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  • Contains 2 Component(s)

    On January 30, 2024 the MRF held an Ask the Expert webinar with Dr. Gino K. In, a medical oncologist at the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. This session was titled "Oncolytic Viral Therapies in the Treatment of Melanoma and Skin Cancers" and explored the mechanisms of how oncolytic viruses work against cancer, the new approaches to the design of these drugs, and how these viruses are designed to minimize the risk of infection. The webinar also featured patient advocates and Donna Soskin and Jim Day who shared their experience with Oncolytic Therapy. *This presentation was recorded


    Donna Soskin

    Melanoma Survivor

    Donna is a retired masseuse and former Pilates teacher. Donna is a mother of two grown adult children. She is crazy about the NFL, enjoys playing tennis and watching sports. Donna is a melanoma survivor.

    Jim Day

    Melanoma Survivor

    Jim Day is an artist and custom fabricator from Los Angeles. He is well known in his community as the guy who can build anything out of anything, and often helps others build things they could not build themselves. In 2021, Jim discovery he had a brain tumor, and was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic melanoma. After his diagnosis, Jim met with Dr. In whom informed him of his treatment options. Jim knew instantly when he spoke to Dr. In about oncolytic viruses that he wanted to work with him. Two years later Jim has lost an extraordinary amount of cancer, and his side effects are minimal. Jim says that because of Dr. In and the oncolytic virus therapies, he feels alive again. 

    Dr. Gino In

    medical oncologist

    University of Southern California

    Gino K. In is a medical oncologist at the University of Southern California, who specializes in solid tumor and cutaneous oncology. He completed his oncology fellowship at the USC Keck School of Medicine and subsequently joined the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he oversees the multidisciplinary melanoma and skin cancer program, and leads clinical trials for melanoma, and other skin cancers, including cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and Merkel cell carcinoma.

  • Contains 2 Component(s)

    Learn more about the latest in melanoma diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and prevention from experts during this virtual MRF patient symposia. *This presentation was recorded in 2023.


    Rebecca Hartman, MD, MPH

    Melanoma Research Foundation

    Dr.Rebecca Hartman is Associate Chief of the Dermatology section at VA BostonHealthcare System, Director of Melanoma Epidemiology at Brigham and Women’sHospital, and Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School. Sheclinically specializes in caring for patients with melanoma and pigmentedlesions at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and practices medical dermatology at VABoston. In addition, she conducts melanoma epidemiologic and clinical researchfunded by the VA and Department of Defense, focusing on aggressive and raremelanomas.

    Tara Mitchell, MD

    Melanoma Research Foundation

    Dr. Tara Mitchell is an Associate Professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. She is the Section Chief of melanoma/sarcoma in the division of Hematology/Oncology at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center and the Director of Clinical Research for the Tara Miller Melanoma Center at Penn. Dr. Mitchell is board certified in both medical oncology and clinical pharmacology.

    Vernon Sondak, MD

    Chair, Department of Cutaneous Oncology

    Moffitt Cancer Center

    Dr. Sondak is Chair of the Department of Cutaneous Oncology at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida. He holds the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Distinguished Endowed Chair in Cutaneous Oncology, and is also a Professor in the Departments of Oncologic Sciences and Surgery at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. Since 2004, when he came to Tampa, the Cutaneous Oncology Clinic at Moffitt has grown into one of the largest multidisciplinary treatment centers for pediatric melanoma and related conditions in the world. Dr. Sondak has been a leader in studies of surgical treatment of melanoma and other cutaneous malignancies, particularly in the application of sentinel lymph node biopsy and lymph node dissection to the staging and treatment of melanoma, and has been instrumental in training many surgical oncologists in these techniques over the years. Dr. Sondak also has a strong research background: he served as Principal Investigator of the Moffitt Skin SPORE, a major NCI-funded “team science” grant conducting translational research in melanoma and other cutaneous malignancies. His research interests include surgical treatment of melanoma in adults and children; adjuvant (postoperative) and neoadjuvant (preoperative) therapy of melanoma; and evaluation of new therapies for patients with localized or disseminated melanoma.

    Evan J. Wuthrick, MD

    Dr. Wuthrick is an Associate Member in radiation oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center and the Section Head for Cutaneous Radiation Oncology with clinical and research interests centered around cutaneous malignancies.  Dr. Wuthrick is the clinical director of radiation oncology at Moffitt Cancer, associate chair of Graduate Medical Education at Moffitt, and Chair of the NRG Oncology Radiation Oncology Committee.

  • Contains 2 Component(s)

    On September 18, 2023 the MRF held an Ask the Expert webinar with Dr. Correa-Selm, Associate Professor of the Department of Dermatology at Morsani School of Medicine in the University of South Florida, and member of the Cutaneous Oncology Team at Moffitt Cancer Center. This session was titled" Melanoma in the Hispanic Population" and featured patient advocate, Jose Gonzalez. They spoke about the importance of skin care and sun protection in the Hispanic community. *This presentation was recorded in 2023.


    Dr. Harriet Kluger

    Harvey and Kate Cushing Professor of Medicine in Oncology

    Yale Cancer Center

    Dr. Kluger is an internationally recognized expert on the disease she treats - melanoma and renal cell carcinoma (RCC). She engages in clinical and bench-based translational research, with a focus on developing novel therapies. Her lab has been continuously NIH-funded, and she has published in top-tier journals. She designs clinical trials with laboratory correlates resulting from her pre-clinical work, and she has been heavily involved in early phase development of immunotherapy regimens.

  • Contains 2 Component(s)

    On August 29th, the MRF held an informative discussion featuring Dr. Alan Tan, Director of the genitourinary oncology program at Rush University medical center and co-leader of the precision medicine program to educate patients and the community on tumor-informed ctDNA as an option for residual disease detection, treatment response monitoring, and surveillance. *This presentation was recorded in 2023.


    Dr. Alan Tan

    Director of Genitourinary Oncology Program & Co-Lead of the Precision Medicine Program Rush University Medical Center

    Dr. Alan Tan is director of the genitourinary oncology program at Rush University medical center and co-leads the precision medicine program.  He is co-chair of the Hoosier cancer research network melanoma working group.  He also serves as the genitourinary executive officer for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology.  His research interests include biomarker development for melanoma and genitourinary malignancies.

  • Contains 3 Component(s)

    Learn more about the latest in melanoma diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and prevention from experts at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center *This presentation was recorded in 2023.

  • Contains 2 Component(s)

    On July 24, the MRF held an informative discussion featuring Dr. Michael A. Postow, Chief, Melanoma Service, Co-Director, Melanoma Disease Management Team and Associate Attending Physician from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and patient advocate and panelist Bennie Lunsford. Special thanks #Replimune for sponsoring this important educational opportunity. *This presentation was recorded in 2023.


    Michael A. Postow, MD

    Chief, Melanoma Service, Associate Attending Physician

    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

    Michael Postow is a medical oncologist and the Chief of the Melanoma Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He led the first randomized trial of combination immune checkpoint inhibition (nivolumab + ipilimumab), resulting in its FDA approval. He has also written and presented on topics related to immunotherapy outcomes and side effects and studied new ways to combine immunotherapy with local treatments (i.e. radiation).  His completed and ongoing work continue to impact cancer patients and advance immunotherapy for melanoma and other diseases. He enjoys skiing, outdoor activities, and trying to keep up with his two toddlers and triathlete wife.

    Bennie Lunsford

    Bennie Lunsford has had stage 4 cancer since 2013 and was stage 2 in 2005. He has pretty much done almost all the treatments you can think of. He has a wife, Janet, that he owes his reason for still being here. She was the one that was instrumental in finding the trial and treatments that allow him to be here today. Bennie has two children, Colby who is 13 and Emmi who is 16. He lives in Houston, Texas and is the IT Director for an engineering firm.  

  • Contains 2 Component(s)

    An informative discussion featuring Dr. Mario Leitao Jr., Gynecologic Oncologist from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Robert Frey, Restorative Dentist at Espire Dental and Chris White, mucosal melanoma survivor, thriver and advocate. *This presentation was recorded in 2023.

  • Contains 2 Component(s)

    Learn more about the latest in melanoma diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and prevention from experts at Weill Cornell Medicine Meyer Cancer Center. *This presentation was recorded in 2023.

  • Contains 2 Component(s)

    Learn more about the latest in melanoma diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and prevention from experts at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. *This presentation was recorded in 2023.

  • Contains 2 Component(s)

    Learn more from the MRF Director of Advocacy and patient advocates on how they have engaged with their community and policymakers. *This presentation was recorded in 2023.


    Kim Watkins (Moderator)

    Director of Advocacy

    Melanoma Research Foundation

    Kim Watkins, our Director of Advocacy, joined the MRF in July 2022.

    She oversees our federal and state legislative and regulatory policy agenda and advocacy. Prior to joining the MRF, she served as the Policy and Advocacy Manager at the American Urological Association, harnessing the power of patients and physicians advocating together on behalf of urologic conditions such as prostate, kidney, and bladder cancers. In addition, Kim has been a strong advocate for children’s health through her work with the South Carolina Immunization Coalition, the Bradshaw Institute for Community Child Health and Advocacy, and as the founder of the parent-to-parent peer-led education group South Carolina Parents for Vaccines. Kim’s innovative approach to vaccine education and policy change attracted the attention of NPR, Kaiser Health News, and the CDC. In 2019, she was awarded the Childhood Immunization Champion Award and selected as the CDC’s national award spokesperson.

    Kim has been featured on BBC One, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and Kaiser Health News.

    Jennifer Schultz

    Jennifer Schultz is an educator, speaker and writer with a background in digital marketing, social media management and event planning. After receiving both her bachelor's and master's degrees from Concordia University in St. Paul, MN, she is actively involved in the community she now calls home. In addition to teaching public speaking at her alma mater, she serves on the Athletics Committee of their Alumni Advisory Council and works as an Academic Coach at Athletes Committed to Students (ACES) where she works with middle school students form underrepresented communities, using sports to engage them in Math and social-emotional learning.

    As a four-time melanoma survivor, Jenn is passionate about spreading melanoma awareness and educating her community on sun safety. She is certified melanoma educator through the Melanoma Research Foundation and has built a community of other cancer survivors, thrivers and warriors through her website and her podcast Company You Keep. 

    Kristin Steiner

    Kristin is a successful marketing professional with over 22 years of experience in search engine optimization, project management and marketing communications.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

    Terrilyn Pugnetti

    Terrilyn is a 7th grad educator residing in Denver Colorado. She is a stage 4 cutaneous melanoma survivor and has been 27 years NED. Terrilyn has been an advocate, volunteer, and phone buddy with the Melanoma Research Foundation since 2016. Terrilyn began using tanning beds at the age of 15 and now chooses to educate teens and young adults about the harmful effects of the sun and indoor tanning.