IRVINGTON, N.Y., Aug. 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MELA Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:MELA), developer of the MelaFind ® system, an optical diagnostic device approved for use in the U.S. and the European Union to assist dermatologists in melanoma diagnosis, today announced it has named Michael R. Stewart to its board of directors effective immediately. Mr. Stewart is an independent director. Jeffrey O'Donnell, Chairman of the Board of MELA Sciences, commented, "I worked closely with Mike at PhotoMedex and witnessed his execution of a successful reimbursement program for the XTRAC ® laser in the dermatology market. Michael's addition to the MELA board will be of tremendous benefit to the company particularly as we navigate the course for obtaining insurance reimbursement for physician's use of the MelaFind system." Mr. Stewart served as president, chief executive officer and board member of NASDAQ-traded Surgical Laser Technologies, Inc. from 1999 until its sale in 2002 to global medical device and skin health company PhotoMedex. During his tenure as CEO of Surgical Laser, Mr. Stewart led all executive and internal operations, successfully transforming the company from a product sales model to a service model driving revenue and profit growth that positioned Surgical Laser Technologies for its ultimate sale to PhotoMedex, Inc. Post-acquisition and during his continuing tenure with PhotoMedex, Mr. Stewart has held the positions of chief operating officer and executive vice president and has led the domestic and international sales organizations, marketing, product development and engineering, manufacturing and service operations. He successfully developed and executed a reimbursement strategy for the company's flagship dermatology product that resulted in the issuance of new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and reimbursement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and coverage policies with virtually all major insurance companies. "I welcome the opportunity to join the MELA Sciences Board of Directors and look forward to contributing to the initiatives that will be part of the company's strategy for growing the company and realizing the full potential of the MELA technology for early detection and prevention of skin cancer," said Mr. Stewart.