Melanoma Research Foundation

Honoring Patients and Their Journey

From the desk of MRF CEO Kyleigh LiPira:

On October 20, the MRF community gathered in New York to celebrate its 21st Annual Gala. Over 400 people were able to hear the amazing stories of Summer Sanders, Monique Mack and Erik Jones. We presented each with Courage Awards and they told our community why they are so passionate about melanoma prevention, early detection and funding research that will lead to a cure. Click here to watch the video shown at the gala highlighting each of their stories, with an introduction by melanoma advocate and Neutrogena brand ambassador, Jennifer Garner. We were also thrilled to honor Michelle Henry, MD, FAAD with the Excellence in Prevention Award, dermatologist Dustin Portela, MD with the social media Influencer Award and Brian Peter Marr, MD with the CURE Ocular Melanoma Vision of Hope Award.

Nearly $1 million was raised at this year's gala, including a record-breaking LIVE Fund-A-Grant of $167,000! It's not too late to show your support; the Gala donation page will remain open until Wednesday, November 30, and place your bid to win an unforgettable night at the 2022 American Music Awards before the auction closes on Friday, November 4.

We have come a long way over the last 26 years, with more than 50% of stage IV patients having a complete response to treatment. However, half of patients still do not respond to treatment and the incidence of people under 30 developing melanoma is increasing faster than any other demographic group, soaring by 50% in women since 1980. We are also further behind in approved treatments for the rarer forms of melanoma like ocular, mucosal and pediatric. Because of this community coming together and raising funds AND awareness, we are where we are today and we are optimistic for our future. We cannot stop until we find a cure and we know this community won’t either.

As we head into the season of giving, we ask you to consider investing in our mission and the patients and loved ones that our funding supports. As a completely independent organization, our funding comes from our community, not through government grants or a benefactor. You can click the button below to make a fast and secure online donation, and be sure to mark your calendars for GivingTuesday on November 29, to join the worldwide melanoma community for a global day of giving! We are grateful for all of you who support the MRF’s mission and the 1.3 million Americans who are currently living with melanoma.

With gratitude,


#EyeGetDilated: Creating Awareness About Ocular Melanoma

In November, all eyes will be on the ocular melanoma (OM) community as the CURE OM initiative launches this year's #EyeGetDilated OM awareness campaign! Throughout the month, we will share inspiring stories from patients and caregivers, facts about OM symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, updates on the latest research and more. On November 3, we will host an "Ask the Expert" webinar on liver-directed therapies sponsored by TriSalus Life Sciences, with additional educational opportunities soon to be announced. The campaign will also serve as an important reminder to schedule a yearly dilated eye exam, even if you have no vision troubles, as this fast and easy test is the most common way that OM is detected. Make sure to follow CURE OM on Facebook and Twitter and the MRF on Instagram to see everything we are sharing in November, and then schedule your yearly exam and tell the world that #EyeGetDilated!

In case you missed it: the CURE OM initiative recently launched the first ever VISION Registry Data Report, providing critical data and key take aways for the ocular melanoma patient and clinician community. Read the report here.

Fostering Collaborations to Benefit Patients

On October 17-20, The 19th Annual Society for Melanoma Research International Congress was held in Edinburgh, UK, bringing together melanoma researchers, physicians and experts from around the world. As in previous years, two additional MRF-specific meetings were held in conjunction with SMR. On October 16-17, more than thirty members representing fifteen countries held the Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy Annual Meeting, outlining a worldwide melanoma awareness campaign and exploring additional collaboration opportunities. On October 17, the CURE OM Global Science Meeting brought together ocular melanoma researchers and physicians to share the latest research developments and projects like the newly released VISION Registry Data Report. During the SMR meeting, MRF-funded researchers presented their work on topics that will benefit patients including reducing resistance to melanoma targeted therapies, identifying new treatment targets for metastatic melanoma and further characterizing a protein that may impact the ability for metastasis to occur. The meeting concluded with a clinical trial session which highlighted a recent study that demonstrated the benefit of TIL therapy in patients with advanced, mainly PD1-refractory melanoma. At the annual awards ceremony, two new MRF-funded research grants were awarded and we look forward to sharing the progress of these studies as they work towards new breakthroughs in melanoma science.

Coming up on December 16 in New York City, patients and caregivers are invited to join researchers at a hybrid workshop focused on increasing collaboration between the patient and scientific communities to accelerate progress towards greater understanding of the disease and new treatments for mucosal melanoma. Click the button below for more information about the meeting and how to register. Thank you to Alkermes, Bristol Myers Squibb, Nektar and Novartis for sponsoring this educational opportunity.

Register for the Mucosal Melanoma Hybrid Workshop

Medical Student Research Grants: Apply by November 15

Don't forget: the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 2023 Medical Student Research Grants is currently open, but the deadline is approaching quickly on November 15, 2022 at 5pm ET. In addition to awards focused on any aspect of melanoma research, this year we are pleased to also offer at least one award focused specifically on ocular melanoma research. Visit the Research Grant RFP page for more information, and questions about this or any other funding opportunities may be directed to


Miles for Melanoma Races to the Finish Line!

The Miles for Melanoma team was on the west coast in October, celebrating melanoma patients, caregivers and survivors in San Diego and Seattle while raising over $100,000 for melanoma research, education and advocacy! With three events remaining on this year's calendar, we're looking forward to seeing our friends in Atlanta (November 6) and San Francisco (November 13) before ending the incredible season in Los Angeles on December 3. There's still time to register for an upcoming event or donate to your favorite team, and THANK YOU to everyone who helped to make this Miles for Melanoma season a tremendous success!


Upcoming Events


  • November 18, 2022: Improving Access To & Equity of Melanoma Prevention and Care, Chicago, IL

View MRF Events


1420 K Street, NW 7th Floor Washington, DC 20005 | Tel: (800) 673-1290
Melanoma Research Foundation © 2023 All rights reserved.
Powered By Blackbaud