High Risk Melanoma Research Program

Our Team

 Sancy Leachman

Sancy Leachman, MD, PhD, is a physician-scientist who chairs the Department of Dermatology at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and is the director of the Melanoma Research Program at the Knight Cancer Institute in Portland, OR . She is a dermatologist using basic science research and state-of-the-art technology to combat skin cancer. Prior to joining OHSU in 2013, Dr. Leachman was at the University of Utah, where she was director of the Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Program in the Huntsman Cancer Institute, a professor in the Department of Dermatology, and member of the Imaging, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics Program and the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program. Leachman was a key figure in developing the Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Leachman’s research examines the role of genetic predisposition and differential gene expression in the development of melanoma, with an emphasis on the familial melanoma syndrome. Through her investigations, she is seeking to develop agents that will serve as diagnostic tools, prognostic indicators, or targeted agents for the prevention of melanoma.


 Yelana Wu

Yelana Wu, PhD is a pediatric and clinical child psychologist. The overall goal of her research is to improve children’s health outcomes by promoting self-management and disease management. In particular, Dr. Wu is interested in improving adherence to medical regimens among adolescents and young adults and among children who have cancer.
She completed her Doctoral Training at the University of Kansas and her Postdoctoral Fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Center for Adherence and Self Management, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology. She is an Associate Member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute.


Lisa Aspinwall 

Lisa G. Aspinwall, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah and a member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Her research involves genetic risk notification and its effect on cancer prevention. She also studies positive and negative emotions, their effect on processing negative events, and how positive psychology impacts cancer survivorship and resilience. In 2000, she was awarded a Templeton Positive Psychology Prize by the John Templeton Foundation and the American Psychological Association. Aspinwall received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and both a master's and doctoral degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Utah in 2000, Aspinwall was assistant and associate professor of psychology at the University of Maryland. She has published several articles on cancer survivorship and genetic testing in high-risk families, with a particular focus on melanoma genetic testing.


Wendy Kohlmann

Wendy Kohlmann, MS, CGC
Wendy Kohlmann is a board-certified genetic counselor with a master’s degree in genetic counseling from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin. She has worked as a genetic counselor at the University of Texas-M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor. She began working at Huntsman Cancer Institute as a research associate in 2006. Wendy Kohlmann’s research interests include the inherited basis of melanoma and pancreatic cancer, psychosocial and behavioral outcomes of genetic counseling, and issues for children and adolescents with hereditary cancer syndromes.


 Christopher Moss

Christopher Moss, Clinical Research Coordinator – Christopher has recently joined the BRIGHT study (2015) and has been working with Huntsman Cancer Institute since 2012 with the Family Cancer Assessment Clinic.  He coordinates patient scheduling, correspondence and manages study documentation.  Chris graduated in 2011 from the University of Utah with his Bachelor of Science in Economics.  


 Rebecca stoffel

Rebecca Stoffel, Study Coordinator – HRBCC. Rebecca has recently become a member of the High Risk Breast Cancer Clinic team (2014) while still maintaining her involvement as a study coordinator with the Melanoma Research Program (BRIGHT Project) . She coordinates patient scheduling and correspondence and manages study documentation. Rebecca graduated with an H.B.S. in psychology from the University of Utah in 2012.