About the Center

Melanoma is a type of cancer that forms in cells called melanocytes. It usually forms in skin, but can also form in other tissues such as the eyes or intestines. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds can raise the risk of melanoma of the skin. Members of the Melanoma Center do research to improve understanding and management of skin cancers. The center has these broad goals:

  • Improve melanoma treatment
  • Develop immune system therapies to treat it
  • Create targeted therapies against proteins involved in the disease’s spread to other areas
  • Identify new genes involved in melanoma susceptibility
  • Develop strategies to prevent the disease
  • Develop animal models of melanoma

Melanoma Research Labs

A Sample of Current Projects

  • Investigating aspirin as a UV-protectanct and potential melanoma prevention agent in subjects at high-risk for melanoma.

  • Studying mechanisms of combination immunotherapy plus oncolytic virus-based therapy for melanoma.
  • Examining genes that regulate development of melanoma brain metastases.
  • Developing alternating dosing regimens to forestall the onset of drug resistance in patients with advanced BRAF-mutated melanoma.


Fighting a Rare and Understudied Melanoma Subtype
Nov 13, 2020

Fighting a Rare and Understudied Melanoma Subtype

Robert Judson-Torres has always been fascinated by science. He chose to focus on cancer research, and specifically melanoma, as a way to study how cells work in our body and have his work be meaningful and life changing. Due to the economic effects of COVID-19, many cancer laboratories have had to enact hiring freezes. So receiving the 5 For The Fight Fellowship allows Judson-Torres to hire the necessary team to further high-risk, high-reward projects investigating rare subtypes of melanoma.... Read More

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researcher Receives National  Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award
Nov 12, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researcher Receives National Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award

Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, PhD, MD, physician scientist at Huntsman Cancer Institute and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Utah, has received the National Cancer Institute 2020 Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award. The award recognizes outstanding clinical investigators at NCI-designated Cancer Centers who participate extensively in NCI-funded clinical trials, and whose leadership and activities promote a successful culture of collaborative clinical research. ... Read More

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Melanoma Center Co-leader

Douglas Grossman, PhD, MD
Professor of Dermatology
Cancer Center Bio

Melanoma Center Co-leader

Sheri L. Holmen, PhD
Professor in the Department of Surgery
Cancer Center Bio