President’s Message: March 2019
I write this President’s Letter to you from my hotel room in Herndon, VA, while attending the Stakeholders Meeting for the Melanoma Research Program (MRP), which is part of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.
The Melanoma Research Program monies are available to all researchers both in and outside the military to conduct melanoma research via a peer-reviewed application process.
This meeting and the articles in this month’s newsletter reminded me of AIM’s progress on a variety of fronts. First, AIM has always sought ways to reduce melanoma incidence and suffering, and we especially focus on high-impact projects. Our involvement in the MRP is a perfect example of a high-impact and ongoing project that we’re proud to be a part of. Our goal to pass indoor tanning bans for teens under 18 in every state is also high-impact and ongoing. Today’s indoor tanners are tomorrow’s melanoma patients; we know if we reduce the number of indoor tanners, we will reduce the number of melanoma sufferers. I hope you’ll read the article in this newsletter on tanning legislation to learn more—and perhaps get involved if your state still allows minors to use these devices.
Most important, AIM has always sought out critical research needs in melanoma, and again, we only focus on high-impact projects. We don’t fund individual researchers, as many cancer foundations do. Instead, we design, manage, and fund global, collaborative, big-picture projects—the kind that can truly shift the melanoma research landscape. Our International Melanoma Tissue Bank Consortium is one of these projects, and I hope you’ll look for a very exciting and important announcement in the next few weeks from AIM about our tissue bank. In the meantime, please read the article in this newsletter on fresh-frozen primary tissue. Reinhard Dummer, one of the top melanoma researchers in the world, helps explain why fresh-frozen primary melanoma tissue is so critical to research.
I hope you will also read the amazing story of Suzanne Lescure, an AIM volunteer whose battle with ocular melanoma is worthy of a feature film. Every time we see Suzanne’s smiling face, we are reminded why we love what we do. And we smile right back.
Founder & President
AIM at Melanoma Foundation
The Foundation Working to End Melanoma