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Mary Kay Awards Grants to Aspiring Young Scientists

High school students at the Regeneron Science and Engineering Fair recognized for their work in sustainable packaging, resource conservation, cancer and more.

Mary Kay Inc. recently awarded three grants to five standout high school scientists selected from nearly 2,000 participants representing almost 70 countries at the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles, CA. 

The grants—totaling nearly $10,000—were awarded to students with innovative projects focused on finding cures for cancers affecting women, sustainable packaging innovation, and protecting our planet’s most valuable resources.

ISEF, a program of Society for Science for more than 70 years, is the among world’s largest global science competitions for high school students. Students selected for this event are offered the opportunity to compete for approximately $9 million in awards and scholarships.

“These future STEM leaders demonstrated innovative research, creative solutions, and novel approaches to complex problems that will directly impact cures for cancer, sustainable business practices, and redefine industry norms,” said Kristin Dasaro, director, package engineering and sustainability at Mary Kay. “We have so much to learn from this next generation and Mary Kay is honored to support them in their STEM journeys.”

Prize-Winning Student Projects reco

First prize went to Keshvee Sekhda and Nyambura Sallinen, Georgia, for their IdentiCan. The app detects brain, breast, lung, skin, and pancreatic cancer. This app utilizes AI technology to identify cancerous tumors with 99.6% accuracy.

Second prize went to Madalena Filipe and Frederico Mauritty of Lisbon, Portugal, for their HidroQapa. The waterproof bioplastic—made from chitosan extracted from shrimp shell waste—creates sustainable, biodegradable materials from crustacean shells, helping to reduce waste and environmental pollution.

Third prize was awarded to Carolina de Araujo Pereira da Silva, Rio de Janeiro, for her Rock the Metals!, which investigates manganese as a trigger of malignancy and metal transporters as targets in cancer treatment. Research provides how metals and their transporters affect cancer cell behavior for novel therapeutic cancer treatments.

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