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Historical Resources Center: Rare Books: Making Cancer History Voices Oral History Collection

Collection material from the MD Anderson Historical Resources Center

About this collection

The Making Cancer History® Voices Oral History Collection documents the history of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Personal interviews with the men and women of M.D. Anderson who dedicated their work to eliminating cancer provide unique insights into a host of important social, medical, political, and scientific developments related to cancer. The goal of the project is to tell the story of the many facets of the birth of oncology as a medical discipline; the emergency and evolution of surgery, diagnostic radiology, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy; the rise of nursing oncology; the impact of genetics and molecular biology on medical research; and cancer's place in the evolution of public health policy. The relative youth of MD Anderson, which belies its seminal role in the history, means that it's present and recently retired faculty and staff are only one generation removed from the pioneers. Today their voices have been captured. Their side by side experiences with the pioneers recalled, recorded, and made available to everyone.

Interview sessions without a link are forthcoming.

Interviews are best accessed using Firefox, Chrome or Safari.

This site has just gone live and we appreciate any reports of difficulties accessing the interviews. Please contact Javier Garza at jjgarza@mdanderson.org or 713-792-2285.

 To search the interviews click here.

Interview Subjects, A-F

Michael Ahearn, PhD (deceased 2016) (link)

Interviewed: 2011

Primary appt: Department of Laboratory Medicine

Research: Ultrastructural Pathology, leukemia

Admin: Dean, School of Allied Health Professions (1987 – 2011)

 

 

Raymond Alexanian, MD (ret.) (link)

Interviewed:2014

Primary appt: Department of Myeloma/Lymphoma

Research: stem cells, erythropoietin; combination therapies for myeloma; transplant supported chemotherapy; thalidomide.

Admin: Chief of Section, Myeloma (1998−2004).

 

 

Ralph Arlinghaus, PhD

Interviewed:2014

Primary appt: Department of Translational Molecular Pathology

Research: Molecular pathology: genetic and molecular mechanisms and leukemia

Admin: Built Department of Molecular Pathology

 

 

The Honorable James A. Baker, III; Former Secretary of State; Member, Board of Visitors

Interviewed:2012

MDA relationship: family gave estate, “The Oaks,” site of first MD Anderson hospital; member, Board of Visitors (1974 - ); inducted to Anderson Assembly (2009); personal donations to MD Anderson.

 

 

Robert Bast, MD (link)

Interviewed:2014

Primary appt: Department of Experimental Therapeutics

Research: translational research, ovarian and breast cancer; biomarkers for early detection; drug sensitivities; monoclonal antibodies; CA125 biomarker; ARHI tumor suppressor gene.

Admin: Head, Division of Medicine (1994 – 2000); Vice President, Office of Translational Research (2000 - ).

 

 

Robert Benjamin, MD (link)

Interviewed:2015/2015

Primary appt: Department of Sarcoma Medical Oncology

Research: sarcoma medical oncology; conducted landmark studies establishing chemotherapy treatments, limb salvage and multi-modality treatment.

Admin: Chair, Department of Sarcoma Medical Oncology (1993 – 2012).

 

 


Frederick Becker, MD

Interviewed:2008, 2011

Primary appt: Department of Molecular Pathology

Research: molecular pathology, epigenesist, chemical agents

Admin: First VP of Research (1979 – 1998).

 

 

Gerald Bodey, MD (ret. 1995) (link)

Interviewed:2003, 2013

Primary appt: Department of Infectious Diseases

Research: infectious diseases [cont…]

Admin: Medical Director,Clinical Research Center, Lutheran Pavilion (1977 – 1981);

Director, Office of Research Protocol (1981 – 1983); Chair, Department of Medical Specialties (1987-1995)

 


Janet M. Bruner, MD (link)

Interviewed: 2012

Primary appointment: Department of Pathology.

Clinical interests: Brain Tumor Neuropathology, Molecular Diagnostics, Molecular Genetics; Second-Opinion Pathology Reviews

Admin: Deputy Head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Fmr Chair, Department of Pathology (1998 – 2000).

 

 

Thomas Burke, MD

Interviewed:2014

Primary appt: Professor, Department of Gynecologic Oncology

Research: combination-treatment alternatives to radical surgery for uterine and vulvar cancers

Admin: Medical Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Center (1989−1998); Executive Vice President and Physician-in-Chief (2005−2013); Vice President of the MD Anderson Cancer Network (2013 – 2015).

 

 

Mark S. Chambers, D.M.D., M.S.

Interviewed:In-progress [2015, 2016]

Oral oncologist; clinical research investigator with a focus on novel therapeutic approaches to oral sequelae of cancer therapy.  Chair, Section of Oral Oncology, Department of Head and Neck Surgery.]

 

 


Angela Cheves (ret.) (link)

Interviewed:2015/2016

Admin: Associate Director of Marketing, Children’s Art Project

 

 

Lorenzo Cohen, PhD

Interviewed:2016 [in progress]

Primary appt: Department of General Oncology and Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine

Admin: Director, Integrative Medicine Program (2002 - )

 

James Cox, MD (link)

Interviewed:2004, 2013

Primary appt: Division of Radiation Oncology

Clinical: design of clinical trials; radiation therapy in combination with chemotherapy and surgery to treat lung cancer, lymphomas, esophageal and prostate cancer; effectiveness of proton therapy in side effects, tumor size, and survival. 

Admin: Vice President of Patient Care and Physician-in-Chief (’88-’92); Head, Division of Radiation Oncology (1995 - 2010).

 

 

William Daigneau, M.B.A. (ret. 2013) (link)

Interviewed:2013

Admin: Chief Facilities Officer and Vice President for Operations and Facilities Management (1994 – 2013).

 

Ronald DePinho, MD (link)

Primary dept: Department of Cancer Biology

Interviewed:2015

Research: Integrated genomics and biological systems approach; oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes; mechanisms of telomeres and DNA damage checkpoint pathways; cancer/stem cells and developmental pathways tumors; novel cancer therapies.

Admin: 4th President of MD Anderson (2011 - ).

 

 

Ethan Dmitrovsky, MD (link)

Primary dept: Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine.

Interviewed:2015.

Research: retinoid differentiation-based therapy for APL; retinoid mechanisms leading to cell cycle arrest and repair of DNA damage in normal/malignant lung epithelial cells; lung cancer cell lines leading to a new model to assess activity of lung cancer therapy and chemopreventive agents (antineoplastics).

Admin: Provost and Executive Vice President (2013 - ).

 

 

Linda Elting, PhD, MPH (ret. 2014)

Primary dept: Department of Biostatistics & Applied Mathematics

Interviewed:2015

Research: epidemiology; value of care; effects of health policy on delivery of care. 

Admin: Chief of Section, Health Services Research, Department of Biostatistics and Applied Mathematics (2001 – 2014); Chair,  IRB IV (2005 – 2014).

 

 

Carmen Escalante, MD

Interviewed:2014

Primary appt: Department of General Internal Medicine

Research: deep venous thrombosis; dynspnea and risk models that predict imminent death; cancer-related fatigue.

Admin: Chair, Department of General Internal Medicine (2005 - ).

 

 


Isaiah Joshua Fidler, DVM, PhD (link)

Interviewed:2011

Primary appt: Department of Cancer Biology

Research: biology and therapy of cancer metastasis.

Admin: Director, Metastasis Research Laboratory.

 

 

Michael Fisch, MD (left MDA 2015) (link)

Interviewed:2015

Primary appt: Department of General Medical Oncology

Research: symptom experience, symptom management and cardio-oncology; chemotherapy and depression. 

Admin: Director, Community Clinical Oncology Program (2004 – 2015); Chair, Department of General Medical Oncology (2009 – 2015).

 

 


Lewis Foxhall, MD (link)

Interviewed: 2014

Primary appt: Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention

Admin: Associate VP for Health Policy (1994 – 2005).  Vice President for Health Policy (2005-).

 

 


Ralph Freedman, MD, PhD (ret.) (link)

Interviewed:2012

Primary appt: Department of Gynecologic Oncology.

Research: immunology and gynecologic cancers, inflammatory response

Admin: Director and Chief of Immunology and Molecular Biology Research (’88-’07)

 

 

Emil J Freireich, MD (ret. 2015) (link)

Interviewed:2001, 2011

Primary appt: Developmental Therapeutics.

Research: Leukemia—discovered first successful chemotherapy treatment for childhood cancer.

Chair, Developmental Therapeutics; Chair, Department of Hematology; Director, Adult Leukemia Research Program.

Featured in Ken Burns’ “The Emperor of All Maladies.”

Interview Subjects, G-M

Gibson Gayle, JD

Interviewed:2012

MDA relationship: Board member, MD Anderson Foundation (1980 - ), President (1993-); associate member, MD Anderson Board of Visitors.

 

Helmut Goepfert, MD (ret.) (link)

Interviewed:2012

Primary appt: Department of Head and Neck Surgery

Research: chemoprevention w/ derivatives of Vitamin A; combination therapies and to preserve larynx functionality

Admin: Chair, Department of Head and Neck Surgery (1982 – 2003)

 

 

Ellen Gritz, PhD (ret. 2014) (link)

Interviewed:2014

Primary appt: Department of Behavioral Sciences

Research: smoking cessation and the psycho-social dimensions of cancer

Admin: Chair, Department of Behavioral Sciences (1993 – 2014).

 

 

Jordan U. Gutterman, MD (link)

Interviewed:2004, 2006, 2012

Primary appt: Department of Systems Biology

Research: Interferon, Avicins and nutrition

 

 

Karen K. Harrison (link)

Interviewed:2013

Primary appt: Volunteer Services.

Admin: Manager, Children’s Art Project (1980 – 1990); Assistant Director, Volunteer Services (1990 – 2005); volunteer.

 

 

Amy Carpenter Hay, BA, MS (link)

Interviewed:2015

Admin: VP, Global Business Development (2008 – 2012); Vice President, Business Development in (2012- present).

 

 


C. Stratton Hill, Jr, MD (deceased 2015) (link)

Interviewed:2012

Primary appt: Department of Symptom Research

Research: endocrinology and thyroid cancer; pain management

Admin: Associate Director of the Ambulatory Care Clinics (1974-19790); Director, Pain Clinic [the Pain Management Center] (1981 – 1992).

 

Waun Ki Hong, MD (link)

Interviewed:2013

Primary appt: Division of Cancer Medicine

Research: retinoids and oral carcinogenesis; molecular therapeutics; cancer prevention; organ preservation; personalized targeted therapy.

Admin: Chair, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology (1993 – 2013); Head, Division of Cancer Medicine (2001 – 2013); Named to the National Academy of Science. 

 

 

Gabriel Hortobagyi, MD (ret.) (link)

Interviewed:2012/13

Primary appt: Department of Breast Medical Oncology

Research: multimodality and adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatments for breast cancer; personalized therapies and gene therapy.

Admin: Chief of Section, Breast Medical Oncology (1984 – 1992); Founding Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncology (1992 – 2012).

 

 

Debbie Houston, MSN (ret.) (link)

Interviewed:2012

Primary appt: Information Technology

Research: Oncology Nursing; the role of technology in patient care

Admin: Director of Nursing (1986 – 1995); Center Administrative Director for Hematology (1995 - 1997); Director of Information Systems Clinical Operations and Projects (2005 – ).

 

 

Mien-Chie Hung, PhD

Interviewed:2014

Primary appt: Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology

Research: demonstrated antitumor activity of adenovirus type EA1 gene in HER2/neu cancer cells; signaling transduction pathways of tyrosine kinase growth factor receptors; molecular mechanisms of oncogenes, including tumorigenesis; therapies for breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer

Admin: Chair, Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology (2000 - ).  Vice President for Basic Research (2010 - ).

 

 


Norman Jaffe, MD (ret. 2006) (link)

Interviewed:2012

Primary appt: Pediatrics

Research: clinical treatments for solid tumors; long-term effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy on children; psychosocial challenges of long-term survivors.

Admin: Chief, Pediatric Outpatient Clinic (1992-1994); Chief, Long Term Surveillance Clinic for Pediatric Patients Cured of Cancer (1996-2000).

 

Lovell A. Jones, PhD (link)

Interviewed:2013/2014

Primary appt: Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine

Research: synthetic estrogens in uterine and ovarian cancer; health disparities.

Admin: minority health and health disparities initiatives (E.g. the Biennial Symposium Series on ‘Minorities, the Medically Underserved and Cancer’ (’88); National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer (’95); Inter-cultural Cancer Council).

 

Rebecca Kaul, MBA (link)

Interviewed: 2016

Admin: VP of Innovation and Chief Innovation Officer (2015-), Office of Strategy and Innovation

 

Michael Keating, MD

Interviewed:2014

Primary appt: Department of Leukemia

Research: Leukemia and lymphoma combination therapies.

Co-leader, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Moon Shot Program.

 


Eugenie Kleinerman, MD (link)

Interviewed:2014

Primary appt: Department of Pediatrics

Research: immunological treatments for pediatric osteosarcoma; MEPACT and other agents; combination therapies; novel delivery systems.

Admin: Head, Pediatrics (2001 – 2015).

 

 

Alfred Knudson, MD [video interview for Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences] (link)

Interviewed: 2013

Research: Cancer and hereditary redisposition

Admin: Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 1970-1976

 

Margaret Kripke, PhD (ret.) (link)

Interviewed:2007, 2012

Primary appt: Department of Immunology

Research: Photo-immunology and skin cancer

Admin: Executive  VP and Chief Academic Officer; Women Faculty Organization

 

 

Leon Leach, MBA, PhD (link)

Interviewed:2012/13

Admin: Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (1997 - ).

 

 


Charles A. LeMaistre, MD [ret.] (link)

Interviewed:2012

Primary Appointment:

Research: development of antibiotics for treatment of pulmonary disease; keratin.

Admin: [Chancellor, University of Texas System] Second president of MD Anderson (1978-1996).

 

Bernard Levin, MD (ret. 2007) (link)

Interviewed:2013/2014

Primary appt: Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology and Digestive Diseases.

Research: markers for early detection of colorectal cancer and management of polyposis; surgical adjuvant therapies; chemo-preventative treatments. 

Admin: Chair, Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology and Digestive Diseases (1984 – 1994); Vice President for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences (1994 – 2007).

 

Benjamin Lichtiger, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. (ret. 2008) (link)

Interviewed:2013

Primary Appointment: Laboratory Medicine

Clinical interests: Transfusion Medicine

Admin:  Section Chief, Transfusion Medicine (overseeing Blood Bank, 1974 – 2001; Chair, Laboratory Medicine (1999 – 2008)

 

Bill Joe “Red” McCombs

Interviewed:2012

MDA relationship: Member of Board of Visitors; Gifted $30 million to expand Research Park (the Red and Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer).

 

 

Mary Catherine Bussey Boice McGready (link)

Interviewed:2016 [in progress]

Role: Medical Librarian (1943)

Fourth employee at MD Anderson hired by Ernst Bertner, MD.

 

 

John Mendelsohn, MD (link)

Interviewed: 2005, 2012

Primary appt: Department of Experimental Therapeutics

Research: monoclonal antibodies, Cetuximab

Admin: 3rd President of MD Anderson (1996 – 2011); Director, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer TherapyZayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy

 

 

Patrick Mulvey (link)

Interviewed:2015

Admin: Vice President, Office of Development (2000 - ).

Interview Subjects, N-Z

Walter Pagel, ELS (ret.) (link)

Interviewed: 2012

Primary appt: Department of Scientific Publications

Support area: editor, scientific publications

Admin: Director, Department of Scientific Publications (1984 - )

 


William Plunkett, PhD (link)

Interviewed:2013

Primary appt: Department of Experimental Therapeutics.

Research: cellular mechanisms of tumor viability: nucleoside analogues (fludarabine, gemcitabine), apoptosis; leukemia.  Co-Director, Moon Shot: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Admin: Chief, Section of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, Department of Experimental Therapeutics (1993−2004);  Director of Research Development (2005−2008); Deputy Chair, Department of Experimental Therapeutics (2008 - ).   Institutional Research Integrity Officer.

 

 


Donald Podoloff, MD (link)

Primary dept: Nuclear Medicine

Research: diagnostic methods and therapies for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; functional imaging to locate tumors and determine drug dosages.

Admin: Chair, Department of Nuclear Medicine (1993-2005); Division Head, Division of Diagnostic Imaging (2001-2010); Medical Director, Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (2009 - ).

 

 

Raphael Pollock, MD (left MDA 2013) (link)

Interviewed:2012

Primary appt: Department of Surgical Oncology.

Research: surgical techniques, surgical stress, natural killer cells, molecular approaches to soft tissue sarcoma; angiogenesis, chemoresistance, novel therapeutics

Admin: Chair, Department of Surgical Oncology (1994 – 2010); Head, Division of Surgery (1997 – 2012).

 

 


Alma Rodriguez, MD (link)

Interviewed:2015

Primary appt: Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma

Research: treatments for lymphoid malignancies.

Admin: Vice President, Medical Affairs (2005-).

 

 

Regina Rogers

Interviewed:2011

Primary appt: NA

MDA relationship: Member, Board of Visitors (second generation); philanthropic support of institution (second generation)

 

 


William Satterfield, DVM (ret.) (link)

Interviewed:2013

Primary appt: Department of Veterinary Science

Clinical interests: immunology, HIV, ovarian cancer, tissue engineering.

Admin: Chief of Livestock and Land Management, Department of Veterinary Sciences; Chief, Chimpanzee Biomedical Research Resource.

 

Raymond Sawaya, MD (link)

Interviewed:2013

Primary appt: Department of Neurosurgery

Research: role of fibrinogen in cancer’s invasion of brain tissue; primary and metastatic brain tumors, third ventricle, brain stem and pineal region tumors; accessibility and safety of brain tumor surgery

Admin: Chair, Neurosurgery (1990 - )

 

 

Donna Sollenberger (left MDA 1997) (link)

Interviewed:2013

Admin: Division Administrator, Division of Surgery and Anesthesiology (1991 – 1993); Vice President, Hospitals and Clinics (1993 – 1997).

 

 

George Stancel, PhD. (link)

Interviewed:2012

Primary appt: Departments of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, and Gynecologic Oncology, UT Medical School.

Research: estrogen and uterine cancer

Admin: Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (1999 – 2012);

Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs of UT Health Sciences Center

 

 

Marilyn Stovall, PhD (ret. 2015) (link)

Interviewed: 2012

Primary appt: Department of Radiation Physics

Research: epidemiology, late effects of radiation therapy

Admin: Director, Dosimetry Radiation Services, Director, Late Effects Studies Group

 

John Stroehlein, MD (link)

Interviewed:2012

Primary appt: Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition

Research: cancers of the hollow gastrointestinal tract; screening for gastrointestinal cancer; combination treatments; primary and secondary prevention of cancer

Admin: Section Chief, Gastroenterology (1977-1982); ad interim Chair, Deputy Chair, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (2003 - ); Co-Medical Director, Department of Patient Affairs (2006 - ).

 

 


Louise Strong, MD (link)

Interviewed:2012

Primary appt: Department of Genetics

Research: cancer genetics, Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

Admin: Chief of Section, Clinical Cancer Genetics, Department of Genetics

 

Steven Stuyck, MPH (ret. 2013) (link)

Interviewed:2013

Admin: Director, Public Information and Education (1975 – 1985); Assistant to the President (1981 – 1986); Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs (1985 – 1988); Associate Vice President for Public Affairs (1988 – 1999); Vice President, Public Affairs (2000 – 2013).

 

 

Barbara L. Summers, PhD (ret. 2015) (link)

Interviewed: 2014

Admin: Chief Nursing Officer and Associate Vice President of Clinical Programs (2000−2003).  Chief Nursing Officer and Head of the Division of Nursing (2003 – 2015).

 

 

Elizabeth Travis, PhD (link)

Interviewed:2014

Primary appt: Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology

Research: effects of radiation therapy on (normal) lung tissue.

Admin: Associate Vice President, Women Faculty Programs (2006 - ).

 

 

Stephen Tomasovic, PhD (ret.) (link)

Interviewed:2011

Primary appt: Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology

Admin: Senior VP, Academic Affairs (2006 – 2011); Founder, Cancer Biology Program.

 

 

Louise Villejo (ret. 2015) (link)

Interviewed:2015

Primary appt: Patient Education Office

Admin: Executive Director of the Patient Education Office.

 

 

Janis Apted Yadiny, MLS (link)

Interviewed:2016

Admin: Associate Vice President of Faculty and Academic Development (2008 - ).

 

 

Alfred Yung, MD

Interviewed:2014

Primary appt: Department of Neuro-Oncology

Research: chromosomal heterogeneity in tumors and drug sensitivity; epidermal growth factors and drug effectiveness.

Admin: Chair, Department of Neuro-Oncology (1999 - 2014); Co-Director, Brain Tumor Center.

 

 

 

 To search the interviews click here.