LISBON, PORTUGAL (February 4, 2021) – On this World Cancer Day, The Mary Kay Foundation, a decades-long leader in the mission to eliminate cancers affecting women, is proud to announce the first recipient in Portugal 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. Liliana Patrícia Reis Teixeira, PhD, a radiation biologist and biophysicist from Costa de Caparica, Portugal.

The global postdoctoral grant will allow Teixeira the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge cancer research at both UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center and in Portugal with a return grant. Her work will focus on molecular and cellular biology, cultivation of microorganisms, protein characterization, electrochemistry and NMR spectroscopy. She will be mentored by Dr. Elizabeth Goldsmith, Ph.D in the Department of Biophysics at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

“My main goal in my professional life is to follow an academic career,” said Teixeira. “I am highly interested in the commitment of the Mary Kay Foundation to eradicate women-related cancers. The dedication on the study of triple-negative breast cancer is of great importance for women affected by this disease, and I want to be part of the mission to find the best prognosis, treatment, and cure. Furthermore, I have always dreamt about conducting scientific research in the United States of America, especially in such a highly regarded laboratory.”  

Teixeira will join a team of other researchers in interdisciplinary collaboration alongside first-time recipients Ana Martin Vega, PhD, Spain, Natália Bernardes, PhD, Brazil, Sebastian Diegeler, Ph.D, Germany, and Shengyan Gao, PhD, China, 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 extremely proud of Dr. Liliana Teixeira to have been selected to join a very select and elite team of bright and gifted researchers from around the world to complete a year-long research program with the renowned post-doctoral fellowship at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas,“ said Sandra Silva, General Manager of Mary Kay Portugal. “Grand funding is critical in advancing cancer research, and these young and talented researchers give us hope that some day in the not far future, there will be cures against 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.