Melissa Juried Kriebel
New York-based cosmetics brand Estee Lauder will be funding an annual fellowship at the University of California–Irvine (UCI) to study how the environment and human behavior–such as smoking and sleep–affect our genes, also known as epigenetics.
According to Dr. Michael J. Stamos, dean of the UCI School of Medicine, the fellowship will enable Ph.D. candidates to engage in “path breaking” research in the field.
“We look forward to the deeply impactful discoveries that will take shape through the Estée Lauder Epigenetics Fellowship,” Stamos said in an Oct. 24 statement.
According to UCI, the fellowship will expand upon previous collaborations between the cosmetics company and the late Paolo Sassone-Corsi Ph.D., the director of UCI’s Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism before his death several years ago.
Dr. Nadine Pernodet, Estee Lauder’s senior vice president of biosciences, said Corsi’s research helped the company understand how epigenetics affects the way skin ages.
“This fellowship is in honor of Paolo and the collaboration between our labs and demonstrates our commitment to his work and the brilliant students who will continue to deepen our understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind aging,” Pernodet said in the school’s statement.
Previously, Corsi’s work had “inspired” Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair face serum,a product marketed to reduce the appearance of aging on customers, according to the statement.
Now, Estee Lauder says it wants to continue with school researchers Corsi’s over three decades of work in the field to better understand how our cells age.
Applications for the fellowship will open in the spring, with the first fellow expected to be selected for the start of the 2023–2024 academic year.