Our Research Program

Blackout Melanoma is dedicated to helping find a cure for Melanoma and our Research Program supports these efforts. Blackout melanoma has established a Rebeca Shults Campos Melanoma Research Fellowship Grant. A first of many steps to be taken in finding a cure for Melanoma and helping to “blackout” this deadly disease.

Most recently Blackout Melanoma partnered with Washington University School of Medicine’s Dr. Gerald P. Linette, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine in Oncology, and whom also cared for Beca during her personal battle with melanoma. Blackout Melanoma provided a multi-year $50,000 research grant.

Dr. Cornelius stated “We are developing a study to look at the melanomas that develop in young women who used tanning beds…Dr. Linette will also be working with patients who have a form of skin lymphoma Cancer.”

Our Research Program partners with medical leaders to support prevention, discovery, and medical explorations and will continue to provide funding to those in our community that are dedicated to taking steps toward finding a cure.

For more information about our Research Program, please contact Dee Duncan.

If you would like to support our Research Program, please consider making a donation. Your donation will go directly to supporting those in our community, such as medical oncologist Dr. Linette (highlighted below) and her work in mutation treatment, and others in our community that are working hard to BLACKOUT Melanoma. Please note “research” on your donation.

Blackout Melanoma recently donated a $5,000 grant to The Foundation for Barnes Jewish Hospital to support Covid19 front line nurses, doctors, and front-line health care workers.

Pictured above is Susan Ell, Executive Director and Vice President of The Foundation for Barnes Jewish Hospital accepting the grant award on the foundations behalf.

Blackout Melanoma founder and president, Aneta Campos, is the mother of Rebecca “Beca” Shults Campos. Beca was a patient at Barnes Jewish Hospital several years ago while she fought for her life during her Stage IV Metastatic Melanoma diagnosis. Beca was cared for by some of the very same doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers that are currently at Barnes Jewish Hospital. Although Beca lost her fight to Melanoma her legacy lives on in the nonprofit Blackout Melanoma, that her and her mother started before she passed.

During the difficult times we are going through with the COVID19 pandemic, and in honor of Beca, the doctors, nurses, and all that took care of Beca during her treatment Aneta Campos and Blackout Melanoma wanted to say thank you and offer just a small bit of help.

Through the Rebeca “Beca” Shults Campos Melanoma Research Fellowship Grant that was established to partner with medical leaders, Campos made a donation of $5,000 to The Foundation for Barnes Jewish Hospital this month.

The funds are to be used to best serve those nurses, doctors, and health care workers on the front-lines of this pandemic. Whether that be to help purchase much needed medical supplies and protective gear, to help pay for transportation or lodging for the staff that are unable to go home to their families, or to simply help feed those front-line staff members.

It was Blackout Melanoma’s way of saying thank you for their service, for putting their community ahead of their own well-being, and to say thank you for all that they are doing to fight this pandemic.

It was a pleasure to learn firsthand of Aneta’s daughter Beca and the outstanding care she received by Dr. Morris and team. It is an honor and privilege to work with Blackout Melanoma and I can’t tell you how much this gift will mean to those healthcare heroes on the frontlines of this pandemic.

 – Kristin Anderson Redington, Philanthropy Officer, The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital

“Blackout Melanoma will not stop educating, advocating, and funding research until they find a cure. My daughter Beca would always say: “Be aware, take time to share, show that you care.” We are honoring her by making this donation and we know that if she were here with us still, she would have been the first one to speak up and want to do this.” Stated Aneta Campos

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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