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Mary Kay Foundation Awards Grant to Wash U

The grant will fund innovative cancer research.

A mother. A sister. A daughter. For every three women, one will develop some type of cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.

To combat this sobering statistic and to continue its steadfast mission to support research of cancers affecting women, the Mary Kay Foundation awarded grants to 13 respected doctors and medical scientists nationwide. Each grant provides crucial funding in the amount of $100,000 for a total of $1.3 million.

One of the 13 grants awarded this year fuels new research at Washington University School of Medicine.  

Barry Sleckman, MD, Ph.D., a professor of pathology and immunology, and his team are researching an innovative approach to screen and identify inhibitors of DNA repair that will specifically target repair in cancer cells but not normal tissues. 

“These compounds could be used to treat patients with cancer to make their tumors, not their normal tissues, more susceptible to therapies such as ionizing radiation,” said Professor Sleckman. “The grant from The Mary Kay Foundation has enabled the work needed to establish the feasibility of the screening approach and will allow us to apply for NIH funding to screen a large library of chemical compounds.”

The grants are awarded annually to fund innovative research at medical schools recommended by The Mary Kay Foundation research review committee, which is composed of prominent doctors who volunteer their time to help the foundation select the best recipients across the nation. After reviewing these recommendations, the board of directors carefully selects the grant recipients.

“We are committed to eliminating cancers affecting women by supporting top medical scientists who are searching for a cure for breast, uterine, cervical and ovarian cancers,” said Jennifer Cook, executive director of the Mary Kay museum and board of directors for The Mary Kay Foundation. “Providing options to women who are suffering from cancer and saving their lives brings us one step closer to eliminating cancer. The best part of my job is learning about the women we have helped through cancer, like Independent Beauty Consultant Betty Savoretti and her daughter, Alisa, who are both cancer survivors.”

For a full list of grant recipients, visit marykayfoundation.org.

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