Russell Witt

Witt, Russell Gardner

Primary Appointment

Assistant Professor of Surgery, Surgery


  • M.A.S., Advanced Studies in Clinical Research, University of California Davis
  • M.D., Medicine, University of California Davis

Contact Information

1240 Lee St.
Charlottesville, Virginia 22908

Research Disciplines

Biology, Cancer Biology, Experimental Pathology, Immunology, Metabolism, Translational Science

Research Interests

Unraveling the Role of Obesity, Diet, and Lifestyle Factors in Melanoma Progression and Treatment Efficacy

Research Description

Despite advancements in melanoma treatment with immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) and BRAF-targeted therapy, 40-65% of metastatic melanoma patients do not survive beyond five years. An observed 'obesity paradox' shows improved survival in obese melanoma patients treated with ICB or BRAF/MEKi. My lab investigates the role of adipokines released from fat cells in melanoma progression and treatment response. Using murine models, we aim to understand the mechanism underlying the obesity paradox and to identify new therapeutic targets for enhancing melanoma treatment.

Selected Publications