Clinical Trials and Research

Melanoma research in dermatology

Melanoma care with Northwestern Medicine Dermatology

World-class experts in all specialties in our Melanoma Tumor Board discuss complex cases together. They also provide the highest level of care, including access to clinical trials for novel melanoma therapies.

To learn more about clinical trials for advanced melanoma, please visit the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center clinical trials page.

Gerami Lab

The Gerami lab focuses on developing molecular methods that improve diagnostic accuracy and prognostication of melanoma and borderline melanocytic tumors. In the last decade, the incidence of melanoma has increased dramatically. One in 40 Caucasian people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime.1 As the incidence increases, so does the number of biopsies and borderline melanocytic tumors. Our lab has been an international leader in the development of molecular diagnostic assays for the diagnosis and prognosis of melanoma and borderline tumors. Our work on this topic is well-recognized internationally. This is reflected in the number of publications. Our team has authored over 170 peer-reviewed publications, as well as multiple books and chapters, including those in the adult and pediatric 8th editions of the World Health Organization’s Blue Book on Classification of Skin Tumors.

Our lab helped pioneer a number of molecular assays that have been successfully adopted into widespread clinical use. This includes a molecular fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) assay to differentiate melanoma and benign nevi. Over the last 10 years, this has become part of the standard of care in the assessment of borderline tumors and a molecular prognostic assay for melanoma using mRNA expression profiling. Both of these diagnostic assays have significantly impacted the field of melanoma.

To learn more about our research programs or make a donation to melanoma research, please email Ashley May Coussens at


  1. Key Statistics for Melanoma Skin Cancer. American Cancer Society. Accessed September 15th, 2021.