Dermatologist's hand checking a mole

Melanoma Foundation

Support world-class research into melanoma causes and treatments
We encourage early diagnosis of melanoma, raise community awareness of the damaging effects of sunlight, and support a major clinical and biological research program.

About us

We were established as a charitable foundation of the University of Sydney in 1986. We arose from Australia's first melanoma clinic at Sydney Hospital and became a foundation when the Sydney Melanoma Unit was transferred to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. 

Our main objective is to support world class melanoma research within the University, especially in the areas of melanoma biology and melanoma oncology. We foster a culture of research for both clinical and non-clinical members, and support the training the next generation of researchers and academics.

Our research

We currently fund two approaches to controlling, and potentially curing, melanoma. These are, broadly, the biological approach and the clinical (oncology) approach.

The biological approach involves finding and then controlling how tumours proliferate.  Researchers know there are specific mechanisms involved, but they are poorly understood. We support an academic chair for the Professor of Melanoma Biology, currently Professor Peter Hersey.

The Professor of Melanoma Biology heads a team of research staff seeking a breakthrough via molecular biology. They conduct a broad range of biological research programs, including:

  • carrying out laboratory studies on the molecular biology of melanoma related to the causation, diagnosis, progression and treatment of melanoma.
  • investigating the role of immune responses in the initiation and progression of melanoma.
  • undertaking translational research, in association with the Professor of Melanoma Oncology, in human melanoma to improve results from existing treatments, to develop new treatments, and to assist in the conduct of industry-sponsored and investigator-driven clinical trials in melanoma. 

The clinical approach is based on detecting and removing all melanoma cells at the earliest possible time. We support an academic chair for the Professor of Melanoma Oncology, currently Professor John Thompson.

The Professor of Melanoma Biology leads and supervises a team of researchers and academics. This team conducts local and international trials of new therapies, new systems of patient management and programs to assess adequately the outcomes of melanoma therapy.

Make a donation

Research conducted by the foundation is made possible through your gift, whether big or small. Our research will contribute to the greater understanding of the causes of melanoma and will lead to improved treatment options for patients. 

Donations over $2 are tax deductible. Make a donation online by selecting 'other areas of need' and searching for melanoma or contact us:

Phone: +61 2 9351 2036

We also welcome planned or deferred gifts, which include bequests, annuities, and trusts. Visit our page on gifts and wills and bequests for more information.