Articles by Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement


MRA Announces $13 Million in Grants to Advance Melanoma Prevention, Detection & Treatment

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 19 May 2022 In News, Prevention, Science, Treatment

Coinciding with Melanoma Awareness Month, the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the largest non-profit funder of melanoma research, today announced funding for 27 research grants totaling $13,046,774 to support new research aimed at advancing melanoma prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

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Dr. Gary Deng & The Wellness Principles

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 9 May 2022 In Allies & Partnerships, Prevention, Treatment

Gary Deng, MD, PhD – an integrative medicine specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – knows this firsthand. And now, for the first time, Dr. Deng is sharing his unique and highly respected wellness approach with everyone through his upcoming book, The Wellness Principles – Cooking for a Healthy Life.

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Unlocking the Potential of Localized Treatments By Better Understanding Treatment Response

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 23 March 2022 In News, Science, Treatment

It’s easy to think of melanoma – or any cancer – in black and white terms. You have it or you don’t, it responds or it’s resistant to treatment, or it grows or it shrinks. However, like most things, the reality is far more complex.

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From Promise to Action: Testing AI in the Clinic

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 8 March 2022 In Prevention, Science

If you browse through your phone’s app store, you’ll find dozens of apps promising to help determine if a mole you’ve been staring at is cancerous or not based on the power of AI. While a great goal, none of these apps have earned approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, to do so, apps — and the algorithms that they rely on — will need to be rigorously tested in the real world and across diverse populations. This is exactly where Dr. Novoa’s research is aimed.

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Melanoma Free & Living Scan-to-Scan

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 4 March 2022 In Melanoma Stories

In 2007, while staining her deck at home, Debra Likes – who goes by Debbie – decided she’d had enough and would finally see her primary care doctor. She had been ignoring a mole on her left calf for more than a year as she watched it slowly transform from a round...

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Preventing Melanoma Among Hispanic Americans

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 22 February 2022 In Melanoma Stories, Prevention, Science

Dr. Costello’s online platform aims to teach participants about the risk factors for melanoma, what it looks like, and how they can screen themselves for concerning lesions. Costello’s program launched in February, 2022; and he hopes to get 30,000 people to participate in the 40-minute curriculum by the end of May 2022.

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New Research Says Combination Immunotherapy Should be First-Line Therapy for Patients with BRAF-mutant Melanoma

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 2 February 2022 In News, Science, Treatment

While all patients with advanced melanoma can be treated with checkpoint immunotherapies, patients with tumors containing the BRAF mutation can also be treated with targeted therapies. However, until now, doctors have had little prospective data to determine which treatment approach should be started first. A new study led by Dr. Michael Atkins provides practice-changing insight.

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Melanoma Mortality Rate Continues Decline Fueled by Treatment Advances

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 26 January 2022 In News, Prevention, Science, Treatment

Each January, the American Cancer Society (ACS) releases updated estimates about trends in new cancer cases and deaths in its annual report, Cancer Facts and Figures. This report highlights the estimated incidence (number of new cases), prevalence (number of people alive today with a history of cancer), and survival statistics for cancer in the United States.

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MRA Celebrates Approval of Tebentafusp - First Drug for Metastatic Uveal Melanoma

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 26 January 2022 In News, Treatment

The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the largest non-profit funder of melanoma research worldwide, applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision to approve the first-ever therapy for metastatic or unresectable uveal melanoma.

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From Personal Loss to Professional Service

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 25 January 2022 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories

Since 2009, O’Melveny & Myers (OMM), an internationally recognized law firm founded in 1885, has served as pro bono counsel for the Melanoma Research Alliance. Over the last decade, the firm has advised MRA leadership and represented the organization in many areas, including grant agreements, HR policies, tax issues, intellectual...

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About the Author
Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement


Cody Barnett, MPH serves as the Director of Communications & Patient Engagement at the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA). In this role, he works to develop and cultivate strategies, messages, and stories that propel MRA and its mission forward. In addition, he develops patient-friendly articles, tools, and resources that demystify new research advances and make them actionable. Cody is responsible for media relations, web and social marketing, publications and materials development, and organizational branding. He is committed to using the power of storytelling and patient-centered thinking to advance melanoma research and improve patient outcomes. 

Before joining the Melanoma Research Alliance, Cody served as Director of Communications at AIDS United, where he directed all internal, public, member, and online communications for the national HIV-focused organization. Previous to this, he managed digital communications for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s signature initiative, Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q).

Cody earned his Master of Public Health (MPH), concentrating in health policy, from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health in 2013 and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from York College of Pennsylvania. 

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