Skip to Content


Milestones With Mendelsohn

Promise -

From left, clockwise: T.Boone Pickens, left, and John Mendelsohn, M.D., tour the academic tower that now bears Pickens’ name in honor of his 2007 $50 million gift to MD Anderson. The George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building houses state-of-the-art research  facilities made possible by a $20 million gift from the Mitchell family in 2001. Charline McCombs, Mendelsohn and Red McCombs address a gathering of supporters at the 2005 dedication of the Red and Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer, honoring the McCombs family’s $30 million gift. The Lowry and Peggy Mays Clinic pays tribute to the Mays’ 2005 $20 million gift to MD Anderson’s South Campus Research Initiative.
Photos by John Everett and F. Carter Smith

By Laura Harvey

During the tenure of John Mendelsohn, M.D., as president, MD Anderson has:

  • Increased private philanthropy to more than $175 million annually.
  • Launched  the institution’s largest fundraising campaign, Making Cancer History®: The Campaign to Transform Cancer Care, reaching the $1 billion mark more than two years ahead of schedule and increasing the goal to $1.2 billion under the leadership of Harry Longwell and The University Cancer Foundation Board of Visitors with its approximately 250 members.
  • Expanded clinical care activities by opening the Lowry and Peggy Mays Clinic; a 320-bed, nine-floor addition above the Albert B. and Margaret M. Alkek Hospital; the Faculty Center and the T. Boone Pickens Academic Tower; the Proton Therapy Center; and a 126-room expansion to the Jesse H. Jones Rotary House International hotel.
  • Opened the George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building, which houses nearly 70 laboratories studying molecular genetics, epidemiology, biochemistry, molecular biology and brain cancer research.
  • Promoted growth, excellence and collaboration in research by organizing five new institutes, each uniting academic departments and centers of excellence that share research objectives.
  • Developed the Red and Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer to explore new approaches for translating scientific discoveries into improved treatments.
  • Created the Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment in the new Dan L. Duncan Building to find ways to predict and reduce cancer risk at the genetic, population and behavioral levels, and to explore health disparities and ways of improving health care delivery.
  • Greatly expanded the nation’s largest clinical trials program for experimental cancer therapies, with nearly 10,000 registrants participating annually. 
  • Expanded degree-granting programs, awarding bachelor’s degrees and certificates in eight allied health disciplines and jointly awarding Ph.D.s in biomedical sciences with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
  • Earned more competitive research grants and grant dollars from the National Cancer Institute than any other U.S. cancer center or university.
  • Built a worldwide collaborative network of more than 20 sister institutions and opened clinical programs bearing MD Anderson’s name in the greater Houston area; Orlando, Fla.; Madrid, Spain; Albuquerque, N.M.; Istanbul, Turkey; and Gilbert, Ariz. (September 2011).

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center