Andrew E. Aplin, PhD
The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center—Jefferson Health (SKCC) recently announced that Andrew E. Aplin, PhD, was being recognized with the Melanoma Research Foundation Humanitarian Award. Dr. Aplin is the Kalbach-Newton Professor in Cancer Research, Enterprise Associate Director for Basic Research, and Program Leader for Cancer Cell Biology & Signaling at SKCC.
Dr. Aplin’s research focuses on better understanding the mechanisms that cause aberrant cell growth and invasion in subsets of melanoma and identify novel therapeutic targets. He has identified downstream targets of mutant BRAF signaling, showing their contribution to malignant traits in melanoma. The Aplin laboratory is currently studying modes of resistance to RAF inhibitors. In clinical trials, researchers have observed significant responses among patients being treated with RAF inhibitors. However, resistance to the drug often develops. Dr. Aplin’s research will help direct new clinical trials using combination therapies to help overcome resistance.
“I am honored that the Melanoma Research Foundation is recognizing our research team with a Humanitarian Award. We are excited to increase wet-lab based activities that were de-escalated during COVID-19 and this grant from the Melanoma Research Foundation will make that possible,” Dr. Aplin said.
His research also extends to uveal, or ocular, melanoma. In 2018, Dr. Aplin and a multi-institutional team of researchers were awarded a Team Science Award to study uveal melanoma. He leads a team comprised of researchers from SKCC, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami, in studying how BAP-1 mutations contribute to metastatic uveal melanoma. They are working to identify new therapeutic strategies to treat the disease.