February 25, 2008

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The International SPA Association Foundation expands its educational endowment opportunities with the new Dr. Howard Murad Research Grant. Named in honor of one of the country’s foremost authorities on the science of skin health, the Dr. Howard Murad Research Grant offers financial assistance to those conducting research that addresses Cultural Stress, its effects, and ways to manage it.

“We are working harder than ever before, sleeping less, eating on the run and living stress-filled lives. Therefore, the research that will be gathered from the Dr. Howard Murad Research Grant is critical to overall health and well-being,” said ISPA Foundation President Edwin Neill III.

“Cultural Stress is distinguishable in that it is all pervasive and cumulative. Mentally and emotionally disruptive, Cultural Stress plays havoc on physical well-being,” explained Dr. Murad. “It is a societal crisis; some researchers believe responsible for 90 percent of health problems experienced, including heart disease, cancer and lung ailments. We don’t pay enough attention to the amount of damage each daily instance of stress has on the body. Each stressor alone is relatively insignificant, but when these individual stressors become frequent patterns, our health deteriorates.”

The grant will be used to research the following topics related to cultural stress:

  • Technology overload
  • Overworking and lack of purposeful work
  • Inadequate nutrition
  • Isolation from friends
  • Stress occurring in people of all ages

Grant recipients will receive $1,500 USD toward research, as well as registration, airfare, and hotel accommodations for the 2008 ISPA Conference and Expo, Nov. 10-13, in Las Vegas. Interested candidates may review terms and conditions for the grant and apply online at after mid-April.

About the ISPA Foundation

Created in 1999 to serve the educational and research needs of the spa industry through endowments, curriculum development and scholarships, the ISPA Foundation is the nonprofit 501(c)3 arm of ISPA. The ISPA Foundation’s mission is to improve and enhance the value of the spa experience while supporting its vision of sustainable health and well-being through the advancement of spa culture. For more information on the ISPA Foundation and opportunities for involvement, please visit

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