Athena Distinguished Professorship of Breast Cancer Research
The Athena Distinguished Professorship of Breast Cancer Research was established in 2013 to enhance the University of Washington’s ability to recruit and retain distinguished faculty in breast cancer research. The professorship was funded by the Athena Partners Foundation, founded by breast cancer survivor and entrepreneur Trish May.
In addition to this professorship, the Athena Partners Foundation also established the Athena Endowed Award for Excellence in Breast Cancer Research, an annual award that will recognize a researcher who made the greatest contribution toward advancing breast cancer research.
Following Ms. May’s breast cancer diagnosis and recovery, she dedicated herself to raising awareness and funds to advance breast cancer research. Inspired by UW Medicine breast cancer researchers and physicians, Ms. May wanted to create a resource that would provide a meaningful contribution to support their outstanding work.
In 2002, Ms. May founded the not-for-profit company Athena Partners®, named for the Greek goddess of wisdom and strength. Adopting the business model of her hero, Paul Newman, Ms. May created Athena® bottled water to raise awareness and funds with every purchase, every day. In 2010, Ms. May partnered with DS Waters of America, a leading producer of bottled water brands, to expand the Athena® brand nationwide. Purchases of Athena® water by millions of consumers and businesses throughout the country helped make the Athena Distinguished Professorship of Breast Cancer Research and the Athena Endowed Award for Excellence in Breast Cancer Research possible.
These endowments will provide an enduring legacy of Athena® and the power of one person, working together with others, to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.
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