The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced the 2022 McNair Scholar, Chirag Patel, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Neuro-Oncology. Patel’s work will be supported by the McNair Medical Institute at The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation. The up-and-coming physician scientist’s interdisciplinary and translational laboratory focuses on the biology of glioblastoma, the most common and lethal form of primary brain cancer in adults. Patel and his team will investigate novel therapeutic strategies in pre-clinical models.
“We are proud to support MD Anderson and early career physician scientists like Dr. Patel, who are committed to research that will move findings from translational research into viable solutions for health care as quickly as possible,” said Kristi Cooper, executive director of The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation. “By delving into the brain’s impact on disease at the cellular messaging level, future McNair Scholars will take a relatively uncharted look at the breakdown of cellular communications.”
As a McNair Scholar supported by the McNair Medical Institute at The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation, Patel will lead his team in the study of therapeutic alternating electric fields, which have been shown to work in concert with traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy to better impair cancer growth, with the hope of ultimately improving outcomes for patients with brain tumors. He previously demonstrated that electric fields permeabilize the membranes of cancer cells in a selective and reversible manner, a finding that could be leveraged to improve both cancer therapy and biomarker detection.
“Brain tumors have been notoriously challenging to treat and the prognosis remains grim for most patients with these tumors. There have been only incremental gains in recent years using conventional treatment, despite large investments in lab and clinical research. A paradigm shift in our approach to these tumors is urgently needed,” said Vinay Puduvalli, M.D., chair of Neuro-Oncology. “It is in this context that recruiting physician scientists like Dr. Chirag Patel, who have training in both neuro-oncology as well as biomedical engineering, can bring fresh perspectives into the field and allow us to think outside of the box.”
A native Houstonian, Patel earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from John Hopkins University. He then graduated from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and UTHealth Houston McGovern Medical School with a medical degree and doctorate. Patel completed an adult neurology residency at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. His clinical fellowship training in neuro-oncology and postdoctoral fellowship research in multimodal molecular imaging took place at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he stayed on as faculty in the departments of Neurology and Radiology, prior to being recruited to MD Anderson.
“I am excited to join the incredibly innovative and passionate minds at MD Anderson,” said Patel, an assistant professor and McNair Scholar. “It is an honor to join in the mission to end cancer and I remain grateful for the generous support of the McNair Foundation that will allow us to pursue this most important work.”
McNair Scholars have been generously supported at MD Anderson by the McNair Medical Institute at The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation since 2008. With the help of the foundation, MD Anderson has been able to support several McNair Scholars as part of our larger physician-scientist program, which spans seven clinical divisions:
- Radiation Oncology
- Cancer Prevention
- Internal Medicine
- Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
“The McNair Scholars Program is a transformative gift to MD Anderson and Houston because it allows us to recruit the world’s brightest physician-scientists and harness the broader strengths of the Texas Medical Center,” said Darrow Zeidenstein, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief development officer. “The success of our McNair Scholars means better, innovative treatments for cancer patients and their families, now and in the future.”
Jeffrey McDougall, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has committed $5 million on behalf of the entire McDougall family to establish the Andrew M. McDougall Brain Metastasis Clinic and Research Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. This generous commitment will be matched through institutional philanthropic efforts, bringing the program funding to its goal of $10 million.
The clinic is named for McDougall’s beloved son, Andrew, who was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma in 2018 and subsequently developed brain metastases. He ultimately succumbed to the disease in March 2021. The Andrew M. McDougall Brain Metastasis Clinic and Research Program seeks to bring together clinical and scientific disciplines to discover, evaluate and deploy novel treatment options for patients with brain metastases.
“Andrew was a wonderful husband, dad and son. When he passed, I debated whether it was time to move forward and try to start the healing process,” said Jeffrey McDougall, president and owner of JMA Energy Company. “But I was so engaged and had come so far, I did not want to lay down my sword. For Andrew’s sake and for the sake of future brain metastases patients and their families, I didn’t want cancer to win. And I didn’t want other people to go through what we went through with Andrew.”
Approximately 300,000 patients with cancer per year will experience metastases to the central nervous system, including the brain. This represents a significant cause of morbidity and death for patients with advanced solid tumors such as breast cancer or melanoma. Therapeutic approaches previously have been limited to local treatments such as surgery and radiation. Up to 30% of patients with metastatic solid tumors are expected to develop brain metastases, leading those patients to be excluded from almost all clinical trials for novel systemic therapies. This is a concern the McDougalls hope to address through a comprehensive approach to research that crosses all tumor types.
“Andrew had a great sense of humor. He always had a big smile, a raised eyebrow and a witty remark — from behind his awesome beard — that kept everyone around him laughing,” said Loren McDougall, wife of Andrew M. McDougall. “We are determined to continue his legacy and hopefully spare another family the pain of a loss like Andrew’s.”
The Brain Metastasis Clinic was established in 2019 as part of MD Anderson’s efforts to drive research discovery and innovation. The clinic is led by Hussein Tawbi, M.D., Ph.D., deputy chair of Melanoma Medical Oncology and professor of Melanoma Medical Oncology and Investigational Cancer Therapeutics; Frederick Lang, M.D., chair of Neurosurgery and director of the Brain Tumor Center; and Jing Li, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Radiation Oncology and section head of CNS Radiation Oncology.
The clinic offers each patient the opportunity to be evaluated by multiple specialists — neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and neuro-radiologists — during a single visit. Together, this team of MD Anderson clinicians assesses the multiple and complex factors affecting the patient and collaboratively develops a treatment plan for the patient’s brain metastases.
The multi-disciplinary evaluation maximizes the patient’s time, eliminates trips to multiple clinics and provides highly coordinated expert care. The clinic also serves as a resource to identify and evaluate patients for ongoing clinical trials, paving the way to develop brain metastases clinical trials. However, knowledge of the biology that drives brain metastases and a complete understanding of the tumor immune microenvironment in the brain remain very limited. More effective therapies and multidisciplinary approaches are needed.
“Accelerating drug discovery for patients with brain metastases and improving their outcomes requires bringing together highly talented clinical, translational and basic science investigators. Our vision is to dramatically expand the clinic’s efforts to become the nation’s most influential program in brain metastasis care,” Tawbi said. “Through the incredible generosity of the McDougall family and the thoughtful partnership and foresight of Jeffrey McDougall, we are poised to galvanize brain metastasis research and care at MD Anderson and to extend our impact to all patients with brain metastases nationally and globally. We are forever grateful for the McDougall family’s commitment to MD Anderson.”
Legacy inspiring a paradigm change
Through the generosity of the McDougall family, the Andrew M. McDougall Brain Metastasis Clinic and Research Program aims to overcome multiple barriers that exist in finding novel therapies for patients with brain metastases by:
- Investing in basic science and investigators to identify next-generation targets and treatments
- Developing preclinical strategies to prioritize novel compounds and combinations for clinical testing
The clinic and research program is part of a larger-scale initiative, the Strategic Research Initiative Development (STRIDE), which is designed to identify, develop and support innovative approaches to address operational gaps, unmet needs or opportunities that will subsequently impact and empower research and, ultimately, patient care. Co-led by Andrew Futreal, Ph.D., vice president for Strategic Translational Research Programs and chair of Genomic Medicine, and Elizabeth Burton, executive director of STRIDE, the program partners with clinic and program leadership to facilitate long-term planning and engagement.
“Andrew’s courageous three-year journey with melanoma and brain metastases deeply influenced our collective aims for the vision of the clinic, particularly emphasizing the need to equip our multidisciplinary team with more effective approaches to cure these patients,” said Michael Davies, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Melanoma Medical Oncology and Andrew McDougall’s physician. “Our team remains inspired by Andrew’s strength and never-failing perseverance throughout the most difficult moments of this terrible disease. We will continue to push for progress for patients like Andrew as we work toward Making Cancer History® for patients with brain metastases.”
Flooding, rain and a global pandemic have kept polo off the field at Musselman Brothers’ Lazy 3 Ranch in Albany, Texas since 2019, but the West Texas tradition returned with full fanfare April 30, welcoming multi-Grammy® nominee Martina McBride to the stage and raising $1.15 million for The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
“It was wonderful to welcome friends from all over the state back to Lazy 3 Ranch,” said Henry Musselman, a Midland native and member of the MD Anderson Board of Visitors. “Everyone enjoyed a great game, a phenomenal show from Martina McBride and, most importantly, learned about the lifesaving patient programs and research taking place at MD Anderson – our nation’s top-ranked cancer center.”
The 36th annual Polo on the Prairie featured a U.S. Polo Association-sanctioned tournament played on a hayfield that was converted to a polo field at the ranch. Following the championship match, attendees feasted on a Texas-size chuck wagon barbecue dinner before enjoying a private country music concert featuring McBride. The evening ended with a spectacular fireworks finale.
The evening before the main event, polo players, MD Anderson faculty and members of the host committee were treated to a Friday night fish fry featuring Texas country music legend Robert Earl Keen. This special stop on Keen’s final tour gave guests an opportunity to speak with MD Anderson faculty and learn more about the institution’s mission to end cancer. To date, Polo on the Prairie has raised more than $9.5 million for patient care, research and education initiatives at MD Anderson.
"The generosity of the Musselman family and all of our friends in West Texas stretches far beyond a polo field," said Darrow Zeidenstein, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief development officer at MD Anderson. "Thanks to the contributions of so many, we can make a lasting impact on our patients, their families and cancer patients around the world."
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center celebrated 80 years of Making Cancer History® at Toyota Center Thursday, March 24, 2022 to the sweet sounds of The Beach Boys and to the tune of more than $10.5 million raised to end cancer, surpassing an initial goal of $8 million.
The one-of-a-kind concert, emceed by actor John Stamos and including artists Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross, The Commodores and Generation Radio (featuring Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts and Jason Scheff of Chicago), was aimed at raising awareness and funds for rare cancers in support of the entertainers’ dear friend, rare cancer survivor Jeffrey Foskett, a vocalist, musician and arranger who earned his credentials performing pop classics with The Beach Boys, America and Jeff Beck.
A voice for MD Anderson
While touring with The Beach Boys in late 2018, Foskett began struggling to hit the notes that had been his livelihood for more than 40 years. In early 2019, he was diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer, a rare malignancy. He received a grim prognosis at a California hospital before seeking a second opinion at MD Anderson, where a multidisciplinary team devised a treatment approach that reduced his cancer. Although he can no longer sing, Foskett now aims to use his voice for MD Anderson to raise awareness of the possibilities and opportunities for rare cancer survivors like himself.
“Where you go first matters. Had I come to MD Anderson first, I think I would still have a singing voice.” said Foskett. “Now I’m a voice for MD Anderson rather than the singer I once was. The institution and the people that serve here daily are a great blessing to Texas, the nation and the world. They are Making Cancer History.”
The 80th Anniversary Celebration Concert was the brainchild of Foskett who enlisted his friends and industry contacts to be a part of the evening’s entertainment.
“These people at MD Anderson really care about everybody, but they really care about our Jeff,” said Stamos. “I wished my mom was alive to come to MD Anderson. She died of cancer. My dad died of cancer. But I was just happy that my dear friend was there.”
The crowd of more than 2,500 cheered as Stamos took the stage to the tune of The Beach Boys “Kokomo.” Stamos was joined by his dear friend and executive event chair, Jeffrey Foskett, who had not sung in more than three years since receiving his cancer diagnosis. Encouraged by Stamos and cheered on by the crowd, which included Foskett’s care team – Maria Cabanillas, M.D., professor, Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders; Naifa Busaidy, M.D., professor, Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders; Ramona Dadu, M.D., assistant professor, Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders; and Mark Zafereo, M.D., professor, Head and Neck Surgery – he hit a few notes, which were celebrated.
Later in the evening, a group of MD Anderson faculty and employees who played critical roles in the institution’s COVID-19 response gathered on stage with Stamos and were recognized.
“As we reflect on 80 years of Making Cancer History, it is incredible to see the progress we have made in our mission to end cancer,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “Countless employees, donors and grateful patients have and will continue to play a pivotal role in advancing cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. We remain grateful, inspired and excited for the collective impact we will continue to make over the next 80 years and beyond.”
The evening ended with Stamos and Foskett taking the stage with The Beach Boys to sing hits such as Barbara Ann, Surfin’ USA and more. Before a final bow, Foskett presented Pisters with a special guitar, signed by all of the evening’s entertainers. Plans are underway to display the guitar at MD Anderson’s Faces of Philanthropy exhibit at the Texas Medical Center campus.
80 years of Making Cancer History®
Since opening its doors more than eight decades ago, MD Anderson has cared for hundreds of thousands of patients facing cancers both common and rare.
MD Anderson experts diagnose and treat 5,000 patients with rare cancers each year. The World Health Organization defines rare tumors as those occurring at a frequency below six cases per 100,000 individuals annually. But collectively, rare tumors account for 25% of all cancer cases and cancer deaths. MD Anderson provides care for such a high volume of patients that certain rare tumors are not rare.
The institution remains one of the world’s most respected centers devoted exclusively to cancer patient care, research, education and prevention.
Executive Event Chairs
- Diana and Jeffrey Foskett
- Suzie and Don Sinclair
- Susan and Jim Baker
- Ann and Clarence Cazalot
- Janet and Ernie Cockrell
- Susan and Chris Damico
- Penny and Don Evans
- Janet and Jim Gallogly
- Beth and Wayne Gibbens
- Debbie and Gary Gibson
- Maureen and Jim Hackett
- Winell and William Herron
- Sally and Forrest Hoglund
- Edwina and Tom Johnson
- Mel Klein
- Nancy Loeffler
- Norma and Harry Longwell
- Lowry Mays
- Red McCombs
- Jim and Miriam Mulva
- Regina Rogers
- Jeri and Marc Shapiro
- Marsha and John H. Shields
- Catherine and Sam Susser
- Lois and Jim Archer
- Cheryl and Percy Creuzot
- Jo Lynn and Gregg Falgout
- Tracy and Doug Glass
- Windi and David Grimes
- T. Mark Kelly
- Stacy and Michael Medrano
- Lisa and Mac Tichenor
- Rachel Cruz Auwarter and Todd Auwarter
- Jennifer and Dan Blum
- Pat and Eric Bodin
- Caroline and William Brown
- Estela and David Cockrell
- Walt Driver
- Nancy and Steve Fox
- Kalli O’Malley and Terry Giles
- Kristin and Hugh Hamilton
- Cathy and David Herr
- Mindy and Jeff Hildebrand
- Kathryn and Bill Johnson
- Ashley and Lance Loeffler
- Kathy and Jeff Love
- Linda and Congressman Michael McCaul
- Sonceria Messiah-Jiles and Jodie Jiles
- Shanell and Walker Moody
- Leigh Anne and John Raymond
- Brooke and Holden Rushing
- Delia and Jim Stroud
- Jennifer and Wil Van Loh
- Nancy and Don Woo
A Conversation With a Living Legend® in Dallas raised nearly $1.4 million in support of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, which is the most money ever raised at the North Texas celebration. The event honored Jerry Jones, owner, president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, in an interview with NBC’s Al Michaels of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”
“We are so grateful for the generous donors, our outstanding honoree and interviewer, and all of the organizers who made this year’s Living Legend event such a success,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “I truly enjoyed the conversation between Jerry and Al – what an inspirational story of family, entrepreneurship and philanthropy.”
With this year's enthusiastic support, the North Texas luncheon fundraising totals have reached $21.74 million since the event started in 1990. The funds raised at this year’s event support the Moon Shots Program™, a collaborative effort to accelerate the development of scientific discoveries into clinical advances that save patients’ lives.
The 32nd annual luncheon event, held Feb. 25, was chaired by Pat Morgan McEvoy, of Dallas, honorary chairs Lana and Barry Andrews, and a steering committee of North Texas community and business leaders. Presenting sponsors were Andrews Distributing, the AT&T Foundation, Lyda Hill Philanthropies and the Gene and Jerry Jones Family. Red Carpet underwriters were Peggy and Carl Sewell, Gayle Stoffel and Cathy and Robert Allday, Corrigan Family Holdings, Sherry and J. Robert Brown and The Rosewood Corporation. This year’s ambassadors were Penny and Don Evans and Catherine and Sam L. Susser/Susser Bank. Other top sponsors included Rosalind Redfern Grover, Pat and Charles McEvoy, Lenise and Randall Stephenson and SuEllen and John Wilson.
“I am honored to be recognized as a North Texas Living Legend for MD Anderson’s annual fundraiser, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to sit down and have a conversation with Al. It was a wonderful afternoon raising funds to end cancer,” said Jones. “Supporting organizations like MD Anderson has been important throughout my life, and I take pride in helping to make a difference in people’s lives.”
Jones has held his esteemed position within the organization since 1989. Over his three-decade tenure, the Cowboys have won three Super Bowls and become one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world. Jones was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017, and he also is a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the Texas Business Hall of Fame. He and his family, who are longtime Dallas residents, support numerous community initiatives in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, throughout Texas and nationally, including the Salvation Army and the National Medal of Honor Museum in Arlington, Texas.
Michaels, described as “TV’s best play-by-play announcer” by the Associated Press, recently began his 16th season as the announcer for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and record 36th campaign as the play-by-play announcer of the National Football League in prime time. In December 2020, Michaels was honored with the 2021 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He has received eight Emmy Awards and three National Sportscaster and Sportswriter Awards. He is only the second television commentator to earn 10 Super Bowl play-by-play assignments and he is the only commentator to call the Super Bowl, the World Series and the National Basketball Association finals, and to host the Stanley Cup Finals for network television.
A Conversation With a Living Legend® originated in North Texas and has since been replicated across the country in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Washington, D.C., raising more than $48 million for vital research and patient care initiatives at MD Anderson.
Ashley Nichole Morphey is the recipient of the 2021 Brown Foundation Award for Excellence in Oncology Nursing at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Established by The Brown Foundation Inc. in 1982, the award is MD Anderson’s highest nursing honor and includes a $15,000 cash prize.
Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD
Anderson; Welela Tereffe,
M.D., chief medical executive; Carol Porter, D.N.P., senior vice president and chief nursing officer; and Ann Ziker, Ph.D., executive director of The Brown Foundation, congratulated Morphey today at a virtual award ceremony.. The event also was streamed for colleagues, family and friends. Also recognized were finalists Katrine Berg and Mariana Gallardo, both of whom received a $5,000 cash award.
“Nurses play a pivotal role in the care of every patient that enters
our doors,” Porter said. “Our heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude
go to the Brown Foundation for its generous support of our nursing
team and the
outstanding individuals who have achieved this level of professional dedication over the past nearly 40 years.”
Morphey, the 2021 award recipient, is a supervisor of research
nurses specializing in multiple myeloma. Her work with patients often
spans several years, encompassing clinical trials and various cancer
treatments. Morphey has worked as a nurse at MD Anderson for more than
years, beginning her career as a clinical nurse and eventually moving to
research nursing and her current supervisory role.
“At MD Anderson, nursing is about relationships made,” Morphey said. “Throughout the years, I have met many patients who I will always remember and who will remain in my heart.”
Finalist Katrine Berg is a clinical nurse in Cardiovascular/Thoracic Surgery. She has been with the unit for more than 10 years and specializes in progressive, step-down care. During her time at MD Anderson, Berg has helped develop videos for thoracic surgery patients to streamline discharge teaching – a tool that became particularly helpful for families and patients after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The quality of nurses we have at MD Anderson is truly exceptional,” Berg said. “I have heard it time and again from patients, that when they step into this hospital they feel a palpable difference in the way that every employee interacts with them. It is something I always love hearing because that means we are doing things right.”
Finalist Mariana Gallardo is a senior research nurse in the
Lymphoma/Myeloma. A member of MD Anderson’s nursing team since 2017, Gallardo’s passion for oncology stems from a family history of cancer. As a research nurse, she’s proud to be part of a team that offers patients alternatives to standard of care.
“I want to be part of a team that continues the search for better
treatments and makes treatment accessibility easier for patients,”
Gallardo said. “My passion to help patients and their family members
through their most
trying times is fulfilled daily at MD Anderson.”
This year’s selection committee of MD Anderson clinical faculty,
patient care administration and nursing staff included: Carol Porter, chair; Carin Hagberg, M.D., chief academic officer; Diane Bodurka, M.D., vice president and chief
education and training officer; Beth Garcia, vice president, Patient
Experience; Sarah Roder, research nurse, Gynecologic
Oncology & Reproductive Medicine; Uniqua Smith, Ph.D., associate director, Nursing Programs; Lavonia Thomas, nursing informatics officer, Nursing Administration; Theresa Johnson-Forman, clinical administrative director, Sarcoma; Delmy Vesho, director, Clinical Nursing; and Kim Duron, senior executive coordinator, Office of the Chief Operating Officer.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center celebrates its sixth annual Boot Walk to End Cancer® on Saturday, Nov. 6. Due to ongoing COVID-19 precautions, the 1.2-mile walk will be held virtually to keep participants, their families and their communities safe. Participants are encouraged to walk a personalized route in their own neighborhoods, whether it be on a trail, track or sidewalk. Registration is open at mdanderson.org/bootwalk.
“The enthusiasm and passion of our Boot Walk to End Cancer community is unparalleled,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “Our incredible teams and sponsors continue to fuel our mission through their commitment to raise awareness and funds for MD Anderson’s life-saving research and patient programs. We couldn’t be more grateful for the collective push to give cancer the boot.”
Since 2016, more than 26,500 people have participated in the Boot Walk, raising nearly $7.5 million to support innovative cancer research, prevention, education and patient care programs at MD Anderson, including the Volunteer Endowment for Patient Support (VEPS) program, the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Program, the Pancreatic Cancer Moon Shot®, Radiation Oncology, and the Advanced Breast Cancer Clinic, among others. LyondellBasell is proud to serve as the Boot Walk’s presenting sponsor for the fifth year.
“As someone who has been personally impacted by cancer, the Boot Walk to End Cancer serves as a reminder to patients, survivors and their families that we are with you, supporting the research and treatments needed to eliminate cancer,” said Torkel Rhenman, executive vice president, Intermediates and Derivatives and Refining for LyondellBasell. “LyondellBasell’s global team is grateful for the advancements in medical treatments and early detection that are improving the outlook for cancer patients. We sincerely believe that a future without cancer is possible.”
Give cancer the boot, online and in your neighborhood
On Nov. 6, participants are encouraged to pull on their boots – no matter what kind! – and gather with their household in preparation for the Boot Walk. A virtual opening ceremony will go live at 9 a.m. CST, uniting Boot Walk participants across the country to begin the day. The opening ceremony will feature special guests including George Lindsey, Morning Show co-host on 100.3 The Bull and Boot Walk co-chair; Deanna Lindsey, George’s wife and Boot Walk co-chair; Peter WT Pisters, M.D.; the Champion Sisters, a.k.a. Molly Bobrow, Brenda Pattillo and Sandra Torres; and more.
“We are excited to connect virtually with cancer survivors and supporters from across the nation,” said George Lindsey, who has participated in the Boot Walk since the start. “As a caregiver and someone who has lost loved ones to this devastating disease, it is inspiring to see so many dedicated to MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer, once and for all.”
After the opening ceremony, participants will set off on their own, personally-charted 1.2-mile routes. Walkers can stay connected with family, friends and cancer survivors across the nation by sharing their Boot Walk experiences online and on social media with #EndCancer.
There is no registration fee. Participants are encouraged to fundraise with no minimum fundraising requirement.
The Boot Walk is for people of all ages and abilities. Whether walking or fundraising individually or as a team, every step counts. For more information about the Boot Walk and pre-event activities, please visit mdanderson.org/bootwalk.
Boot Walk Sponsors
Thanks to the generosity of MD Anderson’s Boot Walk sponsors, 100% of funds raised directly support MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer in Texas, across the nation and around the world. Special thanks to:
- Cavender’s – Western Wear & Cowboy Boots
- The Houston Dynamo Football Club
- 100.3 The Bull
- Clear Channel
- Community Impact
- Houston Community Newspapers
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center welcomed 28 new members to its Board of Visitors (BOV) with the start of a new fiscal year. The nonfiduciary, appointed advisory board also bestowed its highest honor of Life Member to two senior board members: Nancy B. Loeffler of San Antonio and James J. Mulva of Austin.
Effective Sept. 1, the following business and community leaders
joined the ranks of more than 250 leaders committed to ending cancer
- Arun Agarwal, Dallas: chief executive officer and director, Nextt
- Kathy Britton, Houston: chief executive officer, Perry Homes
- John Christmann IV, Houston: chief executive officer, president and director, Apache Corporation
- Paul N. Clark, Indian Wells, Calif.: retired executive vice president, Abbott Laboratories
- Gregory S. Curran, Houston: president, Wolfcreek Energy Group, LLC
- Barbara Dreeben, San Antonio: community volunteer, numerous organizations
- Vanessa Gilmore, Houston: United States District Judge of the Southern District of Texas
- Cami Christ Goff, Fort Worth: vice president, Goff Family Foundation
- Kelly O’Gara Hackett, Houston: managing director and co-founder, Tectonic Advisors, LLC
- John D. Harkey Jr., Dallas: founder, JDH Investment Management, LLC
- Jason Hiley, Fort Worth: president, Hiley Automotive Group
- William D. “Bill” Hoffman, Hollywood, Fla.: chairman and co-founder, Carlyle Aviation Partners
- Gloria Moncrief, Fort Worth: partner, Moncrief Oil; treasurer, Montex Drilling Company
- Mary Kliewer, Salado: co-owner and operator, BKCW Insurance, Risk Management and Benefits
- Andreae Behlen LeMaistre, San Antonio: community volunteer, pro bono patient advocate
- Tom P. Lynch, Jacksonville, Fla.: owner and partner, Lynch Automotive Group
- David R. McAtee, II, Dallas: senior executive vice president, AT&T
- Jeffrey J. McDougall, Oklahoma City, Okla.: president, principal owner, JMA Energy Company
- M. Ryan McGrath, Houston: president, chief executive officer, Asset Living
- Sharon Michael Owens, Houston: co-owner, La Maison
- Michael Petrick, Greenwich, Conn.: director, Enovix Corporation; special advisor, Riverside Management Group
- Robert K. Reeves, Houston: retired executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Anadarko Petroleum
- Mario E. Rodriguez, Los Angeles, Calif.: founder, former president, NTR Partners III LLC
- Thomas L. Ryan, Houston: chairman, president and CEO, Service Corporation International
- William Pablo Sanders, El Paso: managing director and co-chief investment officer, Sanders Partners, Inc.
- Shelley Tortorice, Beaumont: community volunteer and active philanthropist
- Byron D. Trott, Chicago, Ill.: founder, chairman and CEO, BDT Capital Partners
- Anat Zeidman, Houston: The Zeidman Group, President and CEO
Current BOV Chair Donald L.
Evans, of Midland, along with BOV officers Clarence P. Cazalot Jr.,
of Houston (chair-elect); James L. Gallogly, of Houston (vice
chair); Maureen Hackett, of Houston (vice chair); Tom Johnson, of
Atlanta, Georgia (vice chair), Melvyn N. Klein, of Corpus Christi
(life member); and Marsha M. Shields, of San Antonio (immediate past
chair) enter a second year of service on the BOV’s Officers
Committee. They will officially welcome new members at the BOV’s
“It is both an honor and a privilege to welcome this outstanding, diverse group of experienced, influential and compassionate leaders to our Board of Visitors,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “As we advance our new Strategy and enter a new era of cancer care and research, the generous contributions of our BOV – whether through their time, talent or generosity – will propel us further and faster toward Making Cancer History®.”
New Life Members Loeffler and Mulva also will be honored at the annual BOV meeting. Life Members recognized by the BOV are those who embody philanthropy, leadership and community spirit.
“Nancy and Jim’s contributions over the past several decades have
impacted countless areas across MD Anderson – from cancer patient care
to research, education and prevention,” said Don Evans, chair. “We are
excited to formally express our appreciation for their commitment
generosity as treasured ambassadors in our mission to end cancer.”
Life Member Nancy B. Loeffler
Loeffler has been a valued member of the BOV since 1995, becoming a senior member in 2012. She served as the first female chair from 2009-2012, completing the BOV’s only three-year chairship to date. Loeffler also was the first woman to chair the BOV’s Membership Committee.
Loeffler has shared her insight and expertise through leadership
roles on numerous initiatives including the South Campus Research
Initiative Steering Committee, the Making Cancer History® Campaign
Executive Committee, and the Development Institutional Initiatives and
Strategic Advisory Committees. During her tenure as BOV Chair, MD
successfully completed an ambitious capital campaign, surpassing a
$1.2 billion goal in record time. Loeffler has generously supported and provided leadership for MD Anderson’s signature A Conversation With a Living Legend® fundraising events in San Antonio, Houston and Washington, D.C.
She is a dedicated community and civic leader and a longtime advocate of volunteerism.
Life Member James J. Mulva
Mulva has served on the BOV since 2003 and has been a valued senior
member since 2012, leading the board as chair from 2016-2018. His
insights and expertise have been invaluable in advancing MD
mission to end cancer.
After serving as a U.S. Navy officer, Mulva enjoyed a successful career in the energy industry. He retired as chief executive officer of ConocoPhillips in 2012.
Mulva currently serves as president of the Mulva Family Foundation,
a consistent support of MD Anderson and his alma mater, The University
of Texas at Austin. He and his wife, Miriam, are members of the
Anderson Assembly, which honors donors who have committed $1 million
more to MD Anderson.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has awarded Kelly Nelson, M.D., associate professor, Dermatology, the Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention. The annual award recognizes employees who consistently demonstrate excellence in their work and dedication to MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer. The award's focus rotates annually among the areas of patient care, research, education, prevention and administration.
Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson, and Regina Rogers, a Life Member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, led a virtual awards ceremony today announcing Nelson as the 2021 recipient. She received a $15,000 prize and a framed certificate of merit.
Four additional finalists were recognized at the virtual ceremony along with Nelson. They each received a $2,500 prize as well as a certificate of merit:
- Karen Basen-Engquist, Ph.D., professor, Behavioral Science
- Jennifer Cofer, director, End Tobacco, Cancer Prevention & Control Platform
- Robin Coyne, supervisor, Advanced Practice Provider, CPC Provider Income & Activity
- Tricia White-Rhemtulla, department administrator, Cancer Prevention, Health Disparities Research
An unwavering commitment to early detection and prevention
Colleagues across MD Anderson praise Nelson for her vision and leadership in cancer prevention, particularly her efforts to democratize knowledge and to lower barriers of access to cost-effective skin cancer screening techniques through MD Anderson’s Melanoma Moon Shot® prevention projects. Nelson’s "keen sensibility, candid approach to problems and poise under countless obstacles … is absolutely indicative of her unwavering commitment to help cancer patients through early detection and prevention," says nominator Elizabeth Burton, director, Research Planning & Development, Melanoma.
Over the past few years, Nelson has led the development and
deployment of DERM:EMD, an interactive web-based training program for
dermatology resident physicians with a current reach of 21 residency
programs and more than 250 residents across Texas and other states.
She also developed and implemented PCP:EMD, a multi-faceted pilot
program to educate primary care physicians that includes live
and Project ECHO telementoring to support PCP-led melanoma diagnosis in regions without dermatologists.
"I want our programs to save lives and reduce the burden of melanoma treatment for my fellow Texans," Nelson said. "Hearing stories of success from dermatologists and primary care physicians who are finding melanomas at early stages, and recognizing their evolving skill, is enormously motivating."
Rogers Award rooted in family's commitment to Making Cancer History®
Regina Rogers established the Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence in 1987 in honor of her parents, the late Julie and Ben Rogers.
Ben Rogers served on the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors from 1978 until his death in 1994, though the family’s relationship with the institution dates back to 1960, when Regina’s brother, Arvey Rogers, M.D., was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. A lengthy and successful surgery performed by Edgar C. White, M.D., and R. Lee Clark, M.D., enabled him to continue to lead a normal life.
In 1987, Regina’s mother, Julie Rogers, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through the surgical expertise of Richard Martin, M.D., and Fred Ames, M.D., she recovered and served to reinforce the family’s dedication to MD Anderson, remaining an active supporter until her death in February 1998.
Regina Rogers, who has served on the Board of Visitors since 1990, is a passionate ambassador of the institution whose decades of service have significantly advanced MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Stripes® Stores at 7-Eleven, Inc. kicks off its seventh annual MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital instore fundraising campaign today in locations across Texas. The campaign will run in more than 570 stores across Texas and Louisiana from September 1 through September 30 as part of Pediatric Cancer Awareness.
"We've dedicated September as Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month
in our stores to raise funds for children with cancer in our local
communities. Since 2014, we have collaborated with MD Anderson
Children's Cancer Hospital to help make a difference in pediatric
cancer patients' lives
through emerging treatments. With the help of our passionate team members and generous customers, we can continue to support pediatric cancer research and fund camps and educational programs in the hospital," said Thelma Delgado, Zone Vice President at 7-Eleven, Inc., (Stripes Stores).
Stripes customers can donate by purchasing a $1 MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital paper pin-up while checking out at participating stores. To show appreciation for donations, participating customers will receive a coupon for $1 off two LIFEWTR® 1L bottles.
Seven years of Helping Kids with Cancer
Since 2014, 7-Eleven® (Stripes Stores) has garnered support from thousands of customers to raise more than $5.8 million for MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital. Funds raised from this year's campaign will support MD Anderson's Pediatric Education and Creative Arts program and new pediatric cancer research, with the potential to improve patient treatments and care.
“As the world adjusts to a new normal, our mission to end cancer remains top of mind,” said Richard Gorlick, M.D., division head and department chair of pediatrics at MD Anderson. “The continuous support of our work by 7-Eleven and Stripes Stores, combined with the collective generosity of 7-Eleven and Stripes customers across Texas, has allowed our teams to continue to provide the best care for our patients and their families. Thank you for your dedication to Making Cancer History.”
Giving at $1 at a time has supported crucial initiatives including expanded research in the field of immunotherapy aimed at building a program to rapidly introduce innovative cellular and immune therapies for pediatric solid malignancies, pediatric sarcoma and brain tumor research.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has named 10 early career faculty members to the 2021 class of Andrew Sabin Family Fellows. Established by philanthropist Andrew Sabin through a generous $30 million endowment in 2015, the Sabin Family Fellowship program encourages creativity, innovation and impactful cancer research at MD Anderson in the areas of basic science, clinical, physician-scientist and population and quantitative science.
“Researchers at MD Anderson are unmatched in their ability to develop bold tactics aimed at tackling cancer,” said Sabin, who has served as a member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors since 2005. “My hope is that through our support, we can inspire and assist these brilliant minds in their dedicated work to end cancer.”
Each Sabin Family Fellow will receive $100,000 over two years. Selections were based on a competitive external review process. The 2021 class of Sabin Family Fellows includes:
, associate professor,
Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis
, associate professor, Immunology
- Yejing Ge, Ph.D. , assistant professor, Cancer Biology
, associate professor,
Investigational Cancer Therapeutics
- Ching-Wei Tzeng, M.D. , associate professor, Surgical Oncology
Goswami, M.D., Ph.D.
, assistant professor,
Genitourinary Medical Oncology
Kim, M.D., Ph.D.
, associate professor, Neurosurgery
Msaouel, M.D., Ph.D.
, assistant professor,
Genitourinary Medical Oncology
, associate professor, Lymphoma-Myeloma
- Ethan Ludmir, M.D., assistant professor, GI Radiation Oncology
Since the inaugural Sabin Family Fellowship class was announced in 2016, there have been 52 fellows who have distinguished themselves among the top oncologists in their respective fields. The work of the Sabin Family Fellows spans the cancer care continuum, from basic science to translational research to survivorship, and they already are impacting the lives of patients who seek care at MD Anderson.
“Our early career researchers are a pivotal part of the innovative discoveries that fuel our mission to end cancer,” said President Peter WT Pisters, M.D. “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation in allowing our institution to recruit and retain the highest caliber of young researchers through this fellowship program. Together, we will continue Making Cancer History®.”