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Press Release

April 18, 2018

Kathleen Reichert
American Skin Association


$750,000 Award to Fund Research of Roger Lo, MD, PhD of UCLA

April 18, 2018 - New York, NY – During its annual Spring Gala at The Plaza Hotel last Tuesday evening, American Skin Association (ASA) Chairman, Howard P. Milstein, announced the Abby S. and Howard P. Milstein Innovation Award for Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Research (MIA).

Launched in 2008 to accelerate the search for prevention and cure, the Milstein Innovation Award funds advanced research through a three-year research grant with American Skin Association. The award is available only to established leaders in the fields of dermatology and cutaneous oncology who spend at least 80% of their professional time engaged in research focused on new discoveries in the basic and clinical sciences with current or potential impact on the understanding, treatment, or prevention of melanoma/non-melanoma skin cancers.

The 2018 recipient of the Milstein Innovation Award is Dr. Roger Lo of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. For the next three years Dr. Lo will receive funding for innovative melanoma research that will lead to great advances in the understanding of melanoma and in developing new treatments for this deadly disease. Dr. Lo’s work focuses on the field of cancer genetics and genomics, using next generation sequencing approaches to uncover the basis of resistance to both molecularly targeted therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors.

"Our family is proud to fund this vital grant in melanoma research. We are so impressed with Dr. Lo’s exceptional work and what it promises for the future." said Howard P. Milstein.

At UCLA, Dr. Lo is a Professor, Associate Chief of Dermatology, Director of the Dermatology STAR Residency Program and the Melanoma Clinic. His lab has focused on how BRAF-mutant melanomas acquire late resistance to inhibitors, including how cell signaling, epigenetic reprogramming, melanoma cell dormancy and melanoma phenotypic plasticity may regulate resistance. The intention of his research is to uncover new therapeutic opportunities that can directly test in clinical trials. His work paves the way for new therapies from which melanoma cannot escape.

Dr. Lo’s research has been supported by the NIH and by all of the major funders of melanoma research, including American Skin Association. He has published his findings in top-tier journals such as Cell, Nature and Science, among others. It is clear that this critical support of Dr. Lo’s research will push forward the development of novel therapeutic approaches to melanoma.

Dr. Lo joins the ranks of an illustrious group of past recipients of the Milstein Innovation Award, including, Dr. Hensin Tsao of Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Lynda Chin of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Dr. Boris Bastian of UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. These previous awardees are all now recognized leaders and innovators in melanoma research.


ASA is a unique collaboration of patients, families, advocates, physicians and scientists, and has evolved over thirty-one years into a leading force in efforts to defeat melanoma, skin cancer and important inflammatory and genetic skin diseases. Established to serve the now more than 100 million Americans — one third of the U.S. population — afflicted with skin disorders, the organization's mission remains to: advance research, champion skin health — particularly among children, and drive public awareness about skin disease. For more information, visit