CURE OM - Leading the Way in Ocular Melanoma Research 

The MRF's CURE OM initiative is leading the ocular melanoma (OM) field forward. We are committed to accelerating the development of effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure for this disease. Our scientific initiative is led by our international, interdisciplinary Scientific Steering Committee and includes research grants, biannual international scientific meetings and partnerships with leading organizations, including industry. These efforts ensure continued collaboration, support and coordination to move OM research forward.  

Research Grants

In 2012, CURE OM began funding ocular melanoma-specific research grants. Falling under the MRF's general Research Grant Program, the research emphasizes both basic and clinical research projects that explore innovative approaches to understanding OM and its treatment. Proposals are submitted from around the world and undergo a rigorous peer-reviewed process by experts and leaders in the OM field. This helps us identify the most promising and impactful research to fund. To date, the MRF has funded 13 uveal melanoma grants totaling $1,562,250. The uveal melanoma grant recipients are listed below, or learn about all of the MRF's previous award winners.

CURE OM Grant Recipients

You may be interested in the PDF version of the MRF Ocular Melanoma Research Awards


Walter Fast, PhD - University of Texas at Austin - Innovative approaches for GNAQ/11 mutant characterization and therapeutic targeting - CURE OM Pilot Proposal Focused on GNAQ/11 Mutant Uveal Melanoma - Made possible through the efforts of the MRF as well as the generosity of Jack Odell, John Dagres and their supporters.

Alison Skalet, MD, PhD - Oregon Health & Science University - A Novel Peripheral Blood Biomarker for Early Diagnosis of Uveal Melanoma - Partially funded by the Philadelphia Wings of Hope for Melanoma Fund-A-Grant.


Alan Shain, PhD - The Regents of the University of California, San Francisco - The genetic evolution of uveal melanoma - Career Development Award - With support from Ted and Joan Newton and the Live4Life Foundation in honor of Liz Reilly.


Andrew Aplin, PhD - Thomas Jefferson University - Regulation of the response to targeted inhibitors in uveal melanoma - Career Development Award - #CURE OM Unite! Grant and matching funds by Mark and Alison Weinzierl.

Jae Hyuk Yoo, PhD - University of Utah - Mechanism of metastasis in a less common molecular subset of uveal melanoma - CURE OM Junior Fellowship Award made possible by a grant from AstraZeneca.


John Sondek, PhD - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Fast cycling Gaq Ga11 - Established Investigator Award

Matthew Field - University of Miami Miller School of Medicine - The role of BAP1 mutations in establishing a pro-metastatic immune microenvironment in uveal melanoma - Medical Student Award


William Tansey, PhD - Vanderbilt University Medical Center - MYC as an invisible driver in metastatic uveal melanoma - Established Investigator Award

Richard Carvajal, MD - Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center - Overcoming resistance to MEK inhibition in advanced uveal melanoma - Career Development Award


Levi Garraway, MD, PhD - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - Dissecting therapeutic avenues in UM through genomic and functional studies - Established Investigator Award

John Sondek, PhD - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Interdiction of signaling by G-alpha-q to treat ocular melanoma - Established Investigator Award

Nisha V. Shah - University of miami Miller School of Medicine - Treatment outcomes with bevacizumab and triamcinolone for posterior uveal melanoma in patients undergoing I-125 plaque brachytherapy - Medical Student Award - In honor of participants in the Suncoast Miles for Melanoma.


J. William Harbour, MD - Washington University, St. Louis - Characterization of the BAP1 uveal melanoma metastasis suppressor gene - Established Investigator Award - In memory of Kerry Daveline, Mike Revers, Kathy Bowers, Patricia Schellhardt Malone, Tom Butler, and Jonnie Newcomer - 3 year award co-funded with the Melanoma Research Alliance.