Melanoma researcher receives grant from the American Skin Association

UCLA melanoma scientist Willy Hugo
Melanoma scientist Willy Hugo, PhD

Willy Hugo, assistant adjunct professor of dermatology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a scientist at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been awarded the Daneen & Charles Stiefel Investigative Scientist Award for Melanoma Research by the American Skin Association to help further his research in understanding treatment-resistant melanoma.

The $100,000 grant supports emerging leaders in dermatology who are focused on finding new discoveries that impacts the understanding or treatment of the deadliest and most aggressive form of skin cancer. While there have been new advancements in treating people with melanoma, the rates for the disease has continued to rise for the last 30 years. More than 96,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed this year in the U.S., and, more than 7,000 people will die of the disease.

Hugo earned his doctorate in computational biology from the National University of Singapore in 2011 and had since published multiple high impact papers on research advancements in melanoma. Currently, Hugo is studying gene and protein networks affecting melanoma's sensitivity and resistance toward targeted- and immunotherapies at single-cell level. He is hopeful that his work will translate to novel treatment avenues for people affected by the disease.