Articles by Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications


Ipilimumab Cured Dan Engel He’s Committed to Paying it Forward

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 24 September 2018 In Melanoma Stories

Dan needed a miracle. At this point, he’d had six surgeries on his neck, endured radiation therapy, and been enrolled in five clinical trials. Dan’s miracle came in 2006 in the form of an experimental drug, ipilimumab or anti-CTLA4 antibody, that would later be named Yervoy. This drug would later become the first new FDA-approved melanoma treatment in 13 years.

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Are you #SunSavvy365?

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 4 September 2018 In Allies & Partnerships, Prevention

​It’s easy to think of sunscreen when you are lounging by a pool, but did you know that it’s important to protect yourself and those you love every day of the year? That’s why MRA partnered with the Melanoma Action Coalition to create #SunSavvy365, a social media campaign that reminds us to protect our skin whether we are making sand castles or snowmen.

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Using Zebrafish to Shed New Light on Melanoma

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 29 August 2018 In Science

Dr. Liz Patton, a MRA-funded cancer researcher at the Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit at the University of Edinburgh, is fascinated by learning how things work. Patton has focused her research on better understanding how melanocytes – the cells in our skin that provide us our coloring – develop, divide, migrate, and in some unfortunate circumstances, proliferate uncontrollably turning into melanoma. Her work is providing critical insight into the origin of melanoma and what spurs melanoma to spread throughout the body.

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Choosing the Right Sunscreen - Your Questions Answered

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 2 August 2018 In Prevention

Bold claims and conflicting advice about what goes into a good sunscreen make it easy to feel overwhelmed when buying sunscreen. At MRA, we believe that the best sunscreen is one that you will wear. Provided that it meets three simple rules:

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Wiser & Stronger – Life after Metastatic Melanoma

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 20 July 2018 In Melanoma Stories, Treatment

For Derrick, it all started with headaches. For the first time in his life, this otherwise perfectly healthy father of two, knew something was wrong.

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Uveal ‘Clusters’ in Auburn, AL and Huntersville, NC

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 18 July 2018 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories, News, Science, Treatment

When we talk about melanoma, it’s easy to forget that cutaneous – the most common variety that forms on the skin – isn’t the only game in town. Uveal represents about 5% of all melanomas diagnosed each year. So, when dozens of people from two towns in North Carolina and Alabama were diagnosed with the rare cancer alarm bells sounded.

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We’ve Teamed Up with the American Cancer Society

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 7 June 2018 In Allies & Partnerships, Science, Treatment

American Cancer Society and Melanoma Research Alliance have united to fund lifesaving research aimed at reducing side effects and improving outcomes for patients treated with immunotherapy.

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Melanoma Awareness Month: Opportunities to Make a Difference

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 30 April 2018 In Prevention

Melanoma Awareness Month, held in May each year, is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of melanoma, the importance of early detection, and the many ways to practice sun safety. From talking about sun safety to your friends and family, taking the Skin Check Pledge, posting about melanoma on social media, or highlighting prevention strategies in your organization newsletter—there are many ways we can all take part and make a difference!

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Are Personalized Vaccines Part of a New Combination Approach to Treating Melanoma?

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 29 April 2018 In Allies & Partnerships, Science

Bracing for cold weather and the threat of runny noses and sore throats, millions of Americans are vaccinated for the flu each year. By priming the immune system, the vaccine reduces the risk of catching the flu and, if not successful at preventing it altogether, reduces both the severity and the duration of symptoms. These are ‘one-size-fits-all’ vaccines that are useful for all people. But what if each and every person’s flu, like each person’s melanoma, was unique? You’d need a personalized vaccine that was made and customized for each individual. Dr. Patrick Ott, Clinical Director of the Melanoma Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and lead researcher on the BJ's Wholesale Club-MRA Team Science Award, is conducting pioneering research to harness the power of personalized vaccines to combat melanoma.

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About the Author
Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications


Cody R. Barnett joined the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) as Director of Communications in August of 2017. He works to develop and cultivate strategies, messages, and stories that propel MRA’s mission forward. 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 visual, verbal, and written communications to promote MRA as a powerful force for advancing melanoma research.

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 Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) initiative.

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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