May 26, 2020 11:00 AM


At Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), we're committed to delivering a cancer-free frontier. Our cancer researchers are on the cutting-edge of discovery and innovation, and we're excited by what these advancements mean for melanoma prevention and treatment. Together, we're building the future we want.

Doug Grossman
Doug Grossman, MD, PhD, is the leader of the Melanoma Center at HCI. His lab examines how inherited mutations in the p16 tumor-suppressor gene promote melanoma development. He is also testing whether anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin, can protect the skin and moles of high-risk patients against some of the harmful effects of UV exposure. In the clinic, he and his team are conducting clinical trials on using new technologies for early melanoma detection.

Martin McMahon
In his lab, Martin McMahon, PhD, and his team study how resistant melanoma cells are to therapeutics that target MAP kinase or PI3-kinase signaling.

Elliot Asare
Elliot Asare, MD, is using the Utah Population Database to research potential associations between a person’s history of chronic viral infections and outcomes for patients with melanoma. He is investigating the impact of chronic viral infections on different types of immunotherapy.

Sheri Holmen
Sheri Holmen, PhD, is the co-leader of the Melanoma Center at HCI. Her lab is dedicated to better understanding brain metastasis. Melanoma’s spread to the brain is associated with extremely poor prognoses and often causes treatment to fail. Her research aims to improve therapies for patients with melanoma brain metastasis.

Yelena Wu
Yelena Wu, PhD, designs and tests innovative behavioral interventions to decrease melanoma risk among pediatric populations. She has two ongoing clinical trials to test skin cancer preventive interventions. One tests a telehealth-delivered behavioral intervention for melanoma survivors and their children. The other tests a school-based intervention for skin cancer prevention among adolescents.

John Hyngstrom
John Hyngstrom, MD, is leading HCI’s participation in an international clinical trial that evaluates the impact surgical margins have on the recurrence outcomes and quality of life for people with clinical stage II melanoma. This is one of the first studies of its kind. He is also leading a collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare to evaluate the use of patient-specific liquid biopsies for people with high-risk, surgically removed melanomas.

Siwen Hu-Lieskovan
The laboratory of Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, MD, PhD, uses cutting-edge technologies to investigate resistance to immunotherapy. Her lab also develops novel combination strategies to overcome immunotherapy resistance and improve treatment while monitoring and preventing immunotherapy-induced toxicities. Her team conducts trials to bring discoveries from her laboratory to the clinic and improve the effectiveness and tolerability of immunotherapy. Her ultimate goal is to bring the survival benefit of immunotherapy to every patient.

Ken Grossmann
Ken Grossmann, MD, PhD, is the chair of the Southwest Oncology Group melanoma committee. Through that work, he directs research across multiple clinical studies in melanoma. His research focuses on how follow-up treatments can improve outcomes for patients who have melanomas removed. Additionally, Grossmann serves as a panel member on the melanoma group of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. In this role, he advises on the standard of care for melanoma patients in national and international practice. Grossmann will soon be working on a Utah-wide melanoma project—a collaboration between HCI and Intermountain Healthcare. The project aims to improve care and outcomes for melanoma patients and serve as a model nation-wide.

Umang Swami
Umang Swami, MD, is a clinical investigator focused on providing novel, next-generation treatments to his patients through clinical trials. He is currently working on retrospective projects in melanoma and specifically examining early discontinuation of immunotherapy at one year.

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