The Innovation Center aims to create transformational change by identifying innovative ideas and unique solutions to problems. Our team works alongside MD Anderson clinicians, researchers, patients and operational leaders using observation techniques, stakeholder interviews and market research to understand how to develop the next generation of digital technology solutions and to design groundbreaking user experiences.
A few things we believe.
We believe collaboration fuels innovation. By bringing multiple viewpoints to a discussion, we allow cross-pollination of ideas—fueling bigger and better innovations quickly.
We believe observation leads to insights. By engaging with patients and staff, asking for their input and walking in their shoes, we uncover trends and threads that data alone cannot reveal. Understanding the context of a problem leads to solutions that ultimately deliver on experiences that are designed for people first.
We believe accelerating innovation is more critical than ever. Amazing advances in cancer care are made here every day. When we fuel innovations that can creatively address patient and staff needs as the business of health care continues to get more competitive, we all win.
The Innovation Center employs a diverse team of creative thinkers, with backgrounds in business, research, design and technology. Each member of the team is driven by the desire to eliminate cancer, while creating a better experience for patients.
Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer
Building on MD Anderson's rich history of innovation, Rebecca Kaul is bringing another layer of transformative thinking through an Innovation Center designed to identify creative and effective approaches for delivering exceptional patient outcomes and bring new solutions to market. By collaborating with internal innovators and establishing strategic relationship with startups and industry, Rebecca and her team are accelerating value generation and commercialization.
Prior to joining MD Anderson, Rebecca served as Chief Innovation Officer and President of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) Technology Development Center where she built their Innovation Center from a conceptual idea to a center nationally recognized for developing an extensive portfolio of partnerships, investments and new companies. Prior to starting the UPMC Innovation Center, Rebecca led their joint venture, which yielded a 100% return on investment in 18 months.
Rebecca has a master of business administration from New York University and has earned multiple degrees from Carnegie Mellon University: master of information systems management, bachelor of science in chemical engineering and engineering and public policy.
As the Executive Director within the Innovation Center at MD Anderson, Dan Shoenthal leverages his vast experience in introducing innovative healthcare technology along with his expertise in early stage technology development. Dan's eclectic mix of skills helps him identify problems to be tackled and the right mix of collaboration partners, while ensuring long term strategies that maximize value commercially, as well as for MD Anderson.
Before joining MD Anderson, Dan was the Senior Director of Product Management at UPMC's Technology Development Center and UPMC Enterprises. As part of the leadership team, Dan was responsible for creating product strategies across the entire payer/provider continuum and developed a vast portfolio of investments and new companies that created positive return for the institution. Prior to UPMC, Dan worked at senior level positions overseeing both Product Management and Engineering teams.
Dan has a master of information systems management and bachelor of science in business administration from Robert Morris University.
Director of Human-Centered Design
Denise has spent the last several years of her nearly two-decade career in design focusing special attention on the needs of healthcare, gaining expertise in care delivery, behavior change and patient engagement. With an unbounded approach to problem solving, Denise provides strategic direction and novel approaches that challenge status-quo thinking.
A self-proclaimed data geek, she sees every project as an opportunity to bring observation-based research and technology together as powerful tools for creating engaging design. Her passion to pursue innovations that have the power to change lives has led her to be a student of behavior change and engagement through cultural empathy.
Denise is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin where she earned a bachelor of science degree. Since then, she has continued independent coursework at The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Erin has the unique ability to both offer strategic-level advice to innovators, as well as perform exploratory evaluations on new products and ideas. In addition, Erin helps facilitate large-scale projects, capable of ensuring cooperation among cross-functional teams and adherence to demanding schedules.
Previously, Erin was a Business Analyst at the Texas Medical Center’s healthcare startup accelerator, TMCx, where she managed TMCx programming, including curriculum design, advisor/mentor recruitment, hospital stakeholder introductions, and strategic planning for future accelerator cohorts. Erin has contributed as a panel speaker and pitch competition judge for state-wide innovation initiatives.
Erin graduated from Texas A&M University in 2005 with bachelor of science in biomedical science and again in 2011 with a Ph.D. in Genetics. Her graduate research focused on bovine immunogenetics. After graduation she completed her postdoctoral studies at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, where she conducted translational research on the genetic heritability of malignant mesothelioma.