© 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd In this perspective, we identify emerging frontiers in clinical and basic research of melanocyte biology and its associated biomedical disciplines. We describe challenges and opportunities in clinical and basic research of normal and diseased melanocytes that impact current approaches to research in melanoma and the dermatological sciences. We focus on four themes: (1) clinical melanoma research, (2) basic melanoma research, (3) clinical dermatology, and (4) basic pigment cell research, with the goal of outlining current highlights, challenges, and frontiers associated with pigmentation and melanocyte biology. Significantly, this document encapsulates important advances in melanocyte and melanoma research including emerging frontiers in melanoma immunotherapy, medical and surgical oncology, dermatology, vitiligo, albinism, genomics and systems biology, epidemiology, pigment biophysics and chemistry, and evolution.