UT Health San Antonio’s Dr. Jason Liu receives $100,000 grant from The Mary Kay Foundation

The Mary Kay Foundation on Oct. 22 announced that UT Health San Antonio is among its 2020 cancer grant recipients. The grants are awarded annually to top accredited research institutions in the United States conducting innovative translational research to better understand cancers that affect women.

Zhijie “Jason” Liu, PhD, assistant professor of molecular medicine in the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine and an investigator with the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson, will leverage the $100,000 Mary Kay Foundation grant to study estrogen receptor alpha (ERα), a biomarker of breast cancer. Dr. Liu is exploring the role of ERα cofactors that enable reprogramming of proteins during breast cancer progression, leading to hormone therapy resistance.

The Liu laboratory will use genome-wide approaches to uncover the key roles of these ERα cofactors. Next, lab members will target the cofactors with drug therapy to reverse resistance in breast cancer cells. This is expected to provide potential therapeutic insights for treating hormone-resistant cancers.

The Mary Kay Foundation has provided $30 million for cancer programs and services since 1996, including grants to support innovative cancer research and clinical trials to find a cure for cancers affecting women.

After a review of nearly 75 applications by The Mary Kay Foundation Research Review Committee, $100,000 grants were awarded to 10 cancer research institutions including UT Health San Antonio.

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