National Melanoma Tissue Bank Administration

John M Kirkwood, MD

A board-certified medical oncologist and Director of the Melanoma Center at the Hillman Cancer Center at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center since 1985, Dr. Kirkwood has pioneered the application of antibodies, cytokines, interferons, vaccines, and adoptive cellular immunotherapy for melanoma, and developed the first FDA-approved adjuvant therapy effective for melanoma in 1996 (high-dose interferon). Dr. Kirkwood has been the Chairman of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group’s Melanoma Committee for the last 22 years, and in that capacity has led multiple ECOG and US intergroup trials of new therapies for melanoma, as well as an increasing number of international studies that are ongoing. He has published 295 peer-reviewed articles and more than 160 reviews, chapters, and monographs. He has received numerous awards including the Milstein Prize of the International Society of Interferon and Cytokine Research and the Grand Prize of the European Society of Cytokine Research. He is on the editorial boards of multiple journals including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Research, and Clinical Cancer Research.

Sancy Leachman, MD

Sancy Leachman, MD PhD is professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology in the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). She is also the director of the Melanoma Research Program at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. Prior to Dr. Leachman’s appointment at OHSU, she was director of the multidisciplinary Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute and professor of dermatology at Utah Health Sciences Center. Dr. Leachman’s clinical interests include skin cancers, especially melanoma, pigmentary disorders that result from abnormalities of melanocytes such as vitiligo, and genetic disorders that involve the skin such as pachyonychia congenita, Cowden syndrome, and other cutaneous cancer syndromes. Her 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 hopes to develop agents that serve as diagnostic tools, prognostic indicators, or targeted agents for the prevention of melanoma. Dr. Leachman is widely published and a national and international lecturer. Among other notable accomplishments, Dr. Leachman was awarded the prestigious Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award in 2000.

Mohammed Kashani-Sabet, MD

Mohammed Kashani-Sabet, MD, is Medical Director of the Center for Melanoma Research and Treatment at the California Pacific Medical Center, an affiliate of the Sutter Health network. A board-certified dermatologist, he is also Senior Scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. Dr. Kashani-Sabet’s research focuses on the identification of melanoma progression genes, novel diagnostic and prognostic markers for melanoma, and the development of targeted therapies for metastatic melanoma, areas in which he is internationally recognized and in which he has published extensively. His laboratory has identified a number of novel melanoma progression genes, and has developed multimarker diagnostic and prognostic assays for melanoma. Dr. Kashani-Sabet is a member of numerous professional societies and serves on the editorial boards of Cancer Gene Therapy, Journal of Skin Cancer, Oncology Letters, and Journal of Translational Medicine.

Jeffrey Wayne, MD

Jeffrey Wayne, MD FACS serves as Associate Medical Director at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. He is also Chief of Melanoma and Sarcoma Surgical Oncology, and Associate Professor of Surgery, at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL. He is a member of several professional societies, including the American College of Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Association for Academic Surgery, the Association for Surgical Education, and the American Cancer Society. Dr. Wayne has delivered over 25 invited lectures on oncologic surgery and management to university medical schools and professional societies, and has authored over 50 scientific articles and 12 book chapters. He sits on the editorial board of the American Journal of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Wayne has earned numerous honors and awards, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology Merit Award; the Excellence in Teaching Award, Department of Surgery, from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; the Compassionate Care Award from the Woman’s Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital; and inclusion in Best Doctors in America, 2005-2012. He has been vested in creating “multidisciplinary teams for both melanoma and sarcoma disease sites.” To that end, he developed with his colleagues a new skin care institute at the Lurie Cancer Center where surgeons, medical oncologists, dermatologists, and others work closely together, to provide exceptional care in one facility. Dr. Wayne is a member of the American College of Surgeons / Commission on Cancer Expert Panel that defined a set of formally developed quality indicators to study the care rendered to patients with melanoma in this country.

Valerie Guild (In Memorial)

Val founded the San Francisco-based AIM at Melanoma Foundation in 2003.  AIM launched the International Melanoma Working Group (IMWG) in May 2006. The IMWG meets twice yearly in the US and Europe, bringing together world leaders in academic research, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, to encourage the sharing of ideas and knowledge. The goal is to build a team approach to finding a cure in cutting-edge areas of research. Val was equally focused on organizing, in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Oregon Health and Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute, California Pacific Medical Center, Northwestern University’s Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, the US Military, and Skin of Steel, a fully annotated primary melanoma bio repository, to make the tissue and the information collected available to researchers worldwide. The consortium now includes two international members as well. She also created the first overarching educational melanoma website translated into 15 languages, Val oversaw successful sponsorship of skin cancer legislation mandating K-12 sun safety, education, and restrictions on minors’ access to indoor tanning in 22 states. As Executive Director of AIM, Val created a series of patient/caregiver symposiums throughout the US. She also oversaw the creation of social media sites and vehicles in 25 countries with patient symposiums in 5 of those countries modeled on the US template. Val passed away in May 2020 and is succeeded by her daughter, Samantha Guild, as the Executive Director of AIM and Director on the MTBC.