passedVariable: science


MD Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Mills Laboratory, Houston, Texas

Investing in Science

Lyda Hill believes “science is the answer.” The Lyda Hill Foundation invests in scientific projects that fall into four areas of focus:

  • Research

    We invest in projects we believe are on the cutting edge of advancing scientific discovery. It is our belief that as government funding for basic research is declining, it is more critical than ever to fund bench- and early-stage discovery science. While we will look broadly, we favor projects and organizations that work in our preferred geographic and interest areas (such as neurosciences or cancer). We aim to make investments that encourage collaboration, take calculated risks, and seek to solve big problems. We are willing to fund and support early stage and emerging science and scientists. We make these investments through both, our for-profit (LH Holdings, Inc.) and nonprofit ventures.

  • Education

    Because we believe most problems will be solved by science, we must significantly increase scientific literacy among our students, our communities, our agencies, and our nation. We invest in organizations committed to creating a workforce for the future by inspiring students to pursue careers in science.

  • Direct Services

    With the big picture in mind, we also believe in investing in the organizations that provide critical direct services in our community. These services include medical care, family support, and mental health services.

  • Systemic Change

    As we invest in project and issue-specific causes, we also recognize that transformational change comes from studying, understanding, and driving significant change at a broad and systemic level. We invest in organizations and partners that are driving change at the national level and on the global stage that will have a lasting and sustainable impact in the areas we are passionate about.

  • “Do your givin’ while you’re livin’… then you’ll be knowin’ where it’s goin’.”

  • “The best philanthropy is constantly in search of the finalities
    – a search for a cause, an attempt to cure evils at their source.”

  • “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

  • “The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life.”

  • “The proper aim of giving is to put the recipients in a state where they no longer need our gifts.”

  • “Philanthropy is the practice of applying assets of knowledge, passion and wealth to bring about constructive change.”

  • “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

  • “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

  • “Philanthropy is almost the only virtue which is sufficiently appreciated by mankind.”

  • “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

  • “A man’s true wealth is the good he does in this world.”

  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

  • “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

  • “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

Program Highlights in Science

  • MD Anderson Moon Shots Program
    MD Anderson Moon Shots Program

    Lyda Hill’s passionate belief that “science is the answer” motivated her to take action, making a grant to the MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Moon Shots Program. The Moon Shots Program is comprised of six teams of MD Anderson researchers and clinicians, with a focus on researching eight cancers:

    • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)/myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
    • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
    • Melanoma
    • Lung cancer
    • Prostate cancer, and
    • Triple-negative breast and high-grade serous ovarian cancers.

    The ultimate goal of the program is to apply knowledge gained from this research process to all cancers. Moon Shot efforts will help support all other cancer research at MD Anderson, providing improved resources and infrastructure.

  • UT Southwestern Medical Center – Genetic Mutations Database Project
    UT Southwestern Medical Center – Genetic Mutations Database Project

    The UTSW Medical Center’s Genetic Mutations Database Project is a ground-breaking effort to create and archive as many as 4,000 genetic mutations each week. Led by Nobel Laureate Bruce Beutler, M.D., Dr. Beutler’s work makes use of a novel technology known as massively parallel short-read sequencing, and utilizes newly designed computational tools within a laboratory structured with this specific goal in mind.

    The deep understanding of immune function derived from this work will open new windows into many areas of biology, such as immunology, inflammatory disease, and cancer. The tools created in the study will be the basis for a great deal of scientific inquiry by UT Southwestern’s Center for Genetics of Host Defense, and in other laboratories at UT Southwestern and elsewhere. This revolutionary project is expected to bring important advances to human health in many fields.

    Lyda’s fascination with science and medical research inspired her to grant UTSW Medical Center the funds needed to get the genetic mutations database project off the ground.

  • Perot Museum of Nature and Science
    Perot Museum of Nature and Science

    The Perot Museum of Nature and Science’s mission is to “inspire minds through nature and science.” The Perot Museum of Nature and Science located in Victory Park, near Downtown Dallas is said to be a “world of wonder” by The Dallas Morning News. Passing the test of school children, inspiring curiosity in all ages and boasting as a living science lesson, this new Museum opened its doors to the public on December 1, 2012, and has already seen over 2.5M visitors.

    There are still trillions of stars to identify. Millions of diseases to cure. Countless dinosaurs to uncover. Who will seek out these unknowns? We need the Perot Museum of Nature and Science now more than ever to inspire our children to be the scientific leaders of tomorrow.

    The Perot Museum exposes our children to a world of ideas and concepts in science, math and technology, all within one spectacular location. By offering hands-on ways to learn about scientific evidence, mathematical concepts and natural history, the Museum will profoundly affect what and how our kids experience science and nature

    Lyda Hill’s gift to the Perot Museum was allocated to the overall construction, design, and endowment of the museum, as well as the development of the science and educational programs and exhibits.

  • Visiting Nurse Association of Texas
    Visiting Nurse Association of Texas

    The Visiting Nurse Association of Texas helps people live with dignity and independence at home. VNA provides the highest quality care across North Texas, especially for those with no place to turn and no means to pay. VNA was chartered as a nonprofit to address the need for home healthcare in the midst of the Depression.

    A grant provided by Lyda Hill is approved to be used where most needed, including support services such as Meals on Wheels, Hospice Care, and Private Care.

  • The Pew Charitable Trusts – Antibiotics Project
    The Pew Charitable Trusts – Antibiotics Project

    Antibiotic overuse in agriculture and human medicine, combined with a diminished pipeline of new drugs, have contributed to an increase in resistance and a rising threat to human health. Pew has made significant advances in addressing some of the most pressing needs to combat antibiotic resistance.

    Lyda Hill has shown her support of Pew’s efforts by making a grant to the Antibiotics Project, which concentrates its efforts on developing and supporting policies that will spur innovation of new antibiotics to fight infections today and in the future.

Other Science Grantees

This is a list of representative beneficiaries and should not be considered all inclusive.

  • Visiting Nurse Association

  • Parkland Hospital

  • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

  • Pew Charitable Trust

  • Reasoning Mind

  • The Hockaday School

  • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

  • The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute for Texas

  • Center for Brain Health

  • UT Southwestern Medical Center

  • University of Colorado - Colorado Springs

  • M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

  • National Geographic Society