SCF Research Grants Official Logo

2020 Call for Entries

Since 1981, generous donors to The Skin Cancer Foundation Research Grants program have allowed us to give young physicians and investigators stipends for studies that serve as stepping stones to important breakthroughs.

The Skin Cancer Foundation is now accepting applications for our 2020 Research Grants to support pilot research projects related to skin cancer. The Foundation funds basic research and clinical studies that address improved methods of prevention, detection and treatment of skin cancer.

Researchers are invited to submit applications for one-year projects to be conducted in the dermatology departments of medical institutions in the United States. Open to dermatology residents, fellows and junior investigators (within 10 years of their first academic appointment).

scientists working together in lab
  • We will award two grants of $50,000 and one grant of $25,000.
  • Applications deadline: October 15, 2019.
  • Grant recipients will be notified in January 2020.

Questions? Please contact us at research@skincancer.org.

Past research grant awards

The Ashley Trenner Research Grant Award for $25,000
Practices and attitudes of primary care practitioners towards melanoma screening and education
Awarded to Stephanie Savory, MD, University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center
Funding for this award was made possible by Bob and Karen Trenner.

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award for $50,000
Decoding the role of skin inflammation in susceptibility to carcinogen-induced DNA damage
Awarded to Shruti Naik, PhD, New York University
Funding for this award was made possible by Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf.

The Todd Nagel Memorial Award for $50,000
Defining key metabolic pathways in high-risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas for early detection in immunocompromised patients”
Awarded to Rie Takahashi, MD, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
Funding for this award was made possible by Linda Nagel and The Todd Nagel Golf Open.

The Ashley Trenner Research Grant Award for $25,000
“Potential Role for the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine to Prevent and Treat Squamous Cell Carcinoma”
Awarded to Anna Nichols, MD, PhD, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Funding for this award was made possible by Bob and Karen Trenner.

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award for $50,000
“Validation of Dermatologist-Performed Ultrasound for Regional Lymph Node Surveillance for High-Stage Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma”
Awarded to Emily Stamell Ruiz, MD, MPH, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Funding for this award was made possible by Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf.

The Todd Nagel Memorial Award for $50,000
“Elucidating and Overcoming Mechanisms of Immunotherapy Resistance in Melanoma”
Awarded to William Damsky, MD, PhD, Yale Dermatology
Funding for this award was made possible by Linda Nagel and The Todd Nagel Golf Open.

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award Society for $25,000
“Skin Cancer in Nonwhite Organ Transplant Recipients: Identifying a High-Risk Population”
Awarded to Christina Lee Chung, MD, Associate Professor, Drexel University College of Medicine
Funding for this award was made possible by Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf.

The Ashley Trenner Research Grant Award for $25,000
“Neuroglial and neuronal regulation of melanoma progression”
Awarded to Yuri Bunimovich, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh
Funding for this award was made possible by Bob and Karen Trenner.

The Todd Nagel Memorial Award for $25,000
“Epigenetic and Immunologic Modulators in Melanoma”
Awarded to Neda Nikbakht, MD, PhD, Dermatology Resident (Research Track), Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Funding for this award was made possible by Linda Nagel and The Todd Nagel Golf Open.

The Skin Cancer Foundation Research Award for $10,000
“Postoperative Phone Calls, Patient Satisfaction and Quality Improvement in Dermatologic Surgery”
Awarded to Jesse Miller Lewin, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
Funded by committed Skin Cancer Foundation donors.

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award Society for $25,000
“Confocal Microscopy to Guide in Vivo Carbon Dioxide Laser Ablation of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer”
Awarded to Anthony Rossi, MD, Assistant Attending Physician, Dermatology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Funding for this award was made possible by Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf.

The Ashley Trenner Research Grant Award for $25,000
“Targeting p53 for Skin Cancer Prevention”
Awarded to Tamara Terzian, PhD, Assistant Professor, Dermatology Department, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Funding for this award was made possible by Bob and Karen Trenner.

The Todd Nagel Memorial Award for $25,000
“Development of CTCL-Seq, a Rapid, High Throughput Method to Simultaneously Assay All Known Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressors in Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma”
Awarded to Jaehyuk Choi, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Dermatology and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Northwestern University
Funding for this award was made possible by Linda Nagel and The Todd Nagel Golf Open.

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award Society for $25,000
“Reprogramming the Tumor Microenvironment to Treat Melanoma”
Awarded to Yuhang Zhang, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati
Funded by Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf

The Todd Nagel Memorial Award for $25,000
“Defining Novel Mechanisms of Genome Instability in Melanoma”
Awarded to Neil J. Ganem, MD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
Funded by The Todd Nagel Golf Open

The Skin Cancer Foundation Research Award for $25,000
“Tumor staging and outcomes of cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas in organ transplant recipients”
Awarded to Bichchau Michelle Nguyen, MD, Assistant Professor, Tufts Medical Center
Funded by committed Skin Cancer Foundation donors

The Skin Cancer Foundation Research Award for $15,000
“Measuring patient expectations and outcomes in patients with skin cancer: Field-testing of a new patient-reported outcome measure.”
Awarded to Erica Lee, MD, Assisting Attending Physician, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Funded by committed Skin Cancer Foundation donors

The Ashley Trenner Research Grant Award for $10,000
“Sphingolipid Metabolism as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Skin Cancer”
Awarded to Linda Heffernan-Stroud, MD PhD, Dermatology Resident, Eastern Virginia Medical School
Funded by Bob and Karen Trenner

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Grant Award │$25,000
Presented by Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf
“Notch Pathway Repression in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma”
Sarah Arron, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco
Funding for this award was made possible by Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf.


The Dr. Alfred W. Kopf Research Grant Award│$25,000
Presented by Leonard H. Goldberg, MD
“The Role of Voriconazole in Promoting UV-induced Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma”
Michael Gober, MD, PhD, Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia
Funding for this award was made possible by committed Skin Cancer Foundation donors.


The Skin Cancer Foundation Research Award│$25,000
Presented by Leonard H. Goldberg, MD
“The Effect of mTOR Inhibition in the Treatment of Merkel Cell Carcinoma”
Ling Gao, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas
Funding for this award was made possible by committed Skin Cancer Foundation donors.


The Todd Nagel Memorial Award│$15,000
Presented by Mrs. Linda Nagel
“Optimization of Mohs Surgery for Melanoma In Situ.”
Christine A. Liang, MD, Clinical Instructor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Funding for this award was made possible by The Todd Nagel Golf Open.


The Skin Cancer Foundation Research Award│$10,000
Presented by David Polsky, MD, PhD
“Expression of Notch and c-jun in Photoprotected and Photodamaged Skin as Compared to Actinic Keratosis and Squamous Cell Carcinoma.”
Yevgeniy Balagula, MD, Dermatology Resident at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland
Funding for this award was made possible by committed Skin Cancer Foundation donors.

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Grant Award │$25,000
Presented by Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf
“A non-randomized controlled trial of sentinel lymph node biopsy for high-risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma”
Chrysalyne D. Schmults, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Jamaica Plain, MA
Funding for this award was made possible by Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf.


The Dr. Alfred W. Kopf Research Grant Award│$25,000
Presented by David Polsky, MD, PhD
“Characterizing incidence, risk factors, and prognosis of skin cancer in hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients”
Peggy Wu, MD, Instructor, Dermatology Department, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Combined Dermatology Residency Training Program, Boston, MA
Funding for this award was made possible by committed Skin Cancer Foundation donors.


The Melissa K. Bambino Memorial Award│$25,000
Presented by Leonard H. Goldberg, MD
“Keratoacanthoma: whole exome sequencing for gene discovery of relevant mutations for tumor regression”
Christine J. Ko, MD, Associate Professor of Dermatology and Pathology, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Funding for this award was made possible by The Melissa K. Bambino Melanoma Foundation.


The Todd Nagel Memorial Award│$15,000
Presented by Mrs. Linda Nagel
“The role of autophagy in melanoma and the development of melanoma drug resistance”
Joshua Arbesman, MD, dermatology resident, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Funding for this award was made possible by The Todd Nagel Golf Open.


The Paul Silberberg Memorial Award│$10,000
Presented by Mrs. Paul Silberberg
“Examining the molecular pathogenesis of high-risk and low-risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma”
Philip Scumpia, MD, PhD, dermatology resident and postdoctoral fellow, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Funding for this award was made possible by The Skin Cancer Foundation’s A Night the Stars Shine On event.

The Joseph A. Stirrup Memorial Award


A one-year, $25,000 grant, for a research project, “Characterizing human T cell immunity to merkel cell polyomavirus in Merkel cell carcinoma.” Rachael Clark, MD PhD, Assistant Professor, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA 

Funding for this Award was provided by The Skin Cancer Foundation’s A Night the Stars Shine on event.

The Paul Silberberg Memorial Award


A one-year, $25,000 grant, for a research project, “The role of the desmosome protein, plakophilin 2, in cancer.” Lisa M Godsel, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

Funding for this Award was provided by The Skin Cancer Foundation’s A Night the Stars Shine on event

The Alfred W. Kopf Research Grant Award
A one-year, $25,000 grant, for a research project, “Characterization of genetic mutations in primary dermal melanoma.” Bryan K. Sun, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

Funding for this Award was provided by the donors of The Skin Cancer Foundation

The Skin Cancer Foundation Research Award
A one-year, $25,000 grant, for a research project, “Cutaneous vaccination to Basal Cell Carcinoma-harnessing Dendritic Cells of the Skin and Skin Draining LN to improve immunity.” Niroshana Anandasabapathy, MD, Dermatology Resident, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY

Funding for this Award was provided by the donors of The Skin Cancer Foundation.

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award


A one-year, $15,000 grant, for a research project, “Incidence of skin cancer risk factors experienced by veterans involved in Operation Enduring Freedom /Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) and subsequent skin health behavioral modifications post – combat.” Jennifer Powers, MD, Chief Resident, Dermatology, Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Nashville, TN.

Funding for this Award was made possible by Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf

The Todd Nagel Memorial Award
A one-year, $15,000 grant, for a research project, “A study of the association of BRAF mutations and brain metastases in melanoma.” Michelle W. Ma, MD, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY

Funding for this Award was made possible by the Todd Nagel Golf Open

The Melissa K. Bambino Memorial Award


A one-year, $15,000 grant, for your research project, “Retinoid related orphan receptor-gama (RORy: a novel therapeutic target for melanoma treatment).” Rahul Purwar, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA

Funding for this Award was made possible by the Melissa K. Bambino Melanoma Foundation

The Skin Cancer Foundation Research Award
A one-year $10,000 grant, for your research project, “A pilot study to explore safety, tolerability and potential clearance with topical sirolimus for treatment of actinic keratoses.” Jennifer Stein, MD, Assistant Professor, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY

Funding for this Award was provided by The Skin Cancer Foundation’s A Night the Stars Shine on event

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 Dermatology, The 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.

The Dr. Patricia Wexler Research Grant Award
A one-year, $10,000 grant, for a research project, “DNA Damage-Mediated Sirtuin 1 Inhibition as Novel Survival Mechanism in Skin Cancer” Arianna L. Kim, PhD, Herbert Living Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY.

A one-year, $10,000 grant, for a research project, “The Utility of Src-kinase Inhibitors in Preventing the Formation of Precancerous Lesions and Squamous Cell Carcinomas” John T. Seykora, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Philadelphia, PA.

Funding for these Awards was provided by the Brown Foundation.

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award
A one-year, $10,000 grant, for a research project, “Delivery of Topical siRNAs for the Prevention and Treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinomas and other Skin Cancers” Thanh-Nga Trinh Tran, MD, PhD, Graduate Assistant, Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charleston, MA.
Funding for this Award was provided by the Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award Society.

The Melissa K. Bambino Memorial Award
A one-year, $10,000 grant, for a research project, “Determining Benign or Malignant Behavior of Spitzoid Neoplasms Through Deep Molecular Profiling” Arlo Miller, MD, PhD, Resident in Dermatology, Mayo Clinic Rochester, New York.
Funding for this Award was provided by the Melissa K. Bambino Melanoma Foundation.

The Dr. Alfred W. Kopf Research Grant Award
A one-year, $10,000 grant, for a research project, “Role of Immune Modulation and Surveillance in Sentinel Lymph Node Positivity in Melanoma” Farbod Darvishian, MD, Assistant Professor of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY.

Funding for this Award was provided by the donors of The Skin Cancer Foundation.

The Live Love and Laugh Research Award
A one-year, $10,000 grant, for a research project, “Proteomic Characterization of Benign Melanocytic Lesions and Melanoma: A Pilot Study” Adar Berghoff, MD, Chief Resident Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA.

Funding for this Award was provided by Mindy Gorman.

The Dr. Patricia Wexler Research Grant Award
A one-year, $10,000 grant for a research project 
“T-oligo as a Novel Therapeutic Agent for Melanoma” 
 
Dr. Neelu Puri, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, Dept. of Biomedical Sciences

The Dr. Patricia Wexler Research Grant Award
A one-year, $10,000 grant for a research project
“The Integration of a Genome-wide Approach to the Discovery of a Unique Molecular Signature of Nodular Melanoma”
Iman Osman, MD, Associate Professor of Dermatology and Medical Oncology, Director, Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Research Group, NYU School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology

The Melissa K. Bambino Memorial Award
A one-year, $10,000 grant for a research project
“Targeting c-Jun and c-Fos for Skin Cancer Treatment” 

Jennifer Yunyan Zhang, Assistant Professor, Duke University

Funding for this Award has been provided by The Melissa K. Bambino Melanoma Foundation through their Annual SUN RUN 5K Run/Walk

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award
A one-year, $10,000 grant for a research project,

“Vitamin D, DNA Repair and Skin Cancer Prevention”
James E. Cleaver, Ph.D., Professor of Dermatology & Pharmaceutical Chemistr, Auerback Melanoma Laboratory, University of California – San Francisco, USCF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Funding for this Award has been provided by The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award Society

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award
A one-year, $10,000 grant for a research project,
“Investigating the Immunogenomic Landscape of Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma”
Dr. Michael Girardi, M.D., Associate Professor & Residency Director, Yale School of Medicine, Dept. of Dermatology

Funding for this Award has been provided by The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award Society

The Dr. Patricia Wexler Research Grant Award
A one-year, $10,000 grant for a research project
“Inhibition of Human Melanoma Metastasis with Semaphorin 3F, A New Anti-Angiogenic and Anti-Lymphangiogenic Factor” 

Diane Renee Bielenberg, PhD, Assistant Professor Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA

The Dr. Patricia Wexler Research Grant Award

A one-year, $10,000 grant for a research project
“Transcutaneous Delivery of Bcl-2 Antisense Oligonucleotide for Skin Cancer Treatment” 
Omathanu P. Perumal, PhD, Assistant Professor, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD

Funding for these Awards has been provided by The Brown Foundation

The Theodore S. Tromovitch Memorial Award

A one-year, $5,000 grant for a research project
“Developing a Molecular Diagnostic for Sentinel Lymph Node Status in Melanoma Patients” 
Mayumi Fujita, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Dermatology, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO

Funding for this Award is provided by Stephen N. Snow, MD

The Melissa K. Bambino Memorial Award

A one-year, $8,000 grant for a research project
“Application Of Proteomics And Mass Spectrometry For The Identification Of New Melanoma Biomarkers” 
Arash Radfar, MD, PhD, Department of Dermotology, Pittsburgh, PA

Funding for this Award has been provided by The Melissa K. Bambino Melanoma Foundation through their Annual SUN RUN 5K Run/Walk

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award
A one-year, $6,000 grant for a research project,

“Cure Rates Of Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma Following 1 Versus 3 Cycles Of Electrodessication And Curettage: A Randomized Prospective Study.” 
Rosemarie Liu, MD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Funding for this Award has been provided by The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award Society