In Brands, Insight

The Mary Kay Foundation was created in 1996 with the two-fold mission of funding women’s cancer research and ending domestic violence. Over the course of more than two decades, The Mary Kay Foundation has awarded more than $78 million to women’s shelters and domestic violence service providers, as well as cancer research programs and related causes throughout the United States.

The foundation recently announced a $500,000 grant to fund a groundbreaking global fellowship program with long-time partner UT Southwestern Medical Center. The new one-year fellowships will offer up to five international postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge cancer research at the world-renowned UT Southwestern facility in Dallas, and allow them to continue research activity in their native country.

“Mary Kay Ash, our founder, saw firsthand the impact that cancer had on our independent beauty consultants, their families, and women around the world,” said Ryan Rogers, board member of The Mary Kay Foundation and grandson of Mary Kay Ash. “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 Mary Kay Foundation has a long-standing partnership with UT Southwestern through a strong collaboration with Dr. Jerry W. Shay, cell biology professor at UT Southwestern and The Mary Kay Foundation Distinguished Professorship honoree. Dr. Shay has served as chair of the scientific review committee for The Mary Kay Foundation Innovative/Translational Cancer Research Grant Program in the US for the last 22 years, and will now serve as principal investigator over the new international fellowship program.

“Expanding the program internationally will allow us to focus on cancers that affect women the most,” said Dr. Shay. “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 supported Mary Kay Ash’s dedication to advocating on behalf of women and her vision of creating a cancer-free world. To date, The Mary Kay Foundation has awarded nearly $23 million to support the work of 225 top women-related cancer researchers across the US, funding efforts to search for cures for breast, uterine, cervical and ovarian cancers.

“Fighting cancer was personal for Mary Kay Ash,” said Dr. Gildea, Chief Scientific Officer at Mary Kay Inc. “And it’s personal to us. She would have been proud that we’re continuing her legacy of serving women on an even larger scale.”

This new grant program supports The Mary Kay Foundation’s continued commitment to ending women-related cancers around the world and marks the first time the Foundation’s cancer research grants program goes global.

Photo: via Mary Kay

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