Mendelsohn’s legacy, continued impact to be explored at Rice’s Baker Institute


Jeff Falk

Mendelsohn’s legacy, continued impact to be explored at Rice’s Baker Institute

HOUSTON – (Sept. 5, 2019) – Dr. John Mendelsohn (1936-2019) impacted health care, cancer research and the future of Texas through his work as a physician-scientist, as president of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and as an advocate for cancer research. An event at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy Sept. 10 will honor Mendelsohn’s achievements and their impact on the future of cancer research.

A panel moderated by Dr. Peter Pisters, president of MD Anderson, will explore Mendelsohn’s research, his role as the president of MD Anderson, and his work as an advocate for cancer research and innovation.

Panelists will discuss Mendelsohn’s scientific work and his contributions to and leadership of the MD Anderson Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy, which represents Mendelsohn’s vision for the future of cancer treatment. They will also discuss his efforts to promote public health and cancer research policies at the state and national levels, including the creation of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, commonly known as CPRIT.

This event is part of the Medicine, Research and Society Policy Issues Series, a joint project between the Baker Institute Center for Health and Biosciences and MD Anderson. Additional support was provided by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Registration for the free and public event is at

Who: David Leebron, president of Rice, will give welcoming remarks.

Panelists are Andrew Futreal, chair and professor of MD Anderson’s Department of Genomic Medicine; Margaret Kripke, professor emerita of immunology and the Vivian L. Smith Chair Emerita at MD Anderson, who worked closely with Mendelsohn; and Texas state Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, a physician who is retiring from the Legislature this month to become the executive vice chancellor for health affairs at the University of Texas System.

What: An event titled “Dr. John Mendelsohn’s Legacy and the Future of Cancer Research.”

When: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 8-10 a.m. Breakfast will be served at 7:30.

Where: Rice University, James A. Baker III Hall, Doré Commons, 6100 Main St.

A live webcast will be available at the event page,

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.

For a map of Rice University’s campus with parking information, go to Media should park in the Central Campus Garage (underground).


Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.

Follow the Baker Institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences via Twitter @BakerCHB.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,   

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.