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International Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center Kicks Off Second Year of Grants and Provides Researchers with Groundbreaking Cancer Research Opportunities

MADRID, SPAIN (February 2, 2022) – The Mary Kay Ash FoundationSM, a decades-long leader in the mission to eliminate cancers affecting women, is proud to announce the second recipient from Spain of the 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 two-year postdoctoral fellowship kicked off its second year by awarding Dr. Maria del Rosario Chica Parrado, a post-doctoral student biologist from Málaga, Spain with a research grant.

The global postdoctoral grant will allow Parrado the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge cancer research at both UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center and in her home country Spain with a return grant. Her work will focus on breast cancer molecular biology, treatment response prediction and identification of molecular alterations during treatment. She will be mentored by Carlos Arteaga, M.D., Director of the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and Associate Dean of Oncology Programs at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

“I am thrilled to be the recipient of this fellowship generously provided by the Mary Kay Ash FoundationSM to allow me to contribute to the groundbreaking work being conducted at UT Southwestern Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. I am honored to be working alongside some of the world’s brightest and most innovative minds in order to not only learn and advance in the career I’m passionate about, but to make impactful contributions to my field of research. The return grant allows me to take what I have learned back to my home country and continue my efforts to improve lives in my community.”  

Dr. Maria del Rosario Chica Parrado, a post-doctoral student biologist from Málaga, Spain

To date, eight international fellows have been awarded grants and are currently in Dallas, Texas pursuing their studies in mentor labs at the world-renowned UT Southwestern Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. This fall, Parrado will join the incoming 2021-2022 grant recipients in Dallas (Hong-Yi Liu, Ph.D. from China and Ms. Malini Rethnam from Singapore) in interdisciplinary collaboration. Current and previous recipients include: Ana Martin Vega, Ph.D, Spain, Natália Bernardes, Ph.D, Brazil, Sebastian Diegeler, Ph.D, Germany, Liliana Teixeira, Ph.D., Portugal and Shengyan Gao, Ph.D, China.

The $500,000 grant will support the ongoing 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 bursting with excitement at the news that Dr. Maria del Rosario Chica Parrado has been selected to join a very select and elite team of bright and gifted researchers from around the world to complete a two-year research fellowship. She is the second researcher from Spain to receive this honor. It makes us very proud that Spanish women researchers are being recognized for their talent and knowledge and for helping to find cures for cancers affecting women.”

Gema Aznar, General Manager of Mary Kay Spain

For more than two decades, The Mary Kay Ash FoundationSM and UT Southwestern Medical Center have partnered in a continued commitment to find cures for cancers affecting women. The grant program marks the second year the Foundation’s cancer research grants have been awarded globally. Since 1996, The Mary Kay Ash FoundationSM has awarded more than $25 million to support the work of more than 250 top cancer researchers. For more information, visit marykayfoundation.org.

About The Mary Kay Ash Foundation Guided by Mary Kay Ash’s dream to enrich the lives of women everywhere, The Mary Kay Ash 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 Ash FoundationSM has contributed more than $80 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 marykayfoundation.org, find us on Facebook and Instagram, or follow us on Twitter.