Moffitt Cancer Center Graduate Student Awarded Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation Scholarship

March 18, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. – The Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation presented Inna Fedorenko, a graduate student in Moffitt Cancer Center’s Cancer Biology Ph.D. program, with the 2014 Research Scholar Award. Fedorenko is one of five students nationwide receiving this award, which includes $10,000 in grant support for melanoma research.

Although there has been great progress in developing targeted treatments for melanoma, most patients eventually fail therapy. The research being done by Fedorenko and Moffitt aims to personalize therapy through use of novel proteomic technologies. Their insights could lead to new clinical trials that will directly benefit melanoma patients in the future.

“Our continuing progress in the war on cancer is entirely dependent on encouraging the best and the brightest young scientists to follow a career in research. Support from the Joanna M. Nicolay Foundation is one way of ensuring that cancer patients will have a brighter future,” said Keiran S. Smalley, Ph.D., scientific director of Moffitt’s Melanoma Research Center of Excellence.

The foundation’s Research Scholar Award program was initially piloted with the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in 2006, and expanded nationally to benefit the broader academic, scientific, clinical, and patient communities and encourage more students to choose melanoma research as their professional career path. 

“Our foundation’s Research Scholar Awards are invaluable at the grassroots level, to specifically grow interest in melanoma research, at leading cancer research centers nationwide,” said Regina Shannon Bodnar, chair of the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation.  “If we can attract the brightest young minds, that are considering or are already within the nation’s cancer research pipelines, to pursue a career in melanoma research – we’re that much closer to better understanding the disease, identifying the means for effective treatments and, most importantly, finding a cure for this deadly and increasingly prevalent disease.”

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the No. 1 cancer hospital in Florida and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer since 1999. With more than 4,200 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on the state of nearly $2 billion. For more information, visit, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.