Douglas Wright Melanoma Award

The University of Toronto (U of T) and the Douglas Wright Foundation have jointly established the Douglas Wright Melanoma Award at U of T, with the purpose of supporting and advancing melanoma research. Under the direction and supervision of an interdisciplinary advisory committee within the Faculty of Medicine, overseen by the Chair of the Department of Medicine, one annual award of $30,000 will be available to residents and fellows in the Department of Medicine.

  • How Long? Recipients will be expected to conclude their research project within one year, but an extension for a second year may be granted if approved by the advisory committee.
  • Who? All residents and fellows within the Department of Medicine are eligible to apply.
  • What? All types of research are welcome – clinical and basic.

Application Details

The application should include the following and be sent as PDFs via email to the Research Administrator at by Monday, September 16th, 2024. Please indicate "Douglas Wright Melanoma Award" in the subject line.

  • a letter of application (three page maximum, 12-point font, one inch margins) addressing;
    • Background with brief review of literature and study rationale
    • Objectives and hypotheses
    • Methodology
    • Anticipated timeline
    • Impact, future research plans and knowledge translation
    • Budget (cannot be used for salary of applicant or faculty supervisor)
  • a CV, and
  • letters of support from the supervising faculty members and division/department head

Evaluation Criteria

  • Applicants must clearly identify their faculty supervisor
  • The significance of the proposed research must clearly demonstrate:
    • Scientific merit (validity, originality)
    • Contribution to advancement of scientific knowledge in melanoma research
  • Feasibility:
    • Feasibility of study design and conduct to achieve the research objectives
    • Ability of applicant to complete the research
  • It is expected that the recipient present their findings at scientific meetings and submit their work for publication
  • Applicants must submit a budget and timeline for completion of their research project
  • In the event that the advisory committee does not agree on an applicant in a given year, the award will be withheld until the following year’s submissions

Past Recipients

2017 – Dr. Patrick Fleming - Dermatologic Follow-up After Primary Cutaneous Melanoma: A Retrospective Cohort Study (supervisor Dr. An-Wen Chan)

2018 – Dr. Anthony Mak - Discovering molecular targets in melanoma using genome-scale CRISPR-Cas9 screens (supervisor Professor Jason Moffat)


2019 – Dr. Robert Vanner - Clonal Hematopoiesis as a Biomarker for Immunotherapy Response in Melanoma (supervisor, Dr. John Dick)

2020 – Dr. April Rose - Characterizing molecular mechanisms of RAS-mediated immune suppression in melanoma. (supervisors, Drs. Adrian Sacher and David Hogg)

2021- Dr. Sofia Genta - Cancer interception by kinetics of bespoke ctDNA in patients with radically treated high risk melanoma (supervisor Dr. Anna Spreafico) 

2022- Dr. Pavlina Spiliopoulou - Using a methylome/fragmentome signature to intercept early-stage melanoma with immunotherapy (supervisor Dr. Anna Spreafico) 

2023 - Dr. Erick Saldanha - Integrative metabolic profiling to identify predictors of tebentafusp efficacy (supervisor Dr. Sam Saibil)