Sancy Leachman's laboratory focuses on the genetics of human melanoma. Through the Tom C. Mathews Jr. Familial Melanoma Research Clinic, patients at high risk for melanoma are enrolled in clinical studies to investigate the reason for the high risk, particularly risk that runs in families and likely has a genetic basis.
The laboratory has two primary research efforts:
- To search for melanoma susceptibility genes that cause familial risk
- To evaluate the relationship between these genes and other physical features (such as hair color, skin color and freckling) and the environment (such as sun exposure and sunburns)
By using participants who are at very high risk as a model for understanding melanoma, we hope to identify and develop specific prevention and early detection strategies for all melanoma patients.