MRF Staff

Timothy (Tim) Turnham, Ph.D.

Executive Director
 
Tim Turnham became the Executive Director of the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) in January 2009. Tim shares the MRF’s commitment to supporting medical research to find more effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma and brings more than 30 years of experience in management, fundraising, communication, teaching and research.
 
Prior to joining the MRF, Tim served as Chief Executive Officer of the Colon Cancer Alliance as well as Director of Development for United Cerebral Palsy Associations. He has also served as the Director of Development for the Whitman-Walker Clinic and as Director of Development at the Children’s Research Institute.
 
Tim holds a B.A. in Microbiology from the University of Tennessee, a M. Div. from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
 
Tim lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Phyllis. They have three adult children.
 

Mary Antonucci

National Director, Volunteer Services
 
As the National Director of Volunteer Services, Mary Antonucci develops, implements, and oversees the day-to-day details of the volunteer and advocacy program for the MRF, including the Melanoma Messengers, and many of its grassroots fundraising events.
 
Passionate about volunteerism and activism, Mary managed the volunteer program for a large, regional healthcare center before joining the MRF in 2009. She has previous work experience as a community organizer, campaign manager, and is a CDC certified trainer. After going to college for a very “useful” creative writing degree, she finally did something practical and, in 2003, received a certificate in nonprofit management from Arizona State University.
 
Mary’s lifelong friend, Adam, lost his battle with melanoma just weeks before she began at the MRF. Along with her insight and experience, she now brings a personal sense of compassion and a desire to affect change to her work in the melanoma community.
 
She lives in Washington, D.C., and in her free time volunteers as a hotline counselor for a crisis rape center, and teaches creative writing to at-risk youth. She has been known to buy wine based solely on the design of the label, and despite her nurturing personality, she is a notorious killer of houseplants.
  

Robyn Burns, Ph.D.

Program Manager, MRFBC
 
Dr. Robyn Burns, who was recruited to be Program Manager of the MRFBC in 2011, brings strong skills and teamwork to the MRF’s consortium management. Since 2006, she has been Program Manager for a sister consortium, the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC), in which 8 of the 17 academic member institutions are members of the MRFBC. She has also managed the NCI’s Melanoma Intergroup, a national network of NCI-funded melanoma physician investigators, a role in which she worked with Alison Martin and Randy Lomax. 
 
After receiving a degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania, Robyn transitioned into clinical trial management where she felt she could have the most patient impact. Robyn’s personal interest in melanoma began almost 20 years ago when her then 22 year old sister, a former high school lifeguard, was diagnosed with Stage II melanoma. Robyn believes that clinical trial consortia can truly making a difference in patients’ lives and is honored to be actively involved with the MRF.
 

Katharine Daniels

Development Assistant
 
Katharine joined the MRF team in 2010, bringing with her a personal interest in the cause following the loss of her uncle to melanoma. Though her title is Development Assistant, Katharine is a true "Jane of all trades” of the office and handles everything from processing online donations to planning galas to making sure the staff is properly caffeinated.
 
Prior to joining the MRF, Katharine graduated from Syracuse University with a BS in Political Science and Inclusive Elementary and Special Education. She has also spent time working in Syracuse city schools and interning for the office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy in Washington, D.C.
 
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog and watching far too much BBC America.
 
 

Jena Dickman

Miles for Melanoma Event Coordinator
 
As the Event Coordinator for the Miles for Melanoma Program, Jena Dickman manages all logistics planning with Host Committees for the Miles for Melanoma 5K Run/Walk events as well as all grassroot events. 
 
Jena’s passion for melanoma began in 2006 after she lost her best friend, Mandy, to melanoma at the age of 30. In 2010, Jena started a grass roots fundraising and educational event in memory of her friend in their hometown of Columbus, Ohio. She began working for the MRF in January 2012.
 
Jena graduated from The Ohio State University where she studied Criminology and Sociology. Her previous work experience includes mediation and social work in the field of child welfare. Jena resides in Nashville, TN.
 

Susan Dorsey

Controller
 
Susan serves as the MRF's Controller. With over 25 years of experience in nonprofit finance, she brings a strong accounting and finance background accompanied with an extensive knowledge of federal and private grants administration, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), human resources, database management and office administration. Susan holds a BBA in Accounting from Ursinus College. Her previous experience has been as a VP, Business and Finance at COE and prior to that as Director of Finance at Old Dominion University Research Foundation.
 
She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Grants Professional Association (GPA), the American Society of Association Executives, (ASAE), the American Grant Writers Association (AGWA), Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) National Association of Female Executives (NAFE) and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
 

Carolyn N. Edrington

National Director, Miles for Melanoma Program
 
As the National Director for Miles for Melanoma, Carolyn helps direct the MRF’s volunteer fundraising efforts. With the marathon and half marathon training program, she recruits runners and manages the logistics, administration and fundraising efforts for runners who raise funds for the MRF. She also consults for the Miles for Melanoma fundraisers, providing support as they participate in events all over the country while raising awareness and funds for the melanoma research.
 
Carolyn has a strong background in event planning, fundraising and running. A four-time marathoner, she brings a passion and experience to the combination of running and raising money for a good cause. Her previous experience has been in non-profit development for HIV/AIDS and women’s issues.
 
She lives in Nashville, TN where she tries to grow things in her garden before her cats Fred, George, Digit and Maggie can dig them up.
 

Donna Englander

National Director, Stewardship
 
Donna joined the MRF team as Director of Stewardship where she oversees fundraising efforts and stewardship activities. In her role, she is working to strengthen the MRF's relationships with current donors and expand the donor base. Donations to the MRF support medical research aimed at finding effective treatments and working toward a cure.
 
Donna’s drive to support the fight against melanoma comes from a close personal connection with the disease. She lost a beloved former colleague to melanoma, and is honored to join the MRF’s work toward a cure in his memory.
 
Prior to joining the MRF, Donna served as the first Executive Director of the Falls Church Education Foundation in Falls Church, Virginia from 2004-2012. She has served as Major Gifts Officer of the Levine School of Music, Director of Development of the Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts (Imagination Stage) as well as the Child Development Center of Northern Virginia. In these positions, Donna raised more than $15 million for education and arts programming in the Metropolitan Washington, DC region.
 
Prior to working in the non-profit field, Donna worked in advertising in St. Louis, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Donna has B.A. in Graphic Design from Valparaiso University in Indiana and has been an active volunteer in various professional associations, including serving on the board of directors and committees of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and National Capital Philanthropy Day in Washington, D.C. She has two daughters and is a long-distance runner. 
 

Alison Martin, MD

Chief Medical Officer, MRFBC
 
Dr. Alison Martin joined the MRF in 2009 to coordinate a new initiative, the MRF Breakthrough Consortium (MRFBC). Alison has 25 years of experience in clinical trial research in oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She started working with the MRF while at the NCI, where she oversaw NCI’s clinical trial portfolio in melanoma and co-chaired an MRF-NCI-SMR scientific workshop with Meenhard Herlyn of the Wistar Institute and MRF’s Board of Directors.
 
Alison believes foundations can bring both urgency and innovation to accelerate drug development for patients. She continues to work across sectors with the NCI, FDA and industry while coordinating trials with the 13 centers of excellence in the MRF Breakthrough Consortium.  In addition to her professional experience, Alison feels passionate about melanoma research from a personal perspective as well. Her cousin, Kenny Martin, died of melanoma at age 39.
   

Shelby Moneer, MS, CHES

Education Program Manager
 
As the Education Program Manager, Shelby spearheads the development, management, communication and assessment of all service-related programs and activities for the MRF. This includes programs designed to educate and support melanoma patients and their caregivers, and also programs that increase the awareness of melanoma. Shelby coordinates the educational teleconferences and nationwide patient symposia, which are focused on educating melanoma patients, family members and health care providers. She also plays a role in writing the MRF’s website content, interacting with the online community and is the manager of the MRF's research grant award program.
 
Shelby holds a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and a master's degree in Health Education. Her previous experience was in the non-profit development and implementation of tobacco-related education, prevention, and treatment strategies in the Florida Panhandle. She was a collegiate volleyball and softball player and continued playing beach volleyball for several years before moving to the D.C. area in 2010. 
 
Shelby and her husband, Steve, have a young daughter, two cats and a golden retriever. They enjoy playing and watching sports, spending time outdoors and being surrounded with friends and family. 
 

Sara Robich

Database Administrator
 
As the Database Administrator, Sara manages the MRF’s constituent database, processes donations and acknowledgements, compiles mailing lists and creates development reports. 
 
Sara holds a bachelor's degree in International Relations and Spanish. Before coming to the MRF, she worked at a nonprofit in Chicago where she gained four years of database maintenance experience.  
 
In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, cooking, reading and quilting. 
 

Sara Selig, MD

Director, CURE OM
 
Dr. Sara Selig joined the MRF team in the fall of 2011. She is Co-Founder and Director of the MRF’s initiative focused specifically on ocular melanoma—CURE OM (Community United for Research and Education in Ocular Melanoma). Sara initially became involved with the ocular melanoma (OM) community when her husband, Gregg, was diagnosed with the disease in 2006, at the age of 34, when Sara was a fourth year medical student. At the time of Gregg’s diagnosis, Gregg and Sara became fierce advocates for Gregg’s care and the entire OM community as well. Sara continues to be a passionate advocate for the ocular melanoma field—working to accelerate research, promote collaboration, and support patients and caregivers through her leadership of the CURE OM initiative.
 
Sara received her MD from the University of Colorado and completed the Doris and Howard Hiatt Residency in Global Health Equity and Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She is currently Associate Physician in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School.
  

Kim (Brue) Silva, MS, MBA

Financial & Contract Administrator, MRFBC
 
Kimberly joined the MRFBC in 2013 to manage the financial and contractual elements of the MRF Breakthrough Consortium (MRFBC). In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the financial and budgetary requirements of the MRFBC clinical trials - liaising with critical participants and reporting of milestones and deliverables to key stakeholders and foundational members. 
 
With a strong scientific and business development background (MS in Molecular Biology and a Pharmaceutical MBA) and experience managing pharmaceutical and biotech alliances (at Sanofi and Biogen Idec), Kimberly also contributes a personal passion for conquering this disease, as her life has been touched directly - her first husband lost his battle to melanoma at the age of 39. 
 
Now Kimberly is happily remarried and has also written a book describing her transformation through the difficult loss of her first husband and finding new life again (titled "Life at the End of the Tunnel"). She enjoys spending time with her husband and their family of 5 combined children in New England.
 

Lauren Smith Dyer

Communications Manager
 
Lauren is the MRF’s Communications Manager. In her role, she works regularly with national and trade media to articulate the imperative of lowering melanoma risk factors and to position the MRF as the number one resource for people impacted by this cancer. Lauren works to ensure that the MRF’s messages about the prevention, detection and treatment of melanoma are shared consistently and regularly both on a national and grassroots level.
 
Prior to joining the MRF, Lauren worked as an Account Director with JPA Health Communications, a PR agency dedicated to raising the visibility of life-changing health issues and research through strategic communications. Earlier in her career, Lauren supported a Fortune 50 biopharmaceutical company as it incorporated health reform provisions into its operations. Critical to this effort was the regular drumbeat of dialogue with patients and key stakeholders on both the grassroots and national levels about the expected impact of the new legislation. Prior to that role, she worked to build consumer and policymaker awareness of long term care systems during the national healthcare reform debate. 
 
Like many of her MRF colleagues, Lauren has a personal connection to melanoma. Her cousin was diagnosed with Stage I when she was only 26 years old. Thankfully, she has been considered “cancer-free” for 5 years!
 
Lauren graduated from Fordham University with a degree in Communications and Media Studies and is a native of Washington, D.C. She is the President of Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR).
 

Molly Stoffa, RN

Program Coordinator, CURE OM
 
Molly started as the MRF’s CURE OM Program Coordinator in October 2012. Her responsibilities include developing meeting agendas, interacting with the patient community, social media interactions, and administrative support, amongst many other things. Molly became interested in the fight against OM after her mother-in-law, Shirley Stoffa, was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in May 2008. Her interest increased after Shirley was diagnosed with metastatic OM in January 2011. Molly became Shirley’s healthcare advocate, running into many roadblocks along the way, mostly including physicians undereducated in OM and lack of aggressive treatment plans. After Shirley passed away in March 2011, Molly’s family decided to organize a fundraiser for OM to not only raise funds for research, but to raise awareness of this rare disease. This fundraiser was put together in 6 weeks and grossed a large sum of money from a very small community. 
 
Molly attended Northern Illinois University and Kishwaukee Community College where she obtained her ADN and AAS. She has been an Emergency Room nurse for the past 12 years. She has achieved many certifications while working as an Emergency Room Nurse, including TNCC, TNS, ENPC, ECRN, and many others. Her ER career has found her in many roles, serving as a charge nurse, preceptor for new hires and continuing education instructor. She continues to serve on the peer review panel and the ER marketing committee, as well as numerous other community wellness and charitable organizations. 
 
Molly continues to be vested in the fight against OM so others will not have to go through what her mother-in-law and her family have gone through.
 

Karina Vilarrubi

Database Assistant
kvilarrubi@melanoma.org          

As Database Assistant, Karina processes donations and acknowledgements. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to working at the MRF, Karina worked as a long-term temp for several different non-profits in Washington, D.C.

In 2009, Karina worked for Fast Lines as Project Assistant. During that time, she helped put together training manual, Hybrid Peer Support Methodology: Pasos y Abrazos, by integrating the approaches of three partner organizations, and later translated that document from Spanish into English. This document was funded by a USIP grant for a peer support project for survivors of conflict in Colombia.

When she is not in the office, Karina is busy studying music and learning to play the violin and the piano. In her spare time, she also enjoys painting and reading.