MUNICH, GERMANY (February 4, 2021) – The Mary Kay FoundationSM, a decades-long leader in the mission to eliminate cancers affecting women, is proud to announce the first recipient in Germany of the new International Postdoctoral Scholars in Cancer Research Fellowship. In collaboration with the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, U.S.A., the one-year postdoctoral fellowship is awarded to Dr. Sebastian Diegeler, PhD, a radiation biologist and immunologist from Germany.

Diegeler will join a team of other researchers in interdisciplinary collaboration and will himself focus on immune radiation and cancer biology and will be mentored by Dr. Todd Aguilera, a professor of Radiation Oncology at UT Southwestern in Dallas. Diegeler has extensive work experience in space radiation, radiation-induced cell-to-cell interactions, NF-kB signaling pathway, heavy ion and photon irradiation, DNA repair, molecular biology, cell biology, flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. The global postdoctoral grant will allow Diegeler the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge cancer research at both UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center and in Germany with a return grant.

“My research will focus on understanding the interaction of the tumor with immune cells in the microenvironment in order to facilitate supplemental treatment options for radiation therapy,” said Diegeler. “With support from The Mary Kay FoundationSM, I will be able to deepen my research, acquire new functional skills and help further academic knowledge in that sphere. I look forward to collaborating with the professors and researchers at the world-renowned cancer laboratory at the UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center and, in turn, contribute to their work with my knowledge and skills.”  

Diegeler will join fellow first-time recipients Ana Martin Vega, PhD, Spain, Natália Bernardes, PhD, Brazil, Shengyan Gao, PhD, China, and Lilian Texeira, PhD, Portugal in early 2021 in Dallas. The $500,000 grant will support the on-going fellowship research at UT Southwestern Medical Center, a premier academic medical center. The institution’s faculty includes many distinguished members, including six who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985.

“We are naturally thrilled to learn that our fellow countryman has been selected to join a very select and elite team of exceptional researchers from around the world to complete a year-long research program at this prestigious post-doctoral fellowship at UT Southwestern in Dallas,“ said Elke Kopp, General Manager of Mary Kay Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland. “By bringing some of the brightest minds in the world together, we are getting closer and closer to one day eradicating cancers affecting women.”

For more than two decades, The Mary Kay FoundationSM and UT Southwestern Medical Center have partnered in a continued commitment to find cures for cancers affecting women. The new program marks the first time the Foundation’s cancer research grants have been awarded globally.

“Our expanded partnership will allow advancements in cancer research to be shared on a global level and impact women on an even larger scale,” said Dr. Lucy Gildea, Chief Scientific Officer at Mary Kay Inc. “Together with the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are proud to continue our company’s long legacy of making the world a better place for women and their families.”

Since its establishment in 1996, The Mary Kay FoundationSM has awarded nearly $23 million to support the work of more than 235 top cancer researchers. For more information, visit



About The Mary Kay Foundation

Guided by Mary Kay Ash’s dream to enrich the lives of women everywhere, The Mary Kay FoundationSM raises and distributes funds to invest in breakthrough cancer research to find a cure for women-related cancers, and ending domestic violence against women. Since 1996, The Mary Kay FoundationSM has contributed more than $78 million to organizations aligned with its two-fold mission. In addition, the Foundation supports awareness initiatives, community outreach programs, and advocates for legislation to ensure women are healthy and safe. Together, we can make the world better for women. To learn more about how to educate, advocate, volunteer and donate, and join life-saving work to support and empower women, visit, find us on Facebook and Instagram, or follow us on Twitter.