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Kyleigh LiPira, MBA
CEO
April 6, 2019
CURE OM Initiative
Patient & Caregiver
Symposium
Raleigh, NC
FOUNDER: DIANA ASHBY
Diana founded the MRF after the third recurrence of her tumors
and the loss of several friends to melanoma. She started to
investigate alternative therapies and trials of promising new
drugs to discover research was limited by funding.
In accordance with Diana’s vision…by funding basic cancer
research…we can make a difference in the lives of others. Her
remarkable enthusiasm, hopeful vision and unique compassion
for others lives on in the organization she founded to help find
the cure for malignant melanoma. She worked night and
day…finally stopping only when the cancer had taken her
eyesight and her voice.”
- Captain Jeff Ashby, NASA astronaut and Diana’s
husband
5
To accelerate medical RESEARCH to find life-saving
advances;
To EDUCATE patients, caregivers, and the public about
prevention, diagnosis and treatment;
To serve as an ADVOCATE for the melanoma community,
both cutaneous and rare subtypes
2
MISSION
3
“Thank you for
providing these life-
saving publications.
They have been
extremely beneficial
for our patients.”
“Without these
materials I would only
be providing
sunscreen educational
information and basic
skin cancer facts and
these materials are
extremely helpful for
educating the public,
especially during
health fairs.”
“I am the Melanoma
Nurse Navigator at our
hospital. Every new
patient with a
melanoma diagnosis
receives material from
MRF.”
EDUCATION
4
55 Representative
Meetings
ADVOCACY: HILL DAY 2019
REACH
5
SCIENCE & RESEARCH: CORE ACTIVITIES
Grantmaking
Scientific Initiatives
– Creation of Resources
•Breakthrough Consortium
•Virtual Repository
– Rare Subtype Focus, Ocular Melanoma
– Scientific Topic Meetings, e.g., Brain Metastases
Support to the Field
– Society for Melanoma Research (SMR) Awards
5
SUMMARY OF GRANT PROGRAM
7
From 1998 to 2018, the MRF has awarded:
• Spans 69 institutions in 26 states
• Includes investigators at all stages in their career path
GRANT MECHANISMS
8
Types of
Grants
Purpose Eligibility Duration
Medical
Student
Introduces students early in their career to
clinical/ research opportunities under the
mentorship of an investigator engaged in
melanoma research
Medical students at an accredited
US medical school or institution
1 year
Career
Development
Enables young researchers to generate the
groundwork that can leverage additional
grant funding from other funding bodies
Junior investigators which include:
 Postdoctoral fellows with less
than five years of postdoctoral
experience OR
 A research associate,
instructor, assistant professor
or the equivalent.
2 years
Established
Investigator
Encourages proven researchers to
continue research on emerging challenges
in melanoma
Established researchers,mainly
faculty with at least an Associate
Professor appointment
2 years
Team Encourages collaboration across academic
disciplines in an institution or among
multiple institutions
A PI and at least one co-PI, ideally
from different institutions
2 years
2019 RESARCH GRANTS
• Awarded 11 MRF Medical Student Awards
• Awarded 1 MRFBC-BMS YI Research Team Award to Advance the
Field of Translational Immuno-Oncology
• Current MRF Grant RFP includes:
– CURE OM Team Award
– Established Investigator Awards (EIAs)
– Career Development Awards (CDA) including specific CDAs on:
• Pediatric Melanoma
• Melanoma Brain Metastases
– Specific topics of interest (STPs) include epigenetics, prevention,
metastases, and response to treatment
 Developing structured training to better support advocates in the grant review
program
5
AREAS OF FUNDED RESEARCH
(through traditional grant program only)
10
RESEARCH GRANT IMPACT (ROI)
5
As of August 2018, research grant funding from the MRF has resulted in:
• This grant was the first one I was awarded after finishing my medical training, and
tremendously helped me establish my academic career. Since then, 20 more grants (mostly
as PI) were obtained and finished. (CDA Recipient)
• The MRF grant was instrumental in helping us to advance our melanoma research program
and to connect with the melanoma community. (EIA Recipient)
• NIH-type funding mechanisms are not appropriate for the research proposed herein since it is
the kind of research that is considered “risky” by study sections. Only visionary funds like the
MRF can overcome the vicious cycle of “no preliminary data that demonstrate the concept/no
funding” which we are all used to getting from the NIH review process. (EIA Recipient)
Grant
Reviewer
Focus
Group
Member
Committee
Member
Patient
Panels
Advocate/
Spokesper
son
12
PATIENT-CENTRIC
13
Thank you
Questions

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Welcome - 2019 CURE OM Symposium

  • 1. Kyleigh LiPira, MBA CEO April 6, 2019 CURE OM Initiative Patient & Caregiver Symposium Raleigh, NC
  • 2. FOUNDER: DIANA ASHBY Diana founded the MRF after the third recurrence of her tumors and the loss of several friends to melanoma. She started to investigate alternative therapies and trials of promising new drugs to discover research was limited by funding. In accordance with Diana’s vision…by funding basic cancer research…we can make a difference in the lives of others. Her remarkable enthusiasm, hopeful vision and unique compassion for others lives on in the organization she founded to help find the cure for malignant melanoma. She worked night and day…finally stopping only when the cancer had taken her eyesight and her voice.” - Captain Jeff Ashby, NASA astronaut and Diana’s husband 5
  • 3. To accelerate medical RESEARCH to find life-saving advances; To EDUCATE patients, caregivers, and the public about prevention, diagnosis and treatment; To serve as an ADVOCATE for the melanoma community, both cutaneous and rare subtypes 2 MISSION
  • 4. 3 “Thank you for providing these life- saving publications. They have been extremely beneficial for our patients.” “Without these materials I would only be providing sunscreen educational information and basic skin cancer facts and these materials are extremely helpful for educating the public, especially during health fairs.” “I am the Melanoma Nurse Navigator at our hospital. Every new patient with a melanoma diagnosis receives material from MRF.” EDUCATION
  • 7. SCIENCE & RESEARCH: CORE ACTIVITIES Grantmaking Scientific Initiatives – Creation of Resources •Breakthrough Consortium •Virtual Repository – Rare Subtype Focus, Ocular Melanoma – Scientific Topic Meetings, e.g., Brain Metastases Support to the Field – Society for Melanoma Research (SMR) Awards 5
  • 8. SUMMARY OF GRANT PROGRAM 7 From 1998 to 2018, the MRF has awarded: • Spans 69 institutions in 26 states • Includes investigators at all stages in their career path
  • 9. GRANT MECHANISMS 8 Types of Grants Purpose Eligibility Duration Medical Student Introduces students early in their career to clinical/ research opportunities under the mentorship of an investigator engaged in melanoma research Medical students at an accredited US medical school or institution 1 year Career Development Enables young researchers to generate the groundwork that can leverage additional grant funding from other funding bodies Junior investigators which include:  Postdoctoral fellows with less than five years of postdoctoral experience OR  A research associate, instructor, assistant professor or the equivalent. 2 years Established Investigator Encourages proven researchers to continue research on emerging challenges in melanoma Established researchers,mainly faculty with at least an Associate Professor appointment 2 years Team Encourages collaboration across academic disciplines in an institution or among multiple institutions A PI and at least one co-PI, ideally from different institutions 2 years
  • 10. 2019 RESARCH GRANTS • Awarded 11 MRF Medical Student Awards • Awarded 1 MRFBC-BMS YI Research Team Award to Advance the Field of Translational Immuno-Oncology • Current MRF Grant RFP includes: – CURE OM Team Award – Established Investigator Awards (EIAs) – Career Development Awards (CDA) including specific CDAs on: • Pediatric Melanoma • Melanoma Brain Metastases – Specific topics of interest (STPs) include epigenetics, prevention, metastases, and response to treatment  Developing structured training to better support advocates in the grant review program 5
  • 11. AREAS OF FUNDED RESEARCH (through traditional grant program only) 10
  • 12. RESEARCH GRANT IMPACT (ROI) 5 As of August 2018, research grant funding from the MRF has resulted in: • This grant was the first one I was awarded after finishing my medical training, and tremendously helped me establish my academic career. Since then, 20 more grants (mostly as PI) were obtained and finished. (CDA Recipient) • The MRF grant was instrumental in helping us to advance our melanoma research program and to connect with the melanoma community. (EIA Recipient) • NIH-type funding mechanisms are not appropriate for the research proposed herein since it is the kind of research that is considered “risky” by study sections. Only visionary funds like the MRF can overcome the vicious cycle of “no preliminary data that demonstrate the concept/no funding” which we are all used to getting from the NIH review process. (EIA Recipient)

Editor's Notes

  1. Very active web presence – people are diagnosed, they google and they find the MRF. Resources for newly diagnosed patients, support for caregivers, online patient communities for connecting to each other, Ask a Nurse hotline. Young adult online community, MPIP, Buddy Program Downloadable educational resources