Meenhard Herlyn, DVM, DSc

Dr. Herlyn is Professor and Chair, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is also the Associate Director for Translational Research in the Cancer Center and Director of the Melanoma Research Center. He has been a cancer researcher since his arrival at The Wistar Institute in 1976 and has worked in melanoma research since 1977. His research focuses on the biological significance of growth factors and adhesion molecules in skin morphogenesis; transformation to melanoma; and melanoma growth, invasion, and metastasis, using a variety of in vitro and in vivo models. He wants to know how a nevus develops in normal skin, when it becomes high risk for malignant transformation, and when and why dormant melanoma cells become activated, invading deep into the skin and spreading throughout the body. In recent years, his laboratory has expanded to research on stem cells and their role in skin and skin disease development. A major part of the laboratory is pursuing therapeutic strategies that take into account the genetic and biologic signatures of melanomas. Dr. Herlyn has over 500 publications, 90% of which are on melanoma, with the others on basic biological mechanisms in cancer.