Basic Organization Information
MELANOMA RESEARCH ALLIANCE FOUNDATION
- Also Known As:
Melanoma Research Alliance; MRA
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- NTEE Category:
H Medical Research
H30 Cancer Research
U Science and Technology Research Institutes
U01 Alliance/Advocacy Organizations
- Year Founded:
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- How This Organization Is Funded:
The mission of the MRA is to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and its translation into effective options for patients – in prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment – in order to eliminate suffering and death due to melanoma.
Mrs. Wendy K.D. Selig
Wendy K.D. Selig is president and CEO of the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), a public charity focused on finding and funding the most promising melanoma research worldwide that will accelerate progress toward a cure. Selig drives and manages MRA's strategic priorities, research portfolio, and day-to-day operations.
Prior to joining the MRA, Selig spent nearly a decade in leadership positions at the American Cancer Society (the Society) and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), recently, as ACS CAN's vice president of external affairs & strategic alliances, where she built strategic partnerships with corporations, foundations, trade associations, and federal agencies. She oversaw the Society's campaign to ensure access to quality healthcare and chaired United for Medical Research focused on sustained federal support for biomedical research funding at the NIH. In 2008, Selig was appointed to serve on the National Cancer Institute Director's Consumer Liaison GrouSelig served on Capitol Hill as a top aide for U.S. Representative Porter J. Goss (R-FL), the House Rules Committee, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.A native of Princeton, NJ, Selig is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and holds a Master in Science (with distinction) from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
Board of Directors
Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation
Melanoma Research Funding
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The MRA is focused on finding and funding the most promising melanoma research worldwide that will accelerate progress toward a cure. To date, MRA has awarded $48 million to 116 research programs to make transforming advances in the prevention, diagnosis and staging, and treatment of melanoma, including research in biological causes of carcinogenesis, skin screening, biomarkers, imaging, immunotherapy, molecularly targeted therapy, and combination therapy.
MRA supports both individual investigator and collaborative team projects focused on translational, innovative research that will impact the prevention, diagnosis, staging, and treatment of melanoma in the near and intermediate future. The 2013-2014 Request for Proposals includes more detail about current funding opportunities.
Young Investigator Awards aim to attract early career scientists with novel ideas into melanoma research, thereby recruiting and supporting the next generation of melanoma researchers. Young Investigators are scientists within four years of their first academic faculty appointment. A mentorship commitment from a senior investigator is required.
Pilot Awards test potentially transformative ideas that do not have extensive preliminary data but articulate a clear hypothesis and translational goals. Resources for such “high-risk, high-reward” projects are important to establish proof-of-concept, which may then leverage additional funding through more traditional avenues.
Established Investigator Awards support senior investigators with an established record of scientific productivity and accomplishment and who are past the initial four years of their first academic faculty appointment.
Team Science Award Programs 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.
Partnership Awards are designed to facilitate interactions between sectors including industry and other nonprofit organizations.
Development Awards are a subtype of a Pilot Award in which one year of funding is provided to test potentially transformative "high-risk, high-reward" ideas that do not have extensive preliminary data but would establish proof-of-concept. Investigators who are past the initial four years of their first academic faculty are eligible.
Program Long-Term Success:
Program Short-Term Success:
In just a few years of active research, significant progress has already been made. The productivity of funded investigators as a direct result of MRA awards has been high, as measured in tangible outcomes and in promising early research results. MRA is building a robust, collaborative melanoma research community focused on delivering effective results as quickly as possible.
Program Success Monitored by:
All proposals undergo rigorous peer review by the MRA Grant Review Committee, comprised of experts in diverse areas of translational cancer research. The GRC operates under guidelines that ensure objective review by the committee. Of note, GRC members who are Principal Investigators on applications do not participate in the review of any applications. Members who have other conflicts with specific proposals may not review or vote on such proposals. Final funding decisions are ratified by the MRA Board of Directors. Full-term funding is contingent upon review of annual progress reports and other oversight activities conducted by MRA.
Program Success Examples:
More than $46 million in additional research funding leveraged from other sources by MRA investigators. The majority of this funding was granted by two sources: U.S. National Institutes of Health and other foundations.
18 clinical trials supported by MRA to test promising agents alone and in combination for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.
17 patent applications filed for new technology, which have the potential to be developed into new tools or treatments for patients.
More than 100 papers published in high-impact journals describing research results supported by MRA, which inform the scientific and clinical communities about promising new research so that others may build upon the results to help patients.
More than 145 collaborations initiated and strengthened between academic, government, and industry scientists, which enhance sharing of information and fast-forwarding of the research.
Approximately 450 presentations delivered by MRA investigators at medical and scientific meetings around the world, where research results are shared and the profile of MRA is enhanced.
The Melanoma Research Alliance supports ambitious and innovative research projects, initiated by individual and teams of scientists, to develop to develop better treatments for melanoma and achieve better patient outcomes.
For more in-depth information about this organization's impact, view their Charting Impact Report