(Virginia Harris Cockrell) Cancer Research Center at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park
Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis Dedication
June 8, 1978
Interview Processed by:
Jim Thompson, Historical Resources Center Volunteer, Fall 2019
Start of video: Introduction by reporter[?}.
Governor Shivers gives a brief overview of Science Park, recognizes members of the University of Texas Board of Regents, University of Texas System Officials, University of Texas Cancer Center executives, Texas politicians that supported Science Park, and ends with the introduction of Dr. R. Lee Clark. University of Texas Board of Regents: Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents Dan C. Williams, Dallas Chairman of the Medical Affairs Committee Mr. Thomas H. Law, Fort Worth Chairman of the Building & Grounds Committee Dr. James E. Bauerle, D.D.S., San Antonio Vice Chairman of Academic Developmental Affairs Mrs. Jane Weinert Blumberg, Seguin Chairman of the Land Investment Committee Honorable Edward A. Clark, Austin Vice Chairman of the Medical Affairs Committee Dr. Sterling Fly, Jr., Uvalde Mr. Jess Hay, Dallas (absent) Chairman of Academic Developmental Affairs Mr. Walter G. Sterling, Houston University of Texas System Officials Chancellor Dr. Charles A. LeMaistre President E. Don Walker Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Edward N. Brandt Jr. The University of Texas Cancer Center Executives Executive Vice President and Director of MD Anderson Hospital Tumor Institute, Dr. Robert C. Hickey Vice President for Professional & Public and Affairs, Dr. Robert D. Morton Vice President for Administration, Dr. Joseph T. Painter Vice President for Business Affairs, E. R. Gilley Associate Director for Extramural Affairs, Dr. Carmault B. Jackson Associate Directors of Science Park Research Division, Ronald M. Humphrey and Dr. Earl F. Walborg Texas Politicians and contributions to Science Park US Congressman J.J. Pickle (absent) Former US Senator Ralph Webster Yarborough
President R. Lee Clark provides biographical information, significant roles and introduction of Dr. Arthur C. Upton, Director of the National Cancer Institute.
After a moment of tribute to Dr. R. Lee Clark (stepping down September 1, 1978 after 32 years of MD Anderson leadership), Dr. Upton gives an overview of The University of Texas Science Park, its creation by the Texas Legislature in 1971, its US Dept. of Commerce and other funding sources, its objectives and the role it plays through its programs (e.g. immunotherapy), along with the veterinary resources program, in carcinogenesis basic research.
Referencing the National Cancer Acts of 1971 and 1974, Dr. Upton provides the history and direction of the NCI’s “expanded, intensified and coordinated” cancer research program, its progress in combating cancer, and programs & services it provides. He states that because of the latent period between the time of exposure to a carcinogen to appearance of symptoms (20 – 30 years), treatment formulation that influences mortality statistics takes longer time spans (5 – 15 years). Next Dr. Upton gives examples of how cancer research has improved treatments of cancer in children (e.g. childhood leukemia) and adults, as well as early detection methods of cancer (e.g. the Papanicolaou test, a.k.a. the “pap smear”), which are reflected in improved survival statistics.
Dr. Upton talks about increasing study of environmental factors that cause cancer, and other research into: chemical carcinogens, risk & occurrence patterns in populations, carcinogenic mechanisms, the role of viruses and nutrition upon cancer risk, and cancer prevention approaches. He then points out the necessity of NCI cancer awareness & education programs & services, which is underscored by, for examples, the alarming growth in women and girls’ cigarette smoking and amplified cancer risk when cigarette smoking and asbestos exposure are combined. Finally he outlines areas where continued progress needs to be made in fighting cancer and salutes all involved at MD Anderson and Science Park.
Governor Shivers thanks Dr. Upton for his contributions in the field of cancer research and for sharing in the dedication event. The former Texas Governor then recognizes Judge Jack A. Griesenbeck, Batrop County Judge, Dr. Richard T. Eastwood, Executive Director of the Texas Medical Center, and former Texas Governor Preston E. Smith, who signed the bill activating Science Park while he was governor. Lastly, he reintroduces Dr. R. Lee Clark.
Dr. R. Lee Clark states he plans to talk about the rationale for, and “how Science Park came to happen”, and starts by recognizing various organizations: The University of Texas “health team”, Texas Parks & Wildlife, the local Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health. He then recognizes individuals in various organizations: the UT Health Science Center’s Dr. Charles C. Sprague, Dallas, Dr. William C. Levin, Galveston and Dr. Frank Harrison, Jr., San Antonio. Next he recognizes Dr. Charles Aubrey LeMaistre, UT Chancellor and Chief, who will assume Dr. R. Lee Clark’s responsibilities as of “the immediate future.” Then UT System Cancer Center “business people”: Mr. E. R. Gilley, Mr. Joe Boyd and President E. Don Walker Then UT Chairmen of the Board of Regents: Mr. Frank Craig Erwin, Jr., Mr. John Robert Peace, Mr. Aylmer Green McNeese, Jr., and current-serving Governor Robert Allan Shivers. Finally he recognizes Texas Medical Center current Chairman Dr. Richard “Dick” T. Eastwood and former Chairman Dr. Frederick C. Elliott.
Dr. Clark gives the history of how the Buescher family, city of Smithville citizens and representatives expressed interest in the development of Science Park, and goes on to highlight some of the area’s attributes and benefits. He talks about how an area is needed to: study the external/environmental causes of cancer, identify more than the 1000 known carcinogens, understand cancer mechanisms, find new treatment techniques, and evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of ten thousands of drugs. Next he discusses the research speed and cost advantages, along with closer resemblance to human cells, rationale for animal test research. He then talks about the long environmental exposure period needed to cause cancer (5-20 years) and Science Park’s goals of finding new, shorter test mechanisms and systems that reduce cost and accelerate results (years to weeks), and finding the mechanism on the cell that makes it “go awry” and enables it to continue replicating in an abnormal manner. Dr. Clark reviews how in 1963 the Animal Division started with a 714.3 acres donation by Texas Parks & Wildlife Board (TPWB) under the leadership of Chairman Will E. Odom. He talks about the Science Park/TPWB joint effort to understand, through both wildlife and domestic animals, their interplay with the environment. He discusses epizootics and gives examples of shared disease from the environment in domestic animals (Herford cattle and Holsteins) and humans. Lastly he credits Texas Governors Preston E. Smith and John Bowden Connally Jr. and the Texas Senate and House of Representatives for enabling the transfer of the donated land from the TPWB.
Dr. Clark talks about setup constraints between the animal area and environmental test areas of Science Park and how Department of Public Health Director and Chairman of the Board Dr. Robert D. Moreton, Assistant Chairman Dr. John Smith and Dr. Fratis L. Duff, Commissioner of Health agreed to transfer 370 Camp Swift acreage to Science Park for the Animal Division, which now operate under the direction of Dr. John H. Jardine & staff of veterinarians. He then thanks Dr. Evan Taniguchi University of Texas at Austin Department of Architecture, who volunteered his help along with professor Richard Proctor Swallow to develop architectural master plans. Finally, Dr. Clark tells the story of how financing and approval was achieved for Science Park through US Congressman James Jarrell "Jake" Pickle, Judge Jack A. Griesenbeck, Dr. Joseph P. Kennedy, Houston Endowment, Inc., the Texas Legislative Budget Board and others’ work and support.
Governor Allan Shivers thanks Dr. R. Lee Clark, introduces and recognizes Nancy Fluger[?] for planning the event and “writes all the script.”
Benediction by Father Tom Chamberlain.
Reporter[?] summarizes how Science Park was created, provides a description of facility areas and states that Science Park furthers The University of Texas System Cancer Center’s fight against cancer.