Melanoma Research Foundation
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The MRF Has Skin in the Game

From the desk of MRF CEO Kyleigh LiPira:

As we wrap up Melanoma Awareness Month, there is still time to #GetNaked. If you haven’t had your annual skin check by a board-certified dermatologist, please make the time to schedule your appointment now. We know it is scary to get naked and maybe there is a spot that you think looks funky but you have been ignoring; it’s ok, because the earlier you catch melanoma the better your outcome will be.

Here at the MRF, we are so proud of this year’s #GetNaked spokespeople, two of our very own advocates – Cassie Beisel, Senior Advocacy Officer and Darren Reilly, the husband of Liz Reilly, ocular melanoma (OM) survivor and Development Officer for our national Gala program. Cassie, a stage III melanoma survivor and 3-time cancer survivor was an advocate for the MRF before she joined the team in 2014. Since then, she has shared her personal story with countless patients, caregivers and advocates to help inspire behavioral change. Prior to her melanoma diagnosis she frequented tanning beds, now she advocates on the state and federal level to ban tanning bed use for minors. Go Cassie! Darren knows all too well the dangers of melanoma, but it wasn’t until he had his first experience with melanoma that he learned the importance of self-advocating and seeing the dermatologist frequently.

If you didn’t support the MRF during Melanoma Awareness Month, there is still time. Making a tax-deductible donation will not only help the MRF reach the 1.3 million Americans living with melanoma but it will allow us to continue to invest in the best research, educate newly diagnosed patients and their families and continue to advocate on the issues that impact our community. We are so grateful to many of our corporate partners who found creative ways to give back during Melanoma Awareness Month. You can check out all of our amazing cause marketing partners here. Lastly, we are excited to share that DermTech recently announced a campaign that will donate $5 to the MRF for everyone that makes a pledge to get their yearly skin exam, up to $1,000,000. You can make your pledge here! Thank you again for your support this month and throughout the year!

Support the MRF

Stay Sun Safe and Support the MRF with Neutrogena and Walgreens!

In an exciting new chapter of its long-standing partnership with the MRF, Neutrogena joined with Walgreens to launch a limited edition line of co-branded sunscreen, with $1 from each purchase donated to the MRF. These products are available online and in more than 4,600 Walgreens stores nationwide. Whether you're celebrating the unofficial start of summer close to home or planning a Memorial Day getaway, stay sun safe and support the MRF by stocking up on SPF at these Walgreens stores!

In addition to the giveback, Neutrogena and Walgreens also sponsored a new Facebook Live series on topics including Sun Safety and Prevention and Debunking the Myths Around Skin Color and Sun Care Health.

The MRF is immensely grateful to Neutrogena and Walgreens for their commitment to promoting sun protection and skin health, as well as their strong support of the MRF’s mission to eradicate melanoma.

Shop for SPF at a Walgreens Near You

25th Anniversary: Improving Patient Outcomes

As the MRF celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2021, each month we are highlighting members of the scientific community that we have been proud to support as they pioneer new breakthroughs in melanoma research and treatment development. This month we shared a guest blog post by Genevieve Boland, MD, PhD, and her mentor, Keith Flaherty, MD. Dr. Boland was awarded the 2019 MRF Breakthrough Consortium Bristol Myers Squibb (MRFBC-BMS) Young Investigator Research Team Award to Advance the Field of Translational Immuno-Oncology. In addition to serving as her mentor on this award, Dr. Flaherty also serves on multiple MRF Scientific Leadership Committees. Learn how MRF research funding helped to advance their efforts to overcome treatment resistance and improve patient outcomes.

Improving Patient Outcomes

Apply for 2021 Research Funding!

The 2021 MRF Grant Request for Proposals (RFP) is now available! In 2021, due to COVID, the MRF will focus exclusively on junior investigators by offering Career Development Awards, Medical Student Awards and a Young Investigator Team Award to advance the field of translational immuno-oncology (detailed in separate RFPs which have already been completed). Applications will be accepted until July 12, 2021 at 5pm ET. Additional information about funding opportunities can be found on the Grant RFP page or by emailing

New funding opportunities are also available from the Department of Defense Melanoma Research Program (MRP). Individual investigators and research teams are invited to apply for these multi-year research awards ranging from $500,000 to $1.4 million. For more information and to apply, visit the DoD Melanoma Research Program page.

Visit the MRF Research Center

Join the VISION Registry!

In celebration of its 10th Anniversary and representing a significant advance in ocular melanoma (OM) research, on May 10 the MRF's CURE OM initiative launched VISION: a first of its kind patient reported OM registry. This historic patient driven research tool allows for ocular melanoma patients and caregivers to directly participate in groundbreaking research to help OM physicians and scientists increase knowledge, develop more effective treatments and, one day, a cure for OM! Read the official launch announcement to learn more and to join the VISION Registry, click below.

Join the VISION Registry

Have Questions? Ask the Expert.

Every Monday in May, the MRF presented a weekly series of interactive presentations addressing topics such as the Importance of Early Detection with Daniel Siegel, MD, MS (SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University), Everything Skin Cancer and Melanoma with Scott Drew, DO (Dermatology Associates of Mid-Ohio), All About Skin Checks with Scott A. Walter, MD (AboutSkin Dermatology and DermSurgery, PC) and Sunscreen 101 with Mamina Turegano, MD (Sanova Dermatology) and Kristin Bibee, MD, PhD (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine). This month’s series was sponsored by DermTech and helped the MRF advance our educational reach during this important month.

The MRF is grateful to each of our presenters for sharing their time and expertise, and to DermTech for their strong support of melanoma education, prevention and early detection. Watch each presentation on-demand on the MRF Facebook page.

Follow the MRF on Facebook

Join the National Melanoma Hunt

According to a global survey of dermatologists, it is estimated that up to 33% of annual skin checks were missed during the COVID pandemic, meaning as many as 14,944 melanomas went undiagnosed in the United States alone. The Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy launched the National Melanoma Hunt to find these overlooked melanomas and increase awareness about the importance of early detection.

The campaign encourages people to share a ‘Finder’s Guide’ with six others to spread potentially life-saving information like ‘a virus for good.’ Innovative Alexa & Google voice apps plus an instructional video launched to encourage self-examinations. If you missed your annual skin exam last year, or haven’t yet scheduled your visit for 2021, make an appointment today and join the National Melanoma Hunt!

Download the Finder's Guide

Save the Date! Pediatric Melanoma Summit

Following the first-ever Virtual Pediatric Melanoma Summit in 2020, the MRF is excited to announce that the 2021 summit will take place in-person at the Great Wolf Lodge in Phoenix, AZ on September 24-26, 2021! We missed seeing all of our young friends last year, so we hope you will be able to join pediatric melanoma families from across the US to learn the latest information on research and treatment, meet new friends and make a splash in the giant indoor water park! Additional details about the event, health and safety procedures, program agenda and more will be available soon, so bookmark the page below to stay up to date with the very latest information.

2021 Pediatric Melanoma Summit

And They're Off! Miles for Melanoma 2021

On May 1, runners and walkers across the country set out on a month-long nationwide run/walk with the ambitious goal raising $50,000 in 30 days. Our community raced past the goal and show no signs of slowing down! There's still time to support a team or participant before the Facebook Live Celebration Ceremony on Tuesday, June 1 at 10am ET.

The MRF thanks National Sponsors Neutrogena, Coolibar, Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb, OncoSec and Local Sponsors OncoSec and Iovance Biotherapeutics.

In Memphis, a weeklong virtual run/walk culminated with a Celebration Ceremony on Saturday, May 22 and there was much to celebrate: the Memphis community exceeded their fundraising goal, raising more than $20,000 at this year's event. Congratulations and thank you, Memphis!

The MRF thanks National Sponsors Neutrogena, Coolibar, Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb and Natera, and Local Sponsors Memphis Dermatology Clinic, P.A. and Dermatology East.

Next up are virtual events in Denver (June 12), Florida (June 19) and Atlanta (June 26)! Click below to register for a run/walk near you:

Miles for Melanoma Event Calendar

Attend an MRF Gala!

This year marks the MRF's 25th Anniversary, and it's also a momentous year for the Gala program as we'll celebrate two additional anniversaries: the 10th Annual Denver Gala on September 23, and the 20th Annual New York Gala on October 14! At the Galas, the MRF will present two inaugural Influencer Awards to Scott A. Walter, MD, FAAD of AboutSkin Dermatology in Denver, CO and Muneeb Shah, DO of Atlantic Dermatology, PA in Wilmington, NC. Dr. Walter will be honored at the Denver Gala and Dr. Shah will receive his award at the New York Gala.

Dr. Walter (@denverskindoc) and Dr. Shah (@dermdoctor) embraced new social media platforms to make sure they could still share important messages about melanoma prevention and early detection during the pandemic, reaching a combined audience on TikTok of more than 6.5 million followers with videos that received over 120 million likes. The MRF applauds Dr. Walter and Dr. Shah for their dedication and innovation in delivering critical skin health messages, especially among the vulnerable adolescent and young adult population.  

For more information about the MRF Gala program and all of our 2021 events, including the 2021 Chicago Gala, visit the MRF Galas page.

MRF Galas

Be Brave with Coolibar!

In honor of Melanoma Awareness Month, Coolibar, the MRF's National Apparel Partner, launched a new version of their celebrated "This is Brave" campaign to share the powerful stories of skin cancer patients, survivors and caregivers while supporting the work of the MRF through a special line of sun safe UPF products. By purchasing apparel and accessories from this limited edition collection, you can show your support for the courageous members of the melanoma community AND help advance melanoma research, education and advocacy because Coolibar is generously donating 100% of the proceeds from Be Brave items to the MRF!

Visit Coolibar's page below to be inspired by those featured in this year's campaign and purchase your This Is Brave apparel before they're gone!

This is Brave

Double Your Donation

A matching gift is a charitable donation by a corporation that matches an employee’s donation to an eligible nonprofit organization, most often dollar for dollar. Thousands of companies across the United States (and some companies internationally) offer matching gift programs to their employees as part of a corporate giving philanthropy.

Did you know you can check the status of your company’s matching gift program right on the MRF website? Search by name and learn about match amounts, employee eligibility and other guidelines. Some companies even offer grants for hours volunteered by their employees.

To see if a company you are affiliated with has a matching gift program, click the button below to learn more.

Double Your Donation


In the last year many dermatologist exams were missed due to the pandemic and our partners at DermTech are committed to reversing this trend and ending preventable melanoma deaths. For every person who pledges to schedule a skin exam in the next 30 days, DermTech will donate $5 to their nonprofit partners including the MRF - up to 1 million dollars! After taking the pledge yourself, use the hashtag #StickIt2Melanoma to challenge others to do the same, and DermTech will donate another $5!

Take the Pledge

Upcoming Events

  • September 11: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma Boston
  • September 18: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma New York City
  • September 19: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma New Jersey
  • September 25: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma Chicago
  • October 9: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma DC
  • November 4: Chicago Gala
  • Date TBD: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma Los Angeles
  • Date TBD: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma San Diego
  • November 14: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma San Francisco

View MRF Events



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