Here is a brief description of what this year’s Innovative Researcher funded by contributions from you will be working on: Schatton’s project will focus on the programmed death 1 (PD-1) pathway and its role in fueling melanoma progression. Melanomas are highly immunogenic cancers, initially triggering antitumor immune attacks, but ultimately, these antimelanoma immune responses are typically ineffective, allowing more advanced melanomas to spread the disease. PD-1 is a prominent negative regulator of the immune system, which functions to shield melanomas from immunologic clearance. Accordingly, PD-1 blockade has evolved as a particularly promising treatment option in patients with advanced disease. However, the mechanisms underlying PD-1-driven tumor immune evasion are incompletely understood, rendering clinical response to PD-1 pathway interference difficult to predict. Schatton’s research aims to shed light into how previously unrecognized PD-1 signaling interactions may promote melanoma progression, could predict patient response to PD-1 blockade, and may be effectively manipulated for improved melanoma therapy.