Articles by Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement


Melanoma Mortality Rate Continues Decline Fueled by Treatment Advances

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 26 January 2022 In News, Prevention, Science, Treatment

Each January, the American Cancer Society (ACS) releases updated estimates about trends in new cancer cases and deaths in its annual report, Cancer Facts and Figures. This report highlights the estimated incidence (number of new cases), prevalence (number of people alive today with a history of cancer), and survival statistics for cancer in the United States.

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MRA Celebrates Approval of Tebentafusp - First Drug for Metastatic Uveal Melanoma

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 26 January 2022 In News, Treatment

The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the largest non-profit funder of melanoma research worldwide, applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision to approve the first-ever therapy for metastatic or unresectable uveal melanoma.

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From Personal Loss to Professional Service

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 25 January 2022 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories

Since 2009, O’Melveny & Myers (OMM), an internationally recognized law firm founded in 1885, has served as pro bono counsel for the Melanoma Research Alliance. Over the last decade, the firm has advised MRA leadership and represented the organization in many areas, including grant agreements, HR policies, tax issues, intellectual...

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Early Studies Suggest New Immune Checkpoint Target for Melanoma

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 6 January 2022 In Science

Checkpoint immunotherapies have revolutionized the way melanoma is treated. However, up to 50% of patients don’t respond or go on to develop resistance to even our latest approved therapies. Thankfully, researchers such as MRA-funded investigator Roberto Tinoco, PhD are hard at work discovering the next checkpoint inhibitors capable of revving up the immune system and fighting melanoma.

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Championing Clinical Trials

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 2 January 2022 In Melanoma Stories, Science, Treatment

Too often, the first time someone is exposed to clinical trials is when they've been diagnosed with a serious, life threatening illness. Learn how Mary Elizabeth partnered with her doctor Jedd Wolchok to take back control from melanoma.

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MRA Applauds Expanded Approval of Pembrolizumab to Patients with Stage 2 Melanoma

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 6 December 2021 In News, Science, Treatment

The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the largest non-profit funder of melanoma research worldwide, welcomes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision to expand eligibility of Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) to include patients with Stage IIB and IIC melanoma.

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Promising Uveal Melanoma Research Advances

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 26 October 2021 In News, Science, Treatment

Uveal melanoma, often called ocular melanoma or just eye melanoma, is a rare melanoma subtype that affects about 2,500 people each year in the United States. As is true with other rare subtypes, we know far less about what causes uveal melanoma, how it progresses, and how it can be...

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Melanoma Isn't Just Another Skin Cancer

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 5 October 2021 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories

Too many people think that melanoma is just another skin cancer – and in 2005, Daisy Helman was one of them. She had just learned that a lump her father noticed on his arm was actually melanoma. “I just assumed that this wasn’t a big deal. Just cut it out – dad will be fine. Looking back, I was so wrong.”

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Antibiotics & Treatment-Resistant Melanoma: A Stressful Subject

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 23 September 2021 In Science

Eleonora Leucci, PhD, an MRA-funded investigator at KU Leuven (Belgium) has determined that some antibiotics may be able to slow, or even reverse, treatment resistance that melanoma develops to targeted therapies. If her preliminary findings are verified in the clinic, this would be a potent weapon in the melanoma treatment arsenal and a huge win for patients.

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Asking the Tough Questions: Perspectives on Being a Caregiver, Self Care, & Mucosal Melanoma

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 18 September 2021 In Melanoma Stories

“Being a caregiver can be the hardest job,” says Patricia Janiak. “Your loved one might be the one going through this – but we’re the ones who have to put on our brave face while always being a step ahead. We’re the ones who call the doctors, ask the tough questions, and when needed, we push the envelope.”

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About the Author
Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement


Cody Barnett, MPH serves as the Director of Communications & Patient Engagement at the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA). In this role, he works to develop and cultivate strategies, messages, and stories that propel MRA and its mission forward. In addition, he develops patient-friendly articles, tools, and resources that demystify new research advances and make them actionable. 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 storytelling and patient-centered thinking to advance melanoma research and improve patient outcomes. 

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 signature initiative, Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q).

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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