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Washington University Partnership Update July 2016

A letter from Dr. Lynn Cornelius, MD

Pictured left to right: Aneta Campos, Founder and President of Blackout Melanoma; Dr. Lynn A. Cornelius, MD Winfred A. and Emma R. Showman Professor in Dermatology, Chief Division of Dermatolog; and Dr. Shivani Tripathi, MD Research Physician in Division of Dermatology (Not pictured: Dr. Gerald P. Linette, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine in Medical Oncology)

Dear Aneta and Blackout Melanoma team-

We have had a very productive period in our melanoma work. Recently, Shivani did a podium presentation at one of our national conferences (Society of Investigative Dermatology) in mid-May 2016. She received recognition for the talk and was given the Resident & Fellow Travel Award. The work revolved around an imaging system to determine depth of pigmented lesions to better stage melanomas and plan for surgeries. This first part of the project has been presented and we submitted it a top dermatology journal (Journal of Investigative Dermatology) for publication of our findings. We are now working on starting the second part of this study which includes using this same imaging technology to detect cells that might be linked to metastases of melanoma and response to systemic therapy.  

At the same conference in May, we also presented work on UV irradiation of melanocytes and implications for melanoma pathogenesis which received positive feedback. 

In addition, I am working on a public health study regarding tanning bed exposure and melanoma which is a joint effort between Washington University and University of California San Francisco. We filmed a short and informative video of patients with a history of tanning bed use and melanoma which we plan to post to social media (like Facebook) and will capture the views/hits and the opinions of tanning use. We hope to target young people who are inclined to this dangerous behavior of tanning and we aim to inform them of the risks associated with tanning. This is pretty cutting edge public health research that is a national effort to ensure that people are well-informed on the negative health consequences of tanning. I will send you a separate link.

In addition, we have a large database of our patients who have a history of melanoma and we have been collecting exposure history, quality of life surveys, and genetic profiles. We are now in the process of analyzing this information and we have a medical student in the lab who is working to understand the links in all this data.

We have just started our new class of residents, and Shivani has transitioned from being our research fellow to a first year resident (just last week!). She is very grateful to Blackout Melanoma for all the opportunities to take part in research and she is looking forward to completing her training so that she is able to care for patients in a field she has so much dedication towards and knows is so important. Thank you for your dedication to research and furthering how we care for patients at WashU Dermatology!


Lynn and Shivani
Lynn Cornelius, MD
Professor and Chief of Dermatology
Washington University School of Medicine

Watch the video referenced above:

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