SU2C, MRA announce new Dream Team dedicated to melanoma research

June 13, 2017

The committee then chose three finalist teams, which each met in person with the JSAC to present the plans for their research, and respond to questions about their projects - a level of interaction between applicants and reviewers that is unique in a scientific review process.

Since the launch of SU2C in 2008, the AACR has played an integral role as SU2C's scientific partner by providing expert peer review and grants administration, as well as ongoing scientific oversight to ensure that progress is being made. The AACR will work closely with the MRA, the largest private funder of melanoma research.

"We are very excited about the synergy between the AACR, SU2C and MRA on the first collaborative Dream Team model. The team has great potential for providing new hope for patients with a type of melanoma that is particularly challenging to treat, and for further advancing the field," said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D., (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR.

Melanoma Dream Team Principals and Advocate Members

The "Personalized Medicine for Patients with BRAF Wild-Type (BRAFwt) Cancer" Dream Team is composed of a multidisciplinary group including experts in the medical management of patients with metastatic melanoma, drug development, genomics research, biostatistics, bioinformatics and patient advocacy. It includes laboratory and clinical researchers, young investigators and senior scientists who have not worked together in the past, as well as patient advocates. In addition to Trent and LoRusso, team members include:


Svetomir Markovic, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic Brian Nickoloff, M.D., Ph.D., Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Neal Rosen, M.D., Ph.D., Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Nicholas J. Schork, Ph.D., The Scripps Research Institute & Scripps Health Aleksandar Sekulic, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic Jeffrey A. Sosman, M.D., Vanderbilt University Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D., Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute Craig Webb, Ph.D., Van Andel Research Institute Joshua LaBaer, M.D., Ph.D., The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University


Mark Gorman, J.D., National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship Derrick Hall, president of Arizona Diamondbacks MLB League Connie Mack, U.S. Senator, Ret. Jane Perlmutter, Ph.D., Gemini Group

Dream Team members come from the following institutions: Translational Genomic Research Institute, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Scripps Research Institute & Scripps Health, Van Andel Research Institute, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University, Arizona State University, Johns Hopkins University, National Cancer Institute, Queensland Institute for Medical Research, and University of California Santa Cruz.

Prior to today's announcement, SU2C has awarded grants to five Dream Teams comprised of 221 scientists at 43 unique institutions. The 26 Innovative Research Grants that have been awarded to young investigators include the Allan H. (Bud) and Sue Selig Stand Up To Cancer Melanoma Innovative Research Grant to Dr. Roger Lo at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, who is investigating which specific genetic changes lead to drug resistance in some patients with melanoma. MRA, in the four years since its founding, has awarded more than $30 million in funding to 73 projects at 55 institutions in 10 countries.

Source: American Association for Cancer Research