$1M in New Grants Awarded to Further Melanoma Research in 2008

- Melanoma Research Foundation Continues to Fund World-Class Melanoma

Research -

Apr 02, 2008, 01:00 ET from Melanoma Research Foundation

    HILLSBOROUGH, N.J., April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The
 Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) recently approved 2008 grants through
 the MRF Research Grant Program totaling more than $1 million, providing a
 substantial boost to the melanoma research community. This initiative
 supports promising medical research that furthers the goal of developing an
 effective treatment and possible cure of malignant melanoma, while
 encouraging scientists and clinicians to join in this mission.
     "We are particularly excited about these grants as they support young
 scientists with a dream for finding a cure and experienced scientists with
 a vision for the future of cancer research," said Randy Lomax, Chairman,
 Board of Directors, Melanoma Research Foundation. "This funding represents
 our strong and ongoing commitment to support medical research for
     The newly awarded grants were provided as part of the MRF's Career
 Development Grant Program and Established Investigator Grant Program. The
 Career Development Grant provides funding of up to $50,000 per year for two
 years to investigators who are beginning a research career emphasizing
 melanoma-related projects. The Established Investigator Grant provides
 funding of up to $100,000 per year for two years to established researchers
 in melanoma or those in closely related fields who wish to move into
 melanoma research.
     These grants, awarded through a scientific peer-review system paneled
 by leading clinical and basic melanoma researchers, are made possible by
 charitable donations in support of innovative melanoma research. In fact,
 two of the grants recently provided were awarded in the names of Danny
 Federici -- keyboardist for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and
 melanoma patient -- and the late James Robbins -- former president and
 chief executive officer of COX Communications -- respectively, for their
 generous donations to the MRF. The recipients include:
     Career Development Grants:
     -- Dr. Paul Antony, University of Maryland -- Baltimore, "Inducing
 Potent Anti-Tumor Immunity Against Melanoma Using Cytokine/Antibody Immune
     -- Dr. Susanne Schlisio, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, "Neuronal
 Apoptosis by the Prolyl Hydroxylase EglN3: Oxygen Sensing and Cancer"
     -- Dr. Soheil Dadras, Stanford University, "The Role of Small
 Ribonucleic Acids in the Progression of Cutaneous Melanoma"
     -- Dr. Karen Taraszka Hastings, University of Arizona, "Role of
 Lysosomal Thiolreductase GILT in Activation of Melanoma-Specific T
     -- Dr. William Kim, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
 "Interrogating the Role of HIF in Malignant Melanoma"
     -- Dr. Jedd Wolchok, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, "Particle
 Mediated Epidermal Delivery of Xenogeneic gp100 DNA Vaccines for Melanoma"
 (The grant awarded to Dr. Wolchok was designated and funded by the
 Live4Life Foundation.)
     Established Investigator Grants:
     -- Dr. Edward DeFabo, George Washington University, "Mechanisms of UVB
 Initiation of Melanoma: A Novel in Vivo Approach"
     -- Dr. Boris C Bastian, University of California -- San Francisco,
 "Integrating Genetic and Morphologic Features of Melanoma to Improve
 Disease Classification"
     -- Dr. Patrick Hwu, MD Anderson Cancer Center, "Regulatory Immune Cell
 Interactions in the Microenvironment of Melanoma Metastases"
     "We continue to rely on the generosity of others to help fund
 innovative research to further the goal of developing effective treatments
 and ultimately a cure for melanoma," said Linda Pilkington, Executive
 Director, Melanoma Research Foundation. "In 2008, the MRF looks forward to
 providing crucial funding to help bridge the gap in melanoma research to
 ensure that patients of tomorrow have the help they need."
     Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, is one of the fastest
 growing cancers in the U.S., and can strike people of all ages, all races
 and both sexes. One in 50 people have a lifetime risk of developing
 melanoma. In fact, in 2008, more than 62,000 Americans are expected to be
 diagnosed with invasive melanoma, resulting in an estimated 8,400 deaths.
 Until there is a cure for melanoma, research is crucial to ensure patients
 of tomorrow have the help and hope they deserve.
     To learn more about donating to MRF and its research programs, please
 visit http://www.melanoma.org.
     About the Melanoma Research Foundation
     The Melanoma Research Foundation is the largest private, national
 organization devoted to melanoma in the United States. The Foundation is
 committed to the support of medical research in finding effective
 treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma. The Foundation also educates
 patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and treatment of
 melanoma, while acting as an advocate for the melanoma community to raise
 awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. The MRF Web site is the
 premiere source for melanoma information seekers. More information is
 available at http://www.melanoma.org.

SOURCE Melanoma Research Foundation