PLATINUM2024

Melanoma Research Alliance

Powerful Research. Faster Results.

aka Melanoma Research Alliance; MRA   |   Washington, DC   |  http://www.CureMelanoma.org

Mission

The mission of the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) is to end suffering and death due to melanoma by collaborating with all stakeholders to accelerate powerful research, advance cures , and prevent more melanomas.

Ruling year info

2009

President and CEO

Dr. Marc Hurlbert Ph.D.

President and COO

Ms. Stephanie Kauffman

Main address

730 15th Street NW 4th Floor

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-1636099

NTEE code info

Cancer Research (H30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (U01)

Cancer (G30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Rates of melanoma are rising rapidly, especially in younger people. In fact, cases of melanoma have tripled in the last 30 years, at a time when cancer rates for other common cancers have declined.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Melanoma Research Funding

The MRA is focused on finding and funding the most promising melanoma research worldwide that will accelerate progress toward a cure. Since its founding in 2007, the Melanoma Research Alliance has become the largest non-profit funder of melanoma research worldwide. Through 415 awards, MRA has directly invested more than $150 million, and leveraged an additional $417 million in collaborative and follow-on funding towards its mission. MRA is catalyzing strategic, collaborative, and accountable research efforts that have moved the field forward and given patients and their loved ones better treatment options and renewed hope.

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 data that MRA-funded scientists are generating is informing research in many fields.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Melanoma Research Funding

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

100% of grant funding goes directly to research, grantees are not allowed to use funds for admin, development or indirect costs. Grants selected through competitive peer-review process.

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Melanoma Research Funding

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Grants selected through peer-review process, current grant review committee can be viewed at: https://www.curemelanoma.org/about-mra/grant-review-committee/

Number of Treatment Modalities Studied

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Melanoma Research Funding

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is a cumulative number first totaled in 2017

Number of FDA approved Treatments touched by MRA Funding

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Melanoma Research Funding

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is a cumulative number first totaled in 2017

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) aims to find a cure for this deadly skin cancer by funding the most promising melanoma research worldwide in the areas of treatment science; diagnosis and staging; and prevention. Our mission is to eliminate suffering and death due to melanoma. Because patient outcomes are usually positive if cancer is detected early, we promote melanoma awareness and earlier detection, to increase the likelihood that a patient is diagnosed with melanoma in its more treatable stages. Finally, since cutaneous melanoma risk is directly correlated with an individual's lifetime exposure to UV rays, we work with our partners to educate the public about risk-reduction and prevention strategies, including reduced exposure to UV rays and awareness of one's skin.

Due to ongoing support from our founders covering all administrative and fundraising expenses, 100% of the funds raised by MRA support our scientific research programs. MRA is the largest private funder of melanoma research worldwide, supporting individual investigator and collaborative team projects focused on translational, innovative research that will impact the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of melanoma in the near and intermediate future.
We seek to fund the most promising, transformative melanoma research. To that end, projects are solicited via RFP process and undergo peer review by our independent Grant Review Committee. The committee comprises senior thought-leaders in melanoma and cancer research. After scientific peer review by the GRC, the MRA Board of Directors approves all research awards for funding.
Each type of MRA award addresses different needs within the melanoma research landscape.
• Team Science Awards are the centerpiece of the MRA research funding portfolio and foster a collaborative research process. Multidisciplinary teams consist of Principal Investigators with complementary expertise who may hail from different institutions and countries.
• Young Investigator Awards aim to attract early career scientists with novel ideas into melanoma research, recruiting and supporting the next generation of melanoma researchers. To date MRA has funded 40 Young Investigators.
• Pilot Awards test potentially transformative ideas that do not have extensive preliminary data but articulate a clear hypothesis and translational goals.
• Established Investigator Awards support senior investigators with an established record of scientific productivity and accomplishment.
Our focus on collaboration between stakeholders has led to the creation of Academic-Industry Partnerships, whereby MRA forms an agreement with a biopharmaceutical company or another foundation to co-fund a research program of strategic importance to both parties.
On the awareness and prevention front, MRA leverages alliances with companies in the sun safety space, as well as with larger retail companies like L'Oreal Paris and Sports Authority. Together, we work to spread melanoma awareness though social media, consumer advertising, and press activities. We also work with our corporate allies and other foundations to create PSA messages and other awareness vehicles.
MRA's headquarters is in Washington, DC, where we maintain access to key policymakers and participate in coalitions to focus on issues central to our mission. Our involvement in policy discussions is key to protecting medical research funding, advancing a streamlined and effective regulatory process to accelerate innovation for patients, and to putting melanoma prevention on the public health agenda.

MRA has established a trusted scientific reputation around the world as a result of the strength and sophistication of its scientific programs. We have engaged advisory boards that work in concert with our internal scientific team to shape the organization's scientific strategy, identify trends or areas of opportunity for MRA, and assist in the implementation of our programs. These include:
• The Grant Review Committee, which evaluates all research grant proposals, is made up of 26 of the world's leading clinicians, scientists and researchers across the spectrum of disciplines relevant to the rapidly changing melanoma field.
• Our Scientific Advisory panel is comprised of leaders from academia, medicine, government, and industry and advises the MRA leadership team on scientific matters and policies of MRA including research needs and opportunities that may be targeted for funding and planning scientific symposia.
• The Medical Advisory Panel features practicing clinicians from surgical and medical oncology and dermatology who advise MRA on medical matters and policies including medical consultations, clinical research needs and opportunities, clinical regulatory and policy initiatives, and public education about melanoma.
MRA has committed and involved leaders, including its co-founders Debra Black, a melanoma survivor, and her husband, Leon Black. MRA's Board of Directors is engaged and active in enhancing the organization's reach and impact, with significant and diverse experience in finance, philanthropy, pharmaceuticals, disease advocacy foundations, entertainment, media, and government.
In addition to the generous and ongoing support of our founders, MRA has a growing base of support from individual and organizational donors, allies and constituents based around the world. We have more than 90 alliances with corporations and other entities who work with us to conduct cause campaigns and outreach activities, provide funds to support our scientific programs, or donate in-kind services to the organization. Additionally, we have established alliances with more than 10 like-minded foundations and associations, and we belong to several coalitions to enhance our reach and impact.

Since our founding in 2007, MRA has developed into the leading private funder of melanoma research and an industry leader in innovative collaborations. We have recruited industry leaders to serve on our Board and Advisory committees, established a world-class research program, and launched collaborations with biopharmaceutical companies that serve as examples of successful research models across the industry.

To-date, we have funded more than $101 million of melanoma research, supporting 266 research programs at 126 different institutions in 15 countries. MRA-funded researchers have also leveraged an additional $35 million in research funding from other sources.

From 2007-2018, twelve new therapies were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat advanced melanoma, providing unprecedented options for patients. Our presence and research dollars have acted as a catalyst within this research space. MRA-funded research is vital to the continued development and better understanding of these novel approaches to maximize their benefit for patients.

Additionally, our research dollars have supported 37 clinical trials to test promising agents alone and in combination for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and led to scores of new patent applications filed for new technologies, which have the potential to be developed into new tools or treatments for patients. MRA-supported research has been published in hundreds of papers in high-impact journals, helping to further inform the scientific and clinical communities about promising new melanoma research so that others may build upon the results to help patients.

Our corporate alliances help us reach many more people than we could alone, especially during Melanoma Awareness Month each May. Major partnerships have included L'Oreal, BJ's Wholesale Club and Stand Up To Cancer.

We have much left to accomplish in the fight against melanoma. We receive more high quality proposals than we can fund. Most new melanoma treatments only work in a minority of patients with the cancer, and patients often become resistant to them over time. We need to further support more preclinical and clinical studies of to overcome drug resistance and exploit combinations of different therapies in order to reach a day when metastatic melanoma is no longer a death sentence.

Financials

Melanoma Research Alliance
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Melanoma Research Alliance

Board of directors
as of 01/18/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Debra Black

Melanoma Research Alliance Foundation

Maria Bell

No Affiliation

Debra Black

Melanoma Research Alliance

Leon Black

Apollo Global Management

Jason Federici

No Affiliation

Jami Gertz

No Affiliation

Susan Hess

No Affiliation

Michael Klowden

Milken Institute

Nancy Marks

No Affiliation

Michael Milken

Milken Institute

Richard Ressler

CIM

Jonathan W Simons

Marcus Foundation

Jonathan Sokoloff

Leonard Green & Partners, LLP

Elizabeth Stanton

Elizabeth and Oliver Stanton Foundation

Jeffrey Rowbottom

General Atlantic Credit

Ellen Davis

No Affiliation

Elliott Sigal

No Affiliation

Benjamin Black

Fortinbras Enterprise

Denise Kellen

No Affiliation

Ian Schulman

Latham & Watkins

Amanda Eilian

_able Partners

Daisy Helman

Garden Collage

Mary Jo Rogers

No affiliation

Lee Alpert

Lee Alpert & Company

Evan Bayh

Apollo Management

Barry Cohen

Elysium Management

Denise Kellen

No Affiliation

Suzanne Topalian

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/8/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/19/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.