American Cancer Society launches women-led research campaign in Ann Arbor

The American Cancer Society launches its ResearcHERS campaign at The Kensington Hotel in Ann Arbor on May 1, 2019. (Credit: Chuck Colby and Amanda Bosherz)

ANN ARBOR – The American Cancer Society launched its new women-led initiative, ResearcHERS: Women Fighting Cancer, on May 1. 

In a reception at The Kensington Hotel, the organization introduced its campaign ambassadors, who include influencers and leaders from across Michigan who will raise funds and awareness for women's contributions in the fight against cancer.

Dr. Beth Lawlor, of Michigan Medicine's Rogel Cancer Center, and Kara Grasso, of DENSO International America Inc., are the campaign's co-chairs. 

The campaign's ambassadors include:

  • Kristine Adams, general manager, AFC Ann Arbor women’s team 
  • Kim Barnes Arico, head coach, University of Michigan women’s basketball team
  • Kaitlin Basham, post doctoral research fellow, University of Michigan
  • Joni Bradley, president/CEO, JB Ashtin
  • Kathryn Burkholder, community affairs manager, Consumer’s Energy
  • Lisa Dempsey, realtor, Keller Williams Realty
  • Debbie Dingell, U.S. Rep.
  • Cathi Duchon, retired CEO, Ann Arbor YMCA
  • Stefanie Galban, assistant professor, Center for Molecular Imaging, University of Michigan 
  • Joan Gargaro, research specialist, University of Michigan
  • Dr. Kathleen Gilmore, founder, Procerus Skin Care
  • Priya Gogoi, co-founder, Celsee Inc. 
  • Winnie Ip, vice president, HumanTech
  • Carey Jernigan, principal, ReGroup
  • Melissa Joy, founder, Pearl Planning
  • Veronica Marsich, board member, Women’s Global Leadership Initiative
  • KT Maviglia-Morgan, director of brand marketing, the Jordan Morgan Foundation
  • Kristin Pedersen, business and media development manager, The Kensington Hotel
  • Tiffany Porter, doctor of pharmacy, pharmacist and Olympian
  • Diane M. Robins, business and media development manager, University of Michigan
  • Julia Teahen, professor of leadership and management, Baker College
  • Megan Torrance, CEO, TorranceLearning
  • Nazmiye Yapici, PhD, principal scientist, Stabilux Biosciences
  • Christina York, CEO and founder, Spellbound
  • Emily McGuire, owner and chief email marketer, Flourish & Grit
The American Cancer Society launches its ResearcHERS campaign at The Kensington Hotel in Ann Arbor on May 1, 2019. (Credit: Chuck Colby and Amanda Bosherz)


Each ambassador has committed to raising at least $2,500 this month.

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The American Cancer Society has contributed $4.8 billion to cancer research since its initial program was founded in 1946. Around half of its current grantees are women, and the ACS has funded more than 80 women scientists in Ann Arbor alone.

A panelist at the launch event, Dr. Grace Chen, recalled receiving her first ACS grant and the difference it made in her research and career.

"My first grant when I started my lab was from the American Cancer Society," said Chen, "and, it came at a very critical point in my career. I had limited funds to grow my lab, so the money that I got from the American Cancer Society allowed me to take some risks that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I didn’t have these funds, to test new ideas, and make scientific discoveries this way. It also gave me resources to allow me to collaborate with other labs, which is very important in making advances in scientific research."

According to a press release, "ACS ResearcHERS supports all cancer types and ages. The Society has a rigorous peer-review process to fund the most exceptional applications, regardless of cancer type, or gender of the applicant. Once the best research has been identified for funding, ResearcHERS funds will then be applied to women-led grants."

For more information about the campaign or to donate, visit

About the ACS
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. For more information, go to

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