Collaborations :: Outreach

Society for Melanoma Research

The SMR’s principal goal is bringing together members who vary widely in their professions—from basic researchers to translational researchers to clinicians— but share an abiding devotion to improving the lives of those suffering from melanoma through research.

In coming years, with the incorporation of new technologies into experimental and clinical research, we expect rapid advances in cutaneous melanoma prevention, diagnosis and therapy. To bring new technology-based discoveries from bench to bedside and back, we will need to attain a far greater level of cooperation between labs and clinics. In addition, we expect to develop specific inhibitors for metastatic melanoma, rendering it in the next few years a treatable disease.

However, we face major challenges in securing funding, building infrastructure, and gaining expertise in new technologies. To meet these challenges, we will need to form multidisciplinary collaborations. SMR, through yearly congresses, workshops, and its website, will play the role of a catalyst.


Noreen O’Neill Foundation for Melanoma Research

Every year, melanoma takes 8,000 people from their loved ones across the country. Despite a high cure rate for those who are diagnosed early, there are currently no effective treatments for melanoma once it has invaded the body.

Unfortunately, melanoma research has suffered from a lack of funding in recent years, despite the growing incidence of the disease. In fact, there has not been a major initiative to target melanoma in over a decade.

The Noreen O’Neill Foundation for Melanoma Research is dedicated to raising awareness about melanoma and funding research into increased prevention, early detection, and new treatments. With your help, we can make progress toward the day when scientists develop a cure. Governing documents, conflict of interest statements, financial statements are available to public upon request.


Melanoma Research Foundation

The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma in the United States. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. The MRF is an active advocate for the melanoma community, helping to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. The MRF's website is the premier source for melanoma information seekers.

Mission Statement: To support medical RESEARCH for finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma. To EDUCATE patients and physicians about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of melanoma. To act as an ADVOCATE for the melanoma community to raise the awareness of this disease and the need for a cure.

Melanoma Research Alliance

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and it is one of the cancers whose incidence is increasing fastest in this country. In 2007, melanoma touched the lives of Debra and Leon Black when Debra was diagnosed with the disease. With melanoma incidence rising dramatically and survival for those with advanced disease remaining static at less than 15 percent, the Blacks formed the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) under the auspices of the Milken Institute. Thanks to their generous ongoing support, all public donations to MRA go directly to melanoma research. Our ultimate goal is to find a cure by funding the most promising melanoma research worldwide that will accelerate progress and improve outcomes for patients and all who are at risk.

MRA is the largest private funder of melanoma research. To date, MRA has awarded $30 million to 73 research programs to make transforming advances in the prevention, diagnosis, staging, and treatment of melanoma, including research in biological causes of carcinogenesis, skin screening, biomarkers, imaging, immunotherapy, molecularly targeted therapy, and combination therapy.

Collaboration is at MRA's core—from the team approaches to research that we fund, to the way we find partners who can help us realize our vision. Our allies are also focused on increasing public knowledge about the seriousness of melanoma and ways to reduce risk and improve early detection. MRA is pleased to have the generous support of a growing list of corporate allies in the fight against melanoma to amplify our message and garner the resources necessary to advance our mission. Through a unique partnership with Bruce Springsteen and the Danny Fund, MRA has been engaged in a series of public awareness initiatives urging people to protect themselves from the sun's damaging rays, avoid indoor tanning, and be aware of changes in their skin. Together with our allies and your support, we are working toward the day when no one will suffer or die from melanoma.


National Disease Research Interchange

NDRI is a non-profit, federally-funded organization (click to view funding sources) that was founded in 1980 because of a dream. Lee Ducat, the mother of a diabetic son, became NDRI’s founder and president to help scientists studying diabetes to find a cure.

Back then, obtaining adequate numbers of pancreas for diabetes research was an incredible challenge for most researchers who were forced to rely on their own, local contacts. Scientists voiced their need and with their guidance, the concept of a national human tissue and organ retrieval system became a reality.

Soon, researchers studying other types of diseases and conditions recognized the success of NDRI’s national network. They began to request help in finding human biomaterials for their research projects.

Today, researchers from universities, medical centers and hospitals in just about every major U.S. city rely on NDRI to deliver the specimens they need to advance their studies. Genetic studies are provided with DNA and data on valuable, well-characterized families.


Melanoma Patient Information Page

MPIP is the oldest and largest community of people affected by melanoma hosted through the Melanoma Research Foundation. It is designed to provide support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. Once you have been touched by melanoma—either as a patient or as a family member or friend of a patient—you become part of a community. It is not a community anyone joins willingly. But if you must be part of this group, you will find no better place to find the tools you need in your journey with this cancer, and the friends who can make that journey more bearable.

Pan American Soceity for Pigment Cell Research

The PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research (PASPCR) is a scientific society devoted to those of us interested in various aspects of pigment cells. Our Society is a very interactive one, meeting on an annual basis, and is composed of clinicians, developmental biologists, biochemists, immunologists, cell biologists, molecular biologists, chemists and physicists, among other disciplines. Look at the PASPCR Information Page for more information on our Society.


International Federation of Pigment Cell Societies

The International Federation of Pigment Cell Societies (IFPCS) was founded in 1990 to foster interactions in the various disciplines of pigment cell research. The IFPCS was developed initially in 1977 as the International Pigment Cell Society (IPCS) which in turn gave rise to the various regional Pigment Cell Societies that now comprise the IFPCS. Over the years, these groups have sponsored a series of International Pigment Cell Conferences (IPCC) and a summary of those IPCC Conferences, their sites, their Organizers, past recipients of various IFPCS sponsored Awards and past IFPCS Council members are included in this section.