publication date: Jan. 11, 2019

John Mendelsohn, translational researcher who led MD Anderson for 15 years, dies at 82

By Paul Goldberg

John Mendelsohn, president emeritus of MD Anderson Cancer Center and an elder statesman in oncology, died Jan. 7 at his home in Houston. He was 82.

Mendelsohn was diagnosed with glioblastoma 15 months ago.

“MD Anderson had the great fortune of being led by John Mendelsohn for 15 years, and the strides made under his direction were nothing short of remarkable,” Peter Pisters, president of MD Anderson, said in a statement. “In addition to impressive achievements, both as a scientist and as a leader, John was a role model and inspiration to so many.”

A video tribute to Mendelsohn, produced by MD Anderson, is posted here.

“John understood the importance and urgency of moving discoveries out of the laboratory and into patients, and he focused the institution on this goal,” said Margaret L. Kripke, professor emerita and former executive vice president and chief academic officer at MD Anderson. “He was helped in this mission by his colleague, friend, and tennis partner, Dr. Waun Ki Hong, the former head of the Division of Medicine, whom we also lost earlier this year. Together, they developed the premier translational research effort in cancer in the country, focused on partnerships between staff, clinicians and laboratory scientists.”

Kripke’s appreciation of Mendelsohn appears here.

“John Mendelsohn was a 24/7, 365-days-a-year president while at MD Anderson. He never let up,” said Raymond N. DuBois, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and dean of medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, who served as provost and executive vice president at MD Anderson. “He was passionate … Continue reading John Mendelsohn, translational researcher who led MD Anderson for 15 years, dies at 82

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