Go Back


DALLAS, TX (June 23, 2022) – Mary Kay Inc., a global leader in skin care innovation, recently sponsored and revealed its inaugural Mary Kay Skin Health/Skin Disease Research Grants awardees for researchers conducting groundbreaking, innovative studies in skin health and skin disease at the 2022 Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) Annual Meeting.

“As a decades-long leader in global cosmetics and skincare innovation, Mary Kay remains committed to enriching women’s lives across the world. We also have a steadfast commitment to producing the highest quality products and conducting breakthrough skin science research. We recognize collaboration is crucial to new discoveries, and partnerships with scientific, medical, and academic communities are vital collaborations—which is why we’re thrilled to award these scientific grants.”

Dr. Lucy Gildea, Mary Kay Chief Innovation Officer, Product and Science

The Mary Kay Skin Health/Skin Disease Research Grants were announced at last year’s meeting in partnership with SID. The $25,000 grants were to be awarded to four researchers conducting incredible work in skin research to uncover new perspectives and invention strategies. In the months following the 2021 SID meeting, the company received applications from scientists across the country.

The four grant awardees ultimately selected were:

  • Dr. Allison C. Billi, MD, PhD, and Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Dermatology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Billi’s primary research goal is to understand “what drives photoaging.” The grant will fund research to identify targetable pathways that help prevent or potentially reverse the effects of photoaging.
  • Dr. Angel S. Byrd, MD, PhD and Assistant Professor at Howard University College of Medicine and Adjunct Assistant Professor at JHUSOM (Departments of Dermatology). Dr. Byrd’s work focuses on the genetic basis of melasma. This grant will fund research to help discover unknown genetic causes of melasma to design personalized treatment options.
  • Dr. Mae Alexandra Carpenter, PhD Trainee at Wright State University.  Dr. Carpenter’s work explores how damaged DNA-containing particles are released and how they activate inflammatory pathways. Funding this research will help develop new therapeutic approaches to reduce UVB photosensitivity in autoinflammatory diseases.
  • Dr. Jennifer Powers, MD and Clinical Associate Professor in the Dept of Dermatology at the University of Iowa. Dr. Powers is interested in the influence of the microbiome and the healing environment on wound healing and scar formation. Funding for this research will help understand how the immune system and microbiota interact to modify scar formation from ulcers and surgical wounds.

“Congratulations to each of our 2022 grant award recipients,” added Dr. Gildea. “These individuals were carefully chosen in collaboration with the Society for Investigative Dermatology—and we are thrilled to support their research.”

The sponsorship and grants revealed at SID are just the latest efforts by Mary Kay to reinforce the company’s long-standing commitment to advancing skin health research and development. Mary Kay holds more than 1,600 patents for products, technologies and packaging designs in its global portfolio.

About Mary Kay

One of the original glass ceiling breakers, Mary Kay Ash founded her dream beauty company in 1963 with one goal: enriching women’s lives. That dream has blossomed into a multibillion-dollar company with millions of independent sales force members in nearly 40 countries. As an entrepreneurship development company, Mary Kay is committed to empowering women on their journey to economic independence through education, mentorship, advocacy, networking, and innovation. Mary Kay is dedicated to investing in the science behind beauty and manufacturing cutting-edge skincare, color cosmetics, nutritional supplements, and fragrances. Mary Kay believes in enriching lives today for a sustainable tomorrow, partnering with organizations from around the world focusing on promoting business excellence, supporting cancer research, advancing gender equality, protecting survivors from domestic abuse, beautifying our communities, and encouraging children to follow their dreams. Learn more at marykayglobal.com, find us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter.