Mary Kay Foundation Awards UTSW $500K Grant to Find Cures for Women-Related Cancers

The one-year fellowships will support up to five international postdoctoral researchers in conducting cutting-edge cancer research at UT Southwestern in Dallas.

cancer Mary Kay

The Mary Kay Foundation announced last week that it has given a $500,000 grant to fund a groundbreaking global cancer research program with UT Southwestern Medical Center, a longtime partner of the foundation.

The program will consist of one-year fellowships providing backing for up to five international postdoctoral researchers, giving them the chance to conduct cutting-edge cancer research at UT Southwestern in Dallas and to continue their work in their native countries, the foundation said in a release.

The Dallas-based foundation said the new grant program supports its ongoing commitment to ending women-related cancers around the world. It is the first time the foundation’s cancer research grants program has gone global.

“Mary Kay Ash, our founder, saw firsthand the impact that cancer had on our independent beauty consultants, their families, and women around the world,” Ryan Rogers, board member of The Mary Kay Foundation and grandson of Mary Kay Ash, said in a statement. “It became a mission for her to eradicate cancers affecting women. Our expanded partnership with UT Southwestern will allow us to continue that lifesaving work on a global scale.”

The foundation has long history fighting women-related cancers

The foundation has had a longstanding partnership with UT Southwestern through a collaboration with Dr. Jerry W. Shay, a cell biology professor and The Mary Kay Foundation Distinguished Professorship honoree. 

Shay has served as chair of the scientific review committee for The Mary Kay Foundation Innovative/Translational Cancer Research Grant Program in the U.S. for the past 22 years and now will serve as principal investigator over the new international fellowship program, the foundation said.

“Expanding the program internationally will allow us to focus on cancers that affect women the most,” Shay said in a statement. “We plan to identify a group of dedicated postdoctoral candidates from around the globe, invite them to Dallas, and equip them with all the tools and resources they need to continue their groundbreaking research in our outstanding cancer lab. Their work could have a tremendous impact on how we understand and treat cancers around the world.”

Since its establishment in 1996 The Mary Kay Foundation has awarded nearly $23 million to support the work of 225 top women-related cancer researchers across the nation. It has funded research into cures for breast, uterine, cervical and ovarian cancers.

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