WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Jan 31, 2013) - The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) today announced the appointment of Louise M. Perkins, Ph.D., as Chief Science Officer (CSO).
Dr. Perkins' appointment marks a milestone for MRA, with the establishment of its first full-time CSO position, whose responsibility is guiding MRA's scientific strategy and overseeing peer-reviewed grant-making and scientific collaborations.
Since MRA was launched, Suzanne L. Topalian, M.D., Professor of Surgery and Oncology, and Director of the Melanoma Program at John Hopkins University's Sidney Kimmell Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been CSO on a part-time basis. Dr. Topalian, whose research focuses on promising anti-PD-1 therapy for melanoma and other cancers, will continue as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel and remain on the Grant Review Committee.
For five years previously, Dr. Perkins was CSO at the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation ("MMRF"), and has led oncology research programs at Bayer Pharmaceuticals and Schering-Plough. Dr. Perkins holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Biological Chemistry from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. in Zoology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"MRA is thrilled to welcome Dr. Perkins as our new full-time CSO, a role perfectly suited to her exceptional experience and accomplishments in translational research and non-profit scientific expertise," said Debra Black, MRA co-founder and Board chair. "She will be building upon the extraordinary foundation laid by Dr. Topalian. With this stellar team, MRA is prepared to maximize the unprecedented opportunity to bring better options and outcomes to melanoma patients and everyone at risk."
"With the incredible progress occurring in the field, the moment is right for MRA to enhance its reach and impact," said Wendy K.D. Selig, MRA's President and CEO. "Dr. Perkins' deep knowledge of cancer biology, drug development, venture philanthropy and innovative collaborative approaches will propel MRA further toward achieving that goal."
MRA is a public charity formed in 2007 under the auspices of the Milken Institute, with the generous founding support of Debra and Leon Black. MRA is poised to build on recent momentum in the field, accelerating the pace of scientific discovery and translation in order to eliminate suffering and death due to melanoma. To date the MRA has awarded more than $38 million to research projects worldwide.