Research Summary

My lab has a broad expertise in human models of epithelial neoplasia and melanoma. Our goal is to characterize the function of a set of novel transcripts found in melanoma patient samples. We study cancer signaling in-depth to identify novel transcripts, their functions, and the factors that promote resistance to drugs and/or cancer progression via transcriptome (RNA-Seq) to capture the implicated coding and non-coding elements in this process. These findings might serve as key biomarkers and/or new targets for therapeutics in melanoma.


University of Vienna Medical School, M.D., 1998, Medicine
Rappersberger, University of Vienna, Ph.D, 1998, Biology
University of Vienna, Research Fellow, 1999, Dermatology
AKH Vienna, Research Resident, 2001, Dermatology
Stanford University, Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2005, Epithelial Biology
The Brooklyn Hospital Center, NY, Internship, 2006, Medicine
Stanford University, Resident, 2010, Dermatology
University of California, San Francisco, Research Fellowship, 2010, Derm-Oncology
New York University, 2015, MBA

Honors & Awards

  • 2007
    Kardinal-Innitzer-Foerderungspreis for outstanding Science in Dermatology
  • 2007
    Habilitation for Experimental Dermatology (Univ.-Doz. i.e. professor) University of Vienna
  • 2008
    Unilever Award from the Austrian Society for Dermatology and Venereology
  • 2011
    American Cancer Society Individual Research Award
  • 2011
    American Skin Association Scholar Award
  • 2011
    Dermatology Foundation Career Development Award
  • 2011
    K08 Award National Institute of Health

Selected Publications

  1. Zheng YJ, Ho C, Lazar A, Ortiz-Urda S. Poor melanoma outcomes and survival in Asian American and Pacific Islander patients. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2021 Jun; 84(6):1725-1727.  View on PubMed
  2. Algazi AP, Rotow J, Posch C, Ortiz-Urda S, Pelayo A, Munster PN, Daud A. A dual pathway inhibition strategy using BKM120 combined with vemurafenib is poorly tolerated in BRAF V600E/K mutant advanced melanoma. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2019 07; 32(4):603-606.  View on PubMed
  3. Posch C, Sanlorenzo M, Ma J, Kim ST, Zekhtser M, Ortiz-Urda S. MEK/CDK4,6 co-targeting is effective in a subset of NRAS, BRAF and 'wild type' melanomas. Oncotarget. 2018 Oct 09; 9(79):34990-34995.  View on PubMed
  4. Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Esteve-Puig R, Lai K, Vujic M, Lin K, Posch C, Dimon M, Moy A, Zekhtser M, Johnston K, Gho D, Ho W, Gajjala A, Oses Prieto J, Burlingame A, Daud A, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S. The lincRNA MIRAT binds to IQGAP1 and modulates the MAPK pathway in NRAS mutant melanoma. Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 19; 8(1):10902.  View on PubMed
  5. Zheng YJ, Lee A, Pincus L, Ho W, Vujic M, Ortiz-Urda S. Cutaneous CD56+ T-cell lymphoma developing during pembrolizumab treatment for metastatic melanoma. JAAD Case Rep. 2018 Jul; 4(6):540-542.  View on PubMed
  6. Algazi AP, Esteve-Puig R, Nosrati A, Hinds B, Hobbs-Muthukumar A, Nandoskar P, Ortiz-Urda S, Chapman PB, Daud A. Dual MEK/AKT inhibition with trametinib and GSK2141795 does not yield clinical benefit in metastatic NRAS-mutant and wild-type melanoma. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2018 01; 31(1):110-114.  View on PubMed
  7. Moreno-Traspas R, Vujic I, Sanlorenzo M, Ortiz-Urda S. New insights in melanoma biomarkers: long-noncoding RNAs. Melanoma Manag. 2016 Sep; 3(3):195-205.  View on PubMed
  8. Posch C, Moslehi H, Sanlorenzo M, Green G, Vujic I, Panzer-Grümayer R, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S. Pharmacological inhibitors of c-KIT block mutant c-KIT mediated migration of melanocytes and melanoma cells in vitro and in vivo. Oncotarget. 2016 Jul 19; 7(29):45916-45925.  View on PubMed
  9. Posch C, Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Oses-Prieto JA, Cholewa BD, Kim ST, Ma J, Lai K, Zekhtser M, Esteve-Puig R, Green G, Chand S, Burlingame AL, Panzer-Grümayer R, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S. Phosphoproteomic Analyses of NRAS(G12) and NRAS(Q61) Mutant Melanocytes Reveal Increased CK2α Kinase Levels in NRAS(Q61) Mutant Cells. J Invest Dermatol. 2016 10; 136(10):2041-2048.  View on PubMed
  10. Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Posch C, Ma J, Lin K, Lai K, Lee D, Vujic M, Oses-Prieto JA, Chand S, Rodriguez-Peralto JL, Burlingame A, Ortiz-Urda S. Oncogenic KIT mutations in different exons lead to specific changes in melanocyte phospho-proteome. J Proteomics. 2016 07 20; 144:140-7.  View on PubMed
  11. Posch C, Vujic I, Monshi B, Sanlorenzo M, Weihsengruber F, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S. Searching for the Chokehold of NRAS Mutant Melanoma. J Invest Dermatol. 2016 07; 136(7):1330-1336.  View on PubMed
  12. Vujic I, Sanlorenzo M, Esteve-Puig R, Vujic M, Kwong A, Tsumura A, Murphy R, Moy A, Posch C, Monshi B, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S. Acyl protein thioesterase 1 and 2 (APT-1, APT-2) inhibitors palmostatin B, ML348 and ML349 have different effects on NRAS mutant melanoma cells. Oncotarget. 2016 Feb 09; 7(6):7297-306.  View on PubMed
  13. Monshi B, Vujic M, Kivaranovic D, Sesti A, Oberaigner W, Vujic I, Ortiz-Urda S, Posch C, Feichtinger H, Hackl M, Rappersberger K. The burden of malignant melanoma--lessons to be learned from Austria. Eur J Cancer. 2016 Mar; 56:45-53.  View on PubMed
  14. Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Ortiz-Urda S. Time-Dependent Measurement of Adverse Events-Reply. JAMA Dermatol. 2015 Dec 01; 151(12):1392-1393.  View on PubMed
  15. Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Daud A, Algazi A, Gubens M, Luna SA, Lin K, Quaglino P, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S. Pembrolizumab Cutaneous Adverse Events and Their Association With Disease Progression. JAMA Dermatol. 2015 Nov; 151(11):1206-1212.  View on PubMed
  16. Goldenberg A, Vujic I, Sanlorenzo M, Ortiz-Urda S. Melanoma risk perception and prevention behavior among African-Americans: the minority melanoma paradox. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015; 8:423-9.  View on PubMed
  17. Posch C, Cholewa BD, Vujic I, Sanlorenzo M, Ma J, Kim ST, Kleffel S, Schatton T, Rappersberger K, Gutteridge R, Ahmad N, Ortiz/Urda S. Combined Inhibition of MEK and Plk1 Has Synergistic Antitumor Activity in NRAS Mutant Melanoma. J Invest Dermatol. 2015 Oct; 135(10):2475-2483.  View on PubMed
  18. Curl P, Vujic I, van 't Veer LJ, Ortiz-Urda S, Kahn JG. Correction: Cost-Effectiveness Of Treatment Strategies for BRAF-Mutated Metastatic Melanoma. PLoS One. 2015; 10(4):e0126988.  View on PubMed
  19. Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Posch C, Cleaver JE, Quaglino P, Ortiz-Urda S. The risk of melanoma in pilots and cabin crew: UV measurements in flying airplanes. JAMA Dermatol. 2015 Apr; 151(4):450-2.  View on PubMed
  20. Algazi AP, Cha E, Ortiz-Urda SM, McCalmont T, Bastian BC, Hwang J, Pampaloni MH, Behr S, Chong K, Cortez B, Quiroz A, Coakley F, Liu S, Daud AI. The combination of axitinib followed by paclitaxel/carboplatin yields extended survival in advanced BRAF wild-type melanoma: results of a clinical/correlative prospective phase II clinical trial. Br J Cancer. 2015 Apr 14; 112(8):1326-31.  View on PubMed

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