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


We’ve Teamed Up with the American Cancer Society

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 7 June 2018 In Allies & Partnerships, Science, Treatment

American Cancer Society and Melanoma Research Alliance have united to fund lifesaving research aimed at reducing side effects and improving outcomes for patients treated with immunotherapy.

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Melanoma Awareness Month: Opportunities to Make a Difference

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 30 April 2018 In Prevention

Melanoma Awareness Month, held in May each year, is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of melanoma, the importance of early detection, and the many ways to practice sun safety. From talking about sun safety to your friends and family, taking the Skin Check Pledge, posting about melanoma on social media, or highlighting prevention strategies in your organization newsletter—there are many ways we can all take part and make a difference!

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Are Personalized Vaccines Part of a New Combination Approach to Treating Melanoma?

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 29 April 2018 In Allies & Partnerships, Science

Bracing for cold weather and the threat of runny noses and sore throats, millions of Americans are vaccinated for the flu each year. By priming the immune system, the vaccine reduces the risk of catching the flu and, if not successful at preventing it altogether, reduces both the severity and the duration of symptoms. These are ‘one-size-fits-all’ vaccines that are useful for all people. But what if each and every person’s flu, like each person’s melanoma, was unique? You’d need a personalized vaccine that was made and customized for each individual. Dr. Patrick Ott, Clinical Director of the Melanoma Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and lead researcher on the BJ's Wholesale Club-MRA Team Science Award, is conducting pioneering research to harness the power of personalized vaccines to combat melanoma.

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Melanoma: What You Need to Know

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 29 April 2018 In Science

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Rates of melanoma are rising rapidly, especially in younger people. In fact, cases of melanoma have tripled in the last 30 years, at a time when cancer rates for other common cancers have declined.

Do you know the answer to these top ten questions people ask about melanoma?

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Melanoma Leaves a Mark – but Not Always the One You Think

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 27 April 2018 In Melanoma Stories

Melanoma is no stranger to University of Delaware Senior Samantha Stinchcomb. In fact, this silent killer has been part of her life for the last 11 years – over half her life. She learned the hard way, at the sobering age of 13, that melanoma ‘isn’t just skin cancer’ when her father lost his three year battle with the disease. Since then, Samantha has been diligent about her own skin – and has had 16 precancerous moles removed. “It took my father, my best friend, from this earth and my life. In the almost 8 years since my dad’s been gone,” said Samantha. “I’ve also learned melanoma doesn’t plan on getting out of my life anytime soon.”

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Our Research Saves Lives: MRA Grants Over $100 Million in Ten Years

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 25 April 2018 In News, Science

Through powerful research, the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) is quickly delivering results and saving lives. In ten years, the Melanoma Research Alliance has become the largest, non-profit funder of melanoma research worldwide. In fact, with Tuesday's announcement of 28 new grant awards – MRA has now funded $100 million in the areas of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment!

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Your Opportunity to Help Advance Melanoma Research

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 24 April 2018 In Allies & Partnerships

Beyond protecting yourself through sun-safety and skin-checks – one of the best ways you can observe Melanoma Awareness Month is by raising funds to support melanoma research!

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Embrace Your Skin and Don't Be Anything that You Aren't

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 10 April 2018 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories

This freckled red head was never meant to be tan, but it didn’t stop her from trying. Stefani Schuetz just wanted that ‘perfect glow’ that she hoped would help her fit in after moving to Florida. She was training for a triathalon – a race requiring swimming, cycling, and running – with her sister when everything changed. Her sister thought she saw a bug on the back of her leg – but this bug turned out to be much worse. Instead of a bug, Stefani found a suspect mole that she’d never noticed before. She knew she had to get it checked out, but money was tight for this single Mom; it took her four months to make it to the dermatologist for a biopsy.

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Libby Kistler: “I’m Still Here”

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 26 March 2018 In Melanoma Stories

Statistically, Libby Kistler shouldn’t be here. She was diagnosed with Stage IIIB melanoma in 2005, before treatment for late-stage melanoma was transformed by immuno- and targeted therapies in 2011.

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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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