Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation


The Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation is a non-profit public charity founded in January, 2004 to foster melanoma education, advocacy and research for this most dangerous and lethal form of skin cancer. In 2012, 76,250 new cases of melanoma were projected to be diagnosed in the U.S.; and 9,180 individuals were expected to die, up 8.5% and 4/5% respectively over 2011. In just over nine-years, the Foundation has grown dramatically to become influential in the melanoma community, and is now established as a national and international, “voice for melanoma prevention, detection, care and cure.” The Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation is proud of numerous achievements to date that include:

  1. Underwriting melanoma research at numerous prestigious cancer centers across the U.S., specifically through research scholarships to the best and brightest young graduate student scientists, to advance discovery of effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure for melanoma;
  2. Successfully launching and expanding a comprehensive High School health curriculum for the key demographic of students (and their families), to learn the deadly risks of melanoma skin cancer and “UV-safe” preventative practices;
  3. Ongoing targeted initiatives, and multi-channel outreach, to ensure broader national awareness of melanoma prevention and detection by the general public; and,
  4. Providing a broad spectrum of essential advocacy and care resources for patients and the entire melanoma community.

JMNMF Grant Recipient

Pictured Left to Right: Taha Merghoub, PhD, Assistant Attending Biologist, Melanoma-Sarcoma Service, MSKCC; Denise Safko, JMNMF Secretary/Treasurer & RSA Committee Member; Judith Murphy, JMNMF Research Scholar Award grant recipient; Greg Safko, JMNMF President; and, Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, Director,Immunotherapy Clinical Trials, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

2011 Team “WIN-THE-FIGHT” Iron Girl participants

2011 Team “WIN-THE-FIGHT” Iron Girl participants


  • Melanoma is the most serious and lethal form of skin cancer and accounts for 75% of all skin cancer deaths.
  • One person dies nearly every 57 minutes in the U.S. from melanoma.
  • Melanoma is the most common cancer for young adults ages 25-29; and second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.
  • The lifetime risk of developing melanoma is 1 in 52.
  • Melanoma is the cancer for which incidence is rising, yet receives less than 3% of funding provided by the National Cancer Institute.

CONTACT: Theresa Upshaw, Program Coordinator
Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation

PHONE: (410) 857-4890


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