MD Anderson and Rice University welcome Vice President Biden to Houston for 54th Anniversary of President Kennedy Moonshot Speech

Speech to highlight national effort to end cancer

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is pleased to welcome Vice President Joe Biden to Houston and the historic site where 54 years ago President John F. Kennedy delivered his speech about going to the moon, which inspired generations to lead our nation in innovation and space exploration. The vice president will speak about the White House Cancer Moonshot at the Medicine, Research and Society Lecture Series, co-sponsored by MD Anderson and Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

“Vice President Biden’s visit, coming just days after the anniversary of President Kennedy’s dramatic challenge, inspires a renewed commitment by us all to seize the life-saving opportunities that research, technology and collaboration offer us today,” said MD Anderson President Ronald A. DePinho, M.D. “We must continue to more efficiently and rapidly make progress against these dreaded diseases for the benefit of today’s patients and future generations.”

The event also will feature opening remarks from James A. Baker III, former secretary of state and honorary chair of the Baker Institute, and introductory remarks from Dr. Jill Biden.

President Barack Obama announced the White House Cancer Moonshot initiative to accelerate cancer research during his 2016 State of the Union address. The initiative aims to make more therapies available to more patients, while also improving the ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage.

A blue ribbon advisory panel produced 10 recommendations for the National Cancer Moonshot to pursue. These were accepted by the National Cancer Advisory Board and Douglas Lowy, acting director of the National Cancer Institute, and forwarded to Biden. MD Anderson faculty members serve on the Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel and other committees advising the national effort.

In the fall of 2012, MD Anderson created the Cancer Moon Shots Program to rapidly and dramatically reduce death and suffering across several major cancer types. By building a new organizational paradigm of multidisciplinary teams and platforms focused on execution, these pioneering efforts have taught that knowledge available today can be converted into new preventive measures and life-saving therapeutic advances for cancer patients around the world. The program already has made practice-changing advances and served as an inspiration for the national movement.

“Cancer patients around the nation and world are counting on us to work together to end cancer,” said DePinho. “Under Vice President Biden’s leadership, and through efforts like the national Cancer Moonshot and MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program, we are confident this collaborative and ambitious effort will be achieved.”