Dr. Margolin has a career-long interest in cancer immunotherapy and in adult solid tumors that are responsive to immunomodulation, particularly melanoma and, more recently, other skin cancers. She has also developed expertise in germ cell cancers and renal cancers related to their therapeutic modalities but currently focuses on melanoma and skin cancer. Dr. Margolin’s principal research interests are clinical investigations in the immunotherapy of advanced melanoma, with a particular focus on the investigation and therapy of metastases to the brain, which is the greatest threat to survival and quality of life among melanoma patients. She also continues to work on the application of novel cytokines and other immunomodulatory strategies for melanoma and other malignancies. Recent, ongoing and anticipated projects include translational trials for melanoma metastatic to the brain, novel imaging methods for the assessment of mechanistic responses to immunotherapy for melanoma and other adult solid tumors, and adoptive cell therapies for melanoma and other solid tumors. All of these projects involve extensive collaborations both on- and off-campus with investigators in one or more extramural collaborative groups.
Dr. Margolin was a founding member and remains the co-leader of the Cytokine Working Group, a clinical trials network dedicated to immunotherapy for melanoma and renal cancer, including correlates of patient benefit and treatment toxicity. She has also collaborated with the Melanoma Research Foundation in its Breakthrough Consortium and Grant Review Committee, SWOG’s Melanoma Committee and Immuno-Oncology Committee, and the California Cancer Consortium of 4-5 institutions working on drug development and innovative trials in adult malignancies. She was a co-principal investigator, along with Nora Disis and Mac Cheever, in the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network and participated in one of Mac’s developmental immunotherapy committees that led to the CITN RFA developed by the NCI. Within the CITN, she worked mainly on the IL-15 superagonist ALT-803, subsequently named N-803, and the group received an academic-industry award from the Melanoma Research Alliance in collaboration with Altor to run a Phase I trial in the CITN centers.
Dr. Margolin has reviewed grants for multiple organizations, missing only the NIH study sections, and including the Melanoma Research Alliance, the Melanoma Research Foundation, CPRIT, the Department of Defense, SU2C, AACR and SITC. Other service to SITC included two terms on the Board of Directors, most recently as secretary-treasurer—fortunately without any actual fiduciary responsibility—and as faculty for two years in the Young Investigator Immuno-Oncology Forum and faculty and several-times speaker for the annual Immunology Primer. Her other education roles have included associate directorship of the hematology-oncology fellowship at University of Washington in 2011-2014, and she completed a 6-year stint on the Medical Oncology Boards Committee in 2008.
Dr. Margolin has done academic service for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (including as Cancer Education Committee Chair in 2010 and FASCO designation in 2019), AACR committee member and faculty discussant, and a 5-year stint on the FDA’s Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee in 1994-2000. She has also worked for the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer, with a previous 3-year appointment on the Scientific Audit Committee and a current 6-year term on the Translational Research Advisory Committee.
She is currently the Medical Director of the Melanoma program at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California and remains active in the Cytokine Working Group, SWOG’s melanoma committee and Immuno-oncology Committee, several Data and Safety Monitoring Committees and other biotech consultancies, and internal collaborations with Dr. Maria Ascierto’s lab at Saint John’s Cancer Institute.