Team Science Award

MRA Team Science Awards are the centerpiece of the MRA research funding portfolio. This program fulfills one of MRA’s primary goals: to foster a collaborative research process. Multidisciplinary teams consist of Principal Investigators with complementary expertise who may be from the same institution, inter-institutional, and/or international institutions. Team science projects promote transformational melanoma research advances with the potential for rapid clinical translation.

Predictors of Response to Neoadjuvant Therapy in Melanoma

Aims to inform mechanisms of treatment response and resistance to BRAF targeted therapy and identify risk factors of central nervous system metastasis formation.

RTFCCR-MRA Team Science Award

Rodabe Amaria, MD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Genomic Instability in Acral Melanoma as A Therapeutic Vulnerability

Will analyze human acral melanoma samples and cell lines to identify defective DNA repair pathways to develop targeted therapies for acral melanomas.

The Black Family-MRA Team Science Award in Acral Melanoma

Boris Bastian, MD, PhD, The University of California, San Francisco

Overcoming Upfront Resistance to Neoadjuvant CTLA-4 Plus PD-1 Blockade

Aims to identify baseline biomarkers to identify patients who are in need of alternative or escalated neoadjuvant treatment schemes and identifying new treatment combinations for those patients.

MRA Team Science Award with Young Investigator Supported by Amanda and Jonathan Eilian

Christian Blank, MD, PhD, Netherlands Cancer Institute

Evolution of Metabolic and Immune Dysfunction in In-Transit Melanoma

Comparing how tumor cell metabolism and immune function change as the individual tumors move away from the original site.

The Black Family-MRA Team Science Award in In-Transit Melanoma

Greg Delgoffe, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Germline Biomarkers of Melanoma Immunotherapy: An International Consortium

Will perform genetic analysis testing on a large pool of metastatic melanoma patients treated with immunotherapy for the identification of inherited markers that predict immunotherapy success and toxicity.

Leveraged Finance Fights Melanoma-MRA Team Science Award

Tomas Kirchhoff, PhD, New York University

AI-Augmented Melanoma Triage and Diagnosis: A Prospective Multi-Site Study

Seeks to improve melanoma diagnostic capability while increasing vital access to care, using an algorithm as a teledermatology triage tool for rapid lesion evaluation.

L’Oréal Dermatological Beauty Brands-MRA Team Science Award

Roberto Novoa, MD, Stanford University

IL13Ra2 Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T Cells for Metastatic Melanoma

Proposing a clinical trial using CAR T cells that can recognize and kill melanoma cells that express a protein called IL13Ra, in patients with advanced melanoma that is not responsive to existing treatments.

The Black Family-MRA Team Science Award, with Young Investigator Generously Supported by The Sokoloff Family

Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, The University of California, Los Angeles

Effective Therapies for Patients with High Risk In-Transit Disease

Uses genetic and immune based tests to identify melanoma patients with in-transit metastases who require additional drug and surgical treatments to enable clinicians to select the treatment most likely to cure each patient’s disease.

MRA Team Science Award, with Generous Support from The Helman Family

Richard Scolyer, MD, Melanoma Institute Australia

Next-Generation Computational Biomarker Development For PD-(L)1 Efficacy

Uses machine learning to better understand the spatial organization of multiple immune factors in melanoma to allow for improved patient selection for anti-PD-1 as well as the rational combination of anti-PD-1 with other therapeutic agents.

BJ’s Wholesale Club-MRA Team Science Award

Janis Taube, MD, Johns Hopkins University

Investigating Melanoma Metastases

Understanding how and when primary melanomas change to give rise to different metastases, and how metastatic tumors escape from the immune system and become resistant to drug therapy.

MRA Team Science Award, Generously Supported by Rosetrees Trust

Samra Turajlic, PhD, The Francis Crick Institute

The Effects of Age on Tumor Dormancy

Understanding the normal changes in both the immune system and other normal cells that occur during aging that awaken dormant tumors and how to target those processes for therapeutics.

MRA Team Science Award, Collaboratively Funded by Johns Hopkins University and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Ashani Weeraratna, PhD, Johns Hopkins University

Targeting Persister Cell States That Drive Drug Resistance and Metastasis

Developing a better molecular understanding of recurrent cancer cells that grow and spread to new locations, to develop new and effective therapies to target them.

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation – MRA Team Science Award

Richard White, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center