Melanoma Research Foundation Grant Awarded to Brittani K.N. Seynnaeve, MD, MS, to Develop Multi-Institutional Pediatric Registry

December 17, 2021

Brittani K.N. Seynnaeve, MD, MS, assistant professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh was awarded a new, two-year, $100,000 grant from the Melanoma Research Foundation. Dr. Seynnaeve is the Director of the Pediatric Melanoma Program at UPMC Children’s, and she is the Associate Fellowship Program Director for the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. 

Dr. Seynnaeve’s new grant will support her existing research of pediatric melanoma patients, using a retrospective database, which is designed to standardize care and create data-driven treatment guidelines for the disease.

The grant also will support the creation of a new, multi-institutional prospective registry of pediatric melanoma patients. Dr. Seynnaeve’s team will work to collect patient information, access to tumor samples, and photographic documentation to support ongoing research of melanoma, which is the primary skin cancer type that affects pediatric patients.

Dr. Seynnaeve’s research of melanoma in pediatric patients is supported by mentor John M. Kirkwood, MD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Usher Professor of Medicine, Dermatology, and Translational Science, and co-leader of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

More About Dr. Seynnaeve

Brittani K.N. Seynnaeve, MD, MS, received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh, graduating summa cum laude with a major in molecular biology and minor in chemistry in. She received her Medical Degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine in, having earned accolades including Alpha Omega Alpha and the Ferrari Pediatrics Scholar Award. 

Dr. Seynnaeve completed her pediatric residency training at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and earned the UPMC Children’s Pediatric Residency Foundation Scholarship. She completed her fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, also at UPMC Children’s, in 2017. Dr. Seynnaeve obtained a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Research at the University of Pittsburgh during her fellowship. She also completed a postdoctoral T32 training program in skin biology and cancer at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center while conducting pediatric melanoma research, for which she earned a CureRock Trainee Research Award. Dr. Seynnaeve joined the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC Children’s in 2017. 

Dr. Seynnaeve’s cares for children with a broad array of hematology and oncology diagnoses, and she has a specific clinical and research interest and expertise in pediatric melanoma. She is the clinical director of the Pediatric Melanoma Program, which she established as a multidisciplinary program to care for patients diagnosed with melanoma and associated melanocytic tumors.  She is active in collaborative research serving as principal investigator of the first pediatric melanoma clinical trial to open at UPMC, which also serves as the first U.S. site to offer patient enrollment for an international, multicenter study. She is principal investigator for a multi-institutional retrospective database of pediatric melanoma patients from the University of Pittsburgh and eight additional large collaborating melanoma treatment sites and has published on whether specific mutational patterns have prognostic implications in melanocytic lesions in pediatric patients.