For the past 23 years, the Mary Kay Foundation has donated nearly $23 million to more than 200 women-related cancer research programs across the country.
This year marks an exciting and important new chapter for the foundation’s commitment to cancer research because Mary Kay is taking its efforts global.
The Foundation announced that it is awarding its long-time partner UT Southwestern Medical Center a $500,000 global research grant for funding efforts to search for cures for breast, uterine, cervical and ovarian cancers.
The funds will be used to create a new international program offering 5-7 postdoctoral candidates from across the globe the opportunity to conduct groundbreaking cancer research at their world-renowned facility located in Dallas.
“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 UT Southwestern global partnership was created with the help of Dr. Jerry W. Shay, a cell biology professor at UT Southwestern and partner of the Mary Kay Foundation for over 20 years. Dr. Shay will oversee the program and support the fellows.
“Expanding the program internationally will allow us to focus on cancers that affect women the most,” Shay said. “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.”
After the one-year fellowship, candidates will receive funding to allow them to continue research activity in their home country.
The international expansion to the Mary Kay Foundation’s cancer research program allows the program to focus on women and prioritize cancer research globally, not just in the U.S.
The work done by the group could have a huge impact on how we understand and treat cancers around the world.
“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.”