Women’s Health Research at UCLA Gets $5M Boost

A donation by Nancy and Howard Marks will create an endowed chair in women's health research at UCLA.
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Published on March 20, 2023
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  • Nancy and Howard Marks donated $5 million to UCLA to establish the Nancy Marks endowed chair in women's health research.
  • Dr. Beth Karlan will be the inaugural chair.
  • Karlan is known for her ovarian cancer research.

Women's health research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is getting a boost this Women's History Month.

UCLA this month announced that philanthropists Nancy and Howard Marks donated $5 million to establish the Nancy Marks endowed chair in women's health research.

Dr. Beth Karlan, a UCLA professor of obstetrics and gynecology and the department's vice chair of women's health research, will serve as the first chair.

"Beth Karlan is the ideal physician-researcher to lead new investigations and mentor others for this vital work," Nancy Marks said in a statement. "Beth continues to treat and prevent cancer in families that may have otherwise been ravaged by genetic cancers. Her compassion and creativity make her uniquely suited for this work."

Karlan is known for her decades of expertise on ovarian cancer and other gynecologic malignancies, according to her UCLA health profile.

"Dr. Karlan is a pioneer in the use of cancer genetics to inform treatment decisions, improve survival and quality of life, and empower families with elevated genetic risk factors to take informed action," Dr. Steven Dubinett, interim dean of the Geffen School of Medicine, said in a statement. "She led the creation of a tumor biorepository for gynecologic cancers, which continues to prove critical to advancing our understanding of hereditary cancers."

The funding from the endowment will allow Karlan to continue her cancer research, support new research studies, and mentor OB-GYN fellows, according to UCLA.