Donald A. Adam Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence Faculty

The Donald A. Adam Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence brings together deep experience in basic science, translational research and clinical practice to the study and treatment of melanoma and other skin cancers.

Director

Dr. Keiran SmalleyKeiran S. Smalley, PhD - Senior Member 

The goal of research in the Smalley laboratory is to develop personalized therapies for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Over the past few years our lab has used genetic and mutational profiling data to define two new sub-groups of melanoma and have identified therapeutic strategies for each.

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Dr. Kenneth Tsai

Co-Director

Kenneth Y. Tsai, MD, PhD - Associate Member

The focus of Dr. Tsai’s laboratory is the identification and validation of new molecularly-targeted approaches for skin cancer prevention and treatment. In contrast to melanoma, which has 27 FDA-approved therapies, the non-melanoma skin cancer have but two (as of early 2017), highlighting vast differences in the fundamental molecular understanding of these diseases.

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Dr. Abate Daga

Members

Daniel Abate Daga, PhD - Assistant Member

Dr. Abate-Daga's research is focused on the development of T cell-based immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, and the translation of those preclinical findings into clinical application.

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Dr. Dennis AdeegbeDennis O. Adeegbe, PhD - Assistant Member

The Adeegbe lab focuses on understanding the dynamics and functions of various immune cells that are present in solid cancers such as lung cancer and melanoma with emphasis on immune-suppressive T cells and how they can be targeted for therapeutic outcomes.

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Dr. Alexander AndersonAlexander R. Anderson, PhD - Senior Member

Dr. Anderson's lab is focused on integrating mathematical and computational modeling approaches with experimental and clinical data to better understand cancer growth and development and translate this understanding into novel therapies.

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Dr. Amer BegAmer A. Beg, PhD - Senior Member

A main focus of research in Dr. Beg's laboratory is to understand the specific role played by different NF-kappa B subunits in regulating inflammatory and immune responses.

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Dr. Andrew BrohlAndrew S. Brohl, MD - Assistant Member

Dr. Brohl's research focus is in translational genomics, applying next-generation sequencing and assay technology to advance biologic discovery, identify novel targets for therapy, and assist clinical management. 

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Dr. Joel BrownJoel Brown, PhD - Senior Member

As member of the Cancer Biology and Evolution Group and the Department of Integrated Mathematical Oncology, my research and collaborations are multi-disciplinary, including collaborative work on skin cancer cell culturing with Ken Tsai.

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PK BurnettePK Burnette, PharmD, PhD - Senior Member

Research in Dr. Burnette's laboratory has focused on the inhibitors of apoptosis that might directly mediate survival of these cells and contribute to their resistance to Fas signaling.

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Dr. Srikumar ChellappanSrikumar Chellappan, PhD - Senior Member

Dr. Chellappan's major research interest is to understand the mechanisms by which extra-cellular signals regulate the cell cycle machinery and how a loss of this regulation leads to oncogenesis.

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Dr. Ann ChenAnn Chen, PhD - Associate Member

Dr. Chen’s research has been focused on developing statistical methods and computational tools to incorporate multiple omics sources, select biologically relevant markers, and predict clinical outcomes in a unified framework.

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Dr. Pei-Ling ChenPei-Ling Chen, MD, PhD

Dr. Chen's is an assistant member of the Department of Anatomic Pathology practice. Her practice is primarily in clinical dermatopathology.

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Dr. Christine ChungChristine Chung, MD - Senior Member

Dr. Chung's research focuses on molecular characterization of head and neck cancer and translation of these findings to develop integral biomarker-driven clinical trials.

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Dr. John ClevelandJohn L. Cleveland, PhD - Senior Member

Dr. Cleveland’s research has been broadly focused on the molecular pathogenesis of cancer, where he has been a leader in interrogating the regulation and role of oncogenes and tumor suppressors in controlling cancer cell growth and survival, and in defining new targets that play essential roles in the development and maintenance of cancer.

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Dr. Anna CoghillAnna E. Coghill, PhD, MPH - Assistant Member

Dr. Coghill's research focus is exploring how the immune environment associated with pathogens such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can play a role in both cancer prevention and response to therapy.

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Dr. Jose Conejo-GarciaJose Conejo-Garcia, MD, PhD - Senior Member

The goal of Dr. Conejo-Garcia’s research program is to identify and target mechanisms governing the balance between immunosuppression and protective immunity in the tumor microenvironment, with an emphasis on the role of cancer-driven pathological myelopoiesis.

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Dr. Marco DavilaMarco Davila, MD, PhD - Associate Member

Dr. Davila's research is dedicated to developing gene-engineered cell therapies that target cancer cells in animal models of cancer. The goal of this research is to identify optimal cell therapies that can then be evaluated in cancer patients.

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Dr. Derek DuckettDerek Duckett, PhD - Senior Member

Research in the Duckett lab is focused on identifying novel anti-cancer targets , developing small molecule probes against these targets and interrogating how their altered signaling drives tumor progression, metastasis and therapy resistance.

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Dr. Zeynep ErogluZeynep Eroglu, MD - Assistant Member

Dr. Eroglu’s research interests are translational and clinical research in targeted therapies and combination immunotherapeutics for melanoma and other skin cancers, along with development of personalized treatment strategies and biomarkers for patients with melanoma.  

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Dr. Steven EschrichSteven Eschrich, PhD - Senior Member

The Eschrich Lab uses Bioinformatics and Machine Learning methods to answer translational research questions within cancer research, with a focus on Lung Cancer and Radiation Oncology. Methodological work includes reproducible research pipelines, normalization techniques and machine learning models from molecular data.

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Dr. Elsa FloresElsa R. Flores, PhD - Senior Member

The main focus of Dr. Flores' laboratory is to understand the overlapping and unique activities of the p53 family in human cancer using mouse models and patient derived tumors.

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Dr. Peter ForsythPeter A. Forsyth, MD - Senior Member

Dr. Forsyth has a strong interest in malignant, invasive glioma brain tumors.  He is currently investigating several tumor-inhibiting agents in Phase I clinical trials.

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Dr. Robert GatenbyRobert A. Gatenby, MD - Senior Member

Dr. Gatenby spearheaded the formation of a new program at Moffitt titled Integrative Mathematical Oncology (IMO). The IMO brings to the cancer center a cadre of applied mathematicians to collaborate with tumor biologists and clinical oncologists.

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Dr. Robert GilliesRobert J. Gillies, PhD - Senior Member

The work of Dr. Gillies has impacted all 3 aims of the ET program, with the majority focused on Aim 1: Define & characterize deregulated pathways with therapeutic relevance in subsets of human cancers.

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Dr Jhanelle GrayJhanelle Gray, MD - Associate Member

Dr. Gray’s research focuses on the analysis of targeted therapies in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and those at risk for lung cancer with hopes of optimizing the therapeutic benefit while minimizing the toxicity with the use of biomarker analysis to enhance the understanding of cancer biology and treatment.

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Dr. Louis HarrisonLouis Harrison, MD, FASTRO

Dr. Harrison is the Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center. He is also Deputy Physician in Chief at Moffitt.

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Dr. Eric HauraEric Haura, MD

Dr. Haura's lab uses proteomic tools to characterize kinase pathways and networks in cancer cells to discover novel therapeutic strategies using kinase inhibitors.

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Dr. Peter KanetskyPeter A. Kanetsky, PhD, MPH - Senior Member

New research led by Dr. Kanetsky seeks to determine whether knowledge of genetics can impact melanoma risk behaviors. 

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Dr. Florian KarrethFlorian A. Karreth, PhD - Assistant Member

Dr. Karreth's lab is interested in the intersection of oncogenic signaling pathways and non-coding RNAs in the initiation, progression, and resistance of cancers driven by the MAPK pathway, with an emphasis on melanoma.

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Dr. Nikhil KhushalaniNikhil I. Khushalani, MD - Senior Member

Dr. Khushalani is interested in research on angiogenesis in melanoma and the translation of findings into clinical therapeutics. 

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Dr. Jongphil KimJongphil Kim, PhD - Associate Member

Dr. Kim's primary research interest involves the multiple comparisons, longitudinal data analysis, categorical data analysis and survival analysis.

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Dr. Sungjune KimSungjune Kim, MD, PhD - Assistant Member 

Dr. Kim's research program is divided into two main themes, cancer immunology and cancer genomics.

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Dr. Youngchul KimYoungchul Kim, PhD - Assistant Member

Dr. Kim is dedicated to a personalized cancer treatment by developing prediction models of responsiveness of cancer patients after anti-cancer drug therapy based on pharmacogenomics data of preclinical cancer models.

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Todd C. Knepper, PharmD

Todd KnepperDr. Knepper’s research focuses on the utilization of genomics to improve therapeutic strategies for the treatment of patients with cancer and advance understanding of cancer biology, with a particular interest in rare malignancies.

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Dr. John KoomenJohn M. Koomen, PhD - Associate Member

The Koomen Lab uses mass spectrometry-based techniques to better understand cancer biology, evaluate hypotheses derived from basic science experiments in human tumors, and contribute to the development of novel strategies for patient assessment and treatment.

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Dr. Eric LauEric K. Lau, PhD - Assistant Member

Dr. Lau's innovative research programs focus on defining the molecular mechanisms controlling the development, metastatic progression, and therapeutic resistance of melanoma, with the goal of identifying novel therapeutic, diagnostic and prognostic modalities.

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James K. Liu, MD

Dr. James LiuDr. Liu also leads a laboratory research effort focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that drive the formation of brain tumors. In particular, the Liu Laboratory focuses on how a subset of the tumor population with tumor-initiating, or stem-like properties, contribute to the proliferation of brain tumors and their resistance to medical therapies.

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Dr Vince LucaVincent Luca, PhD - Assistant Member

The Luca Lab studies the "molecular language" of cell-to-cell communication using cutting edge approaches in structural, cellular and synthetic biology.

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Dr. Adam MaillouxAdam Mailloux, PhD - Assistant Member

Dr. Mailloux’s current research interests focus on the design and implementation of novel approaches to boost the effectiveness of anti-cancer immunotherapies. His research programs complement the strengths of the Immunology Program and ensure the successful evolution of our state-of-the-art Cell Therapy Facility, in coordination with senior leaders.

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Dr. Michael MannMichael Mann, PhD - Assistant Member

The Michael Mann Lab's research program is dedicated to discovering the genetic events that drive skin cancer evolution.

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Dr. Joseph MarkowitzJoseph Markowitz, MD, PhD - Assistant Member

Dr. Markowitz's research interest is in studying immune suppressor cells, their role in the development of melanoma, and means of inhibiting their actions.

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Dr. Patsy McDonaldPatsy McDonald, PhD - Associate Member

The McDonald lab is focused on identifying G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that may serve as novel, tractable, anti-diabetes and anti-cancer drug targets, developing selective molecular probes of these targets and, where possible, optimizing these probes to generate in vivo lead molecules for testing in pre-clinical models. Our ultimate goal is to translate these findings into diabetes and cancer clinical trials.

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Dr. Howard McLeodHoward McLeod, PharmD - Senior Member

Dr. McLeod's research interests focus on pharmacogenomics and the role of genetic differences in individual response to cancer drugs.

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Dr. Jane MessinaJane L. Messina, MD - Senior Member

Dr. Messina's research interests include pathology of the sentinel node, biomarkers of prognosis in cutaneous melanoma, and etiology and treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma.

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Dr. David MorseDavid L. Morse, PhD - Associate Member 

Dr. Morse’s research projects are focused on the identification and validation of cell-surface markers for cancer, discovery of ligands or antibodies specific for binding validated markers, and the development of targeted molecular imaging probes and nanoagents for the detection and treatment of cancer.

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Dr. James MuleJames J. Mulé, PhD - Senior Member 

Dr. Mulé's research focuses on characterizing and validating genomic signatures of immunotherapy response, as well as designing and translating novel vaccine and adoptive T-cell transfer strategies to patients with advanced solid tumors.

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Dr. Shari Pilon-ThomasShari A. Pilon-Thomas, PhD - Associate Member 

A major goal of Dr. Pilon-Thomas' research is to investigate approaches that overcome melanoma-mediated T cell suppression.

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Dr. Sanjay PremiSanjay Premi, PhD - Assistant Member

Dr. Premi’s team explores the pathophysiology of melanin-chemiexcitation pathway in skin cancer development, progression, and drug-resistance. One of their immediate goals is to characterize stress mediated, non-classical regulation of gene expression, protein modifications, and resistance against targeted therapy in melanoma. 

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Dr. Uwe RixUwe Rix, PhD - Associate Member 

Dr. Rix's scientific interest centers on chemical biology, targeted drugs, drug-protein interaction networks, synergy and molecular mechanisms of action in the context of cancer research, particularly lung cancer research.

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Dr. Paulo RodriguezPaulo Rodriguez, PhD - Associate Member

Dr. Rodriguez's research programs focus on the suppressive effects induced by tumor-infiltrating myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), a heterogeneous population of immature myeloid precursors that are primary mediators of tumor-induced anergy and a major obstacle for the development of successful cancer immunotherapies.

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Dr. Dana RollisonDana Rollison, PhD - Senior Member 

Dr. Rollison’s primary research focus is the molecular epidemiology of human polyomavirus and papillomavirus infections in relation to cancer. 

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Dr. Amod SarnaikAmod A. Sarnaik, MD - Associate Member

Dr. Sarnaik's primary research interest involves investigation of novel immunotherapeutics in the treatment of melanoma.  This includes tumor-based vaccines, immune-activating antibodies, targeted inhibition of oncogenic proteins, and autologous T cell therapy.

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Dr. Michael SchellMichael J. Schell, PhD - Senior Member 

Dr. Schell has led the development of a statistical method to analyze AQUA (Automated Quantitative Analysis)-generated tissue microarray (TMA) data. The method is a 7-step procedure which works quite well for identifying and resolving technical problems when two highly correlated variables are available.

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Dr. Thomas SellersTom Sellers, PhD, MPH - Senior Member

The primary focus of Dr. Sellers' research is ovarian cancer, which is a devastating disease with no clear warning signs and high mortality rates. Dr. Sellers also has active collaborations that involve cancers of the breast, lung and prostate.

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Dr. Lubomir SokolLubomir Sokol, MD, PhD - Senior Member

Dr. Sokol's laboratory research has been recognized in the field of molecular biology of primary polycythemias and more recently also in the pathobiology of bone marrow failure disorders including T-cell LGL leukemia and MDS.

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Dr. Vernon SondakVernon K. Sondak, MD - Senior Member

The translational research interest of Dr. Sondak is in allogeneic tumor vaccines for patients with intermediate-risk melanoma.

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Dr. Jamie TeerJamie K. Teer, PhD - Associate Member 

Dr. Teer's research interests are focused on developing methods to analyze, interpret and visualize massively-parallel sequencing information in cancer genetics.

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Dr. Mingxiang TengMingxiang Teng, PhD - Assistant Member

Dr. Teng’s research focuses on developing computational methods to address data challenges in cancer genomics studies, such as data quality, data bias, pre-processing and functional annotation of high-throughput sequencing data.

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Dr. Shelley TworogerShelley Tworoger, PhD - Senior Member

The focus of Tworoger's research group is to reduce morbidity and mortality from ovarian and breast cancers by enhancing risk prediction models and improving primary and secondary prevention recommendations using an integrative, multidisciplinary approach.

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Dr. Susan VadaparampilSusan Vadaparampil, PhD - Senior Member

Dr. Vadaparampil’s research uses a combination of behavioral science, epidemiology, health services, and clinical perspectives to understand and improve dissemination and uptake of new cancer prevention and control innovations including genetic testing for hereditary cancer susceptibility and HPV vaccination.

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Dr. Lixin WanLixin Wan, PhD - Assistant Member

The Wan lab is focused on the regulation and role of Anaphase-Promoting Complexes (APC) in directing the destruction of key proteins that control transit through the cell cycle, and in shaping proteomic networks in normal versus cancer cells.

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Dr. WangXuefeng Wang, PhD - Assistant Member

Dr. Wang’s research interests include Biostatistics, statistical genomics, and computational biology. His group develops efficient machine learning methods, such as kernel learning and probabilistic learning, for analyzing data in genomics, drug development and personalized medicine.

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Dr. Evan WuthrickEvan Wuthrick, MD - Radiatio Oncology

Dr. Wuthrick specializes in radiation therapy for skin cancers such as melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.

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Dr. Jiqiang YaoJiqiang Yao, PhD

Dr. Yao’s research focuses on applying genomics and proteomics technology such as RNA-seq, Chip-seq, NanoString in identifying novel biomarkers and gene signatures of cancers. His interest in immunotherapy is to develop bioinformatics tools for predicting neoantigen candidates that are derived from tumor-specific mutations.


Dr. Jonathan ZagerJonathan Zager, MD - Senior Member

Dr. Zager’s research interests are in treating cutaneous melanoma as well as non melanoma skin cancers and soft tissue sarcomas including, extremity, cutaneous and retroperitoneal sarcomas. 

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