More than 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry have taught Beverly and Jack Randall, co-founder of Jefferies Randall & Dewey, that big ideas get big results.
“It takes creativity, passion and tenacity to have big breakthroughs,” says Jack, a member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors. “It’s only through truly novel ideas and a willingness to take a chance on the most promising concepts that vision becomes reality.”
It’s that type of thinking that he and wife Beverly hope to stimulate through the Jack and Beverly Randall Prize for Excellence in Cancer Research, established with a large endowment. A cash prize will be awarded each year to an MD Anderson faculty member, the focus alternating between innovations in cancer research and excellence in patient care.
“We think it’s important to build on MD Anderson’s history of achievement by honoring, encouraging and advancing innovative research,” says Beverly Randall. “This award is our way of supporting tomorrow’s leaders so they have the incentive and resources needed to make this happen.”
Andrew Futreal, Ph.D., the inaugural recipient, is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking research in large-scale systematic cancer genomics. His work has led to the identification of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast/ovarian cancer susceptibility genes and BRAF mutations in melanoma. Now, he’s focusing on building a better way to collect and use
“We want to provide an engine that will allow almost every patient to contribute to our research and potentially benefit from that research,” says Futreal, adding that the best part of winning the prize is what it stands for.
“It’s meaningful to be recognized for ideas that pushed at the edges of current approaches,” he says. “The idea of alternating the award between researchers and clinicians is exceptional because that’s the way MD Anderson works. It’s a partnership.”