Centre of Research Excellence in Melanoma (2017-2022)

Established in November 2017, the NHMRC-funded Centre of Research Excellence in Melanoma (CRE Melanoma) is a strategic collaboration of clinicians and researchers from melanoma centres in New South Wales (Melanoma Institute Australia, RPA, Westmead) and Victoria (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; Victorian Melanoma Service), Australia, and implementation scientists from the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University, Sydney. This multidisciplinary partnership combines leading clinical expertise in melanoma diagnosis and treatment with methodological expertise in epidemiology, bioinformatics, economics, qualitative research and implementation science. The CRE Melanoma is tasked with three primary objectives: pursuing collaborative research; developing capacity; and ensuring translation of research outcomes into policy and practice. It is achieving this in three core areas: identifying and managing people at high risk of developing melanoma; optimising management of people with curable, early-stage melanoma; and psychosocial care, survivorship and the patient experience.

Molecular determinants of risk, progression and treatment response in melanoma (2006-2021)

This is a program of activity, funded by NHMRC Program Grants since 2006, across multiple centres which addresses both basic and translational research questions under three broad themes:

  • what are the causes of high melanoma risk? – the epidemiology and genetics of melanoma, including family and population-based studies such as the Australian Melanoma Family Study (AMFS) and the work of the GenoMEL consortium

  • the fundamental architecture of melanoma at the molecular level – what makes melanoma tick, what are the differences among melanomas that affect the outcome and give opportunities for treatment?
  • how can we better treat melanoma and bring cures closer? Therapies that are either targeted against the mutations that melanomas carry, or which activate the immune system are transforming the outlook for this dangerous disease.

Melanoma Institute Australia Translational Research Program (2005-2016)

This Cancer Institute NSW-funded program has been the main way we have applied our discoveries to develop better ways of preventing, detecting and treating melanoma. In each of the themes above we are working to transform health care for people with melanoma:
  • through the Melanoma High-Risk Clinic project
  • by developing new biomarkers and tests that identify which melanomas are the most dangerous
  • and through world-leading clinical trials of the latest melanoma drugs and treatment, guided by a major commitment to analyse the tumours of people while they are receiving treatment (the TEAM study).

Australian Melanoma Genome Project (2012-2016)

Prof Mann leads this comprehensive effort to use whole genome sequencing and other molecular techniques to map and understand the machinery that drives melanomas, and this way to drive melanoma research forward wherever people are working on it. Data from 500 Australian melanomas is being analysed and put into the public domain, starting in 2015, through the International Cancer Genome Consortium.

NSW Clinical Genomics Program (2015-2016)

The group received one of the first grants under this program, to conduct whole genome sequencing of samples collected in the TEAM study and identify the factors predicting who would respond, and who would not, to the new waves of targeted and immune therapies for melanoma.