2011 Research Grants Awarded


For the first time, The Skin Cancer Foundation awarded $115,000 in its annual research grants program, including one $50,000 grant, the most money ever distributed by the Foundation in one year. Since 1981, the Foundation has awarded over one million dollars to fund more than 100 projects. The awards provide funding for pilot studies that lead to improvements in the prevention and clinical management of skin cancer.

“The Research Grants Award Program is a vital part of The Skin Cancer Foundation’s mission,” said Bijan Safai, MD, Chairman of The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Research Grants Committee as well as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at New York Medical College. “Our goal is to continue grow the program so that we can keep increasing the amount of funding we provide.”

Research grant proposals are evaluated by members of the Foundation’s Grants Review Committee, which includes Dr. Safai, Jeffrey Dover, MD; Leonard H. Goldberg, MD; David J. Leffell, MD; and David Polsky, MD, PhD.

The Research Grant Awards Ceremony took place at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting and Reception during the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in New Orleans.

  • The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Melanoma Research Award

    A one-year, $50,000 grant awarded to Jedd Wolchok, MD, Associate Attending Physician, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, for a research project, “To Prospectively Investigate the Immunologic Effects of the Combination of a BRAF Inhibitor (BMS-908662) with the CTLA-4 Blocking Antibody Ipilimumab Using Concurrent and Sequential Treatment Schedules.”

    Funding for this Award was provided by The Skin Cancer Foundation and by the Foundation’s A Night the Stars Shine On event.
  • The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Grant Award

    A one-year, $10,000 grant awarded to Ling Tang, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, for a research project, “Study of Laminin 511 Function in Melanoma Adhesion and Elasticity Using Atomic Force Microscopy Nano-Technique.” 

    Funding for this award was provided by Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf.
  • The Errol Cook Research Grant Award

    A one-year, $10,000 grant awarded to Grace Ying Wang, MD, Assistant Research Scientist, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, California, for a research project, “Mechanism of Activation of p53 in Inhibiting Murine BCC Carcinogensis.”

    Funding for this award was provided by Mr. Errol Cook and other committed Skin Cancer Foundation donors.
  • The Dr. Alfred W. Kopf Research Grant Award

    A one-year, $10,000 grant awarded to Natasha Atanaskova Mesinkovska, MD, PhD, Dermatology Resident, Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University, for a research project, “Melanoma: Altering Melanocyte Epigenomic Mechanisms in Response to Solar Radiation.”

    Funding for this award was provided by Skin Cancer Foundation donors.
  • The Joseph A. Stirrup Memorial Award

    A one-year, $10,000 grant awarded to Benjamin Yu, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of DermatologyThe Regents of the University of California, San Diego, for a research project, “Dissecting Ribosomal Processing in Non-melanoma Skin Cancers.” 

    Funding for this award was made possible by The Skin Cancer Foundation’s A Night the Stars Shine On event.
  • The Melissa K. Bambino Memorial Award

    A one-year, $10,000 grant awarded to Meg R. Gerstenblith, MD, Visiting Assistant Professor of Dermatology, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio, for a research project, “Inclusion of Clinical and Dermoscopic Imaging of Nevi in a Comprehensive Melanoma Database to Examine Potential Associations between Dermoscopic Patterns of Nevi and Genetic and Somatic Mutations in Melanoma. 

    Funding for this award was made possible by The Melissa K. Bambino Melanoma Foundation.

  • The Todd Nagel Memorial Award

    A one-year, $10,000 grant awarded to Zoe Verney, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Alabama at Birmingham, for a research project, “Efficacy and Mechanism of Action of 9-cis UAB30, a Novel Rexinoid Analog, in Human Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma Cell Lines.”

    Funding for this award was provided by the Todd Nagel Golf Open.

  • The Paul Silberberg Memorial Award

    A one-year, $5,000 grant awarded to Ana-Maria Forsea, MD, Visiting Scientist, Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, for a research project, “Development of International Educational Programs for Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection.” 

    Funding for this award was made possible by the Foundation’s A Night the Stars Shine On event.