is the world’s largest private nonprofit funder of melanoma research. We’ve directly invested over $150 million toward scientific discoveries, and we won’t stop until we achieve our mission of curing melanoma.


MRA Mission:

The mission of the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) is to end suffering and death due to melanoma by collaborating with all stakeholders to accelerate powerful research, advance cures for all patients, and prevent more melanomas.

Give with Confidence: 

100% of every donation will go to our research portfolio, without any administrative or other fees, because of the ongoing generosity of our founders Debra & Leon Black. MRA has a proven track record of using donations efficiently and effectively and has been recognized with Charity Navigator's Highest Four-Star Rating, MRA also maintains a Platinum Seal of Transparency on Guidestar

MRA Seals of Approval


MRA's Impact: 

MRA has proudly invested more than $150 million through 415 grant awards. We support the world’s best, most promising science and research and are guided by the expertise of our world-renowned Grant Review Committee. We support research from bench to bedside and beyond while helping patients and families navigate the ever-evolving treatment landscape.

MRA-funded investigators have been behind every major breakthrough in melanoma research since our founding. That’s 17 new FDA-approved treatments that have transformed what it means to be diagnosed, treated for, and live with melanoma. Patients are living longer and fuller lives than ever before.

Melanoma research has energized the entire field of oncology and created a new paradigm for how cancer is treated. Therapies conceived, tested, and approved first in melanoma are now used to successfully treat patients with twelve other types of cancer and are being tested in dozens more.

Despite this incredible progress, melanoma continues to be the most deadly form of skin cancer. An estimated 100,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in the United States this year alone. MRA will continue to lead the charge in advancing melanoma prevention, detection, and treatment.

MRA's Founding: 

In 2007, melanoma touched the lives of Debra and Leon Black when Debra was diagnosed with the disease. With melanoma incidence rising dramatically and survival for those with advanced disease remaining static at less than 15 percent, the Blacks formed the Melanoma Research Alliance under the auspices of the Milken Institute.

Thanks to the Blacks' generous ongoing support of all administrative and fundraising costs, 100% of every donation to MRA goes directly to melanoma research. 



MRA’s ability to fund wide-ranging research in melanoma is amplified by unique multi-faceted collaborations and partnerships with individuals, private foundations, and corporations. In fact, collaboration is at MRA's core—from the team approaches to research that we fund, to the way we find partners who can help us realize our vision.

Our allies are also focused on increasing public knowledge about the seriousness of melanoma and ways to reduce risk and improve early detection. MRA is pleased to have the generous support of a growing list of corporate allies in the fight against melanoma to amplify our message and garner the resources necessary to advance our mission.

Thanks to the generous support of its founders, MRA applies 100% of all donations to melanoma research. MRA is recognized with Charity Navigator's Highest Four-Star Rating and maintains a Platinum Seal of Transparency on Guidestar. Donors can give confidently to MRA knowing that 100% of every donation will go to our research portfolio, without any administrative or other fees, because of the ongoing generosity of our founders Debra & Leon Black.