Houston Treasures

Anne and Dr. John Mendelsohn


Photo by: Gittings

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Since Anne and John Mendelsohn arrived in 1996, Houston has benefited from these dynamic leaders whose contributions extend beyond The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

As only the third president of the world-renowned cancer facility, Dr. Mendelsohn’s leadership has more than doubled the size and scope of M. D. Anderson’s programs. The institution currently is the nation’s #1 hospital for cancer care as named by U.S. News & World Report.

Dr. Mendelsohn graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College, where he was the first undergraduate to conduct research under Dr. James Watson. He earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School after a year in Scotland as a Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Mendelsohn continued his research at the University of California, San Diego where he founded and directed its cancer center, and later at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where he was Chairman of Medicine. He and his colleagues ioneered research that led to the cancer drug Erbitux, and helped launch a major field of research into targeted therapies.

His many awards include the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award, the Dan David Prize and the Dorothy P. Landon – AACR Prize for Translational Cancer Research. A member of the Institute of Medicine, Dr. Mendelsohn has authored more than 250 scientific publications. He serves on numerous boards, including the Greater Houston Partnership, BioHouston, the Center For Houston’s Future and the Houston Grand Opera.

Anne Charles Mendelsohn, who graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Mount Holyoke College, has been a research scientist at Polaroid, freelance photographer, writer/producer of public television documentaries, and founding director of Columbia University’s distance learning program.

An enthusiastic supporter of M. D. Anderson, she has chaired the boards of Teach for America/Houston and the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and has served on the boards of the Greater Houston Community Foundation, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership and the Alley Theatre, among others.

The Mendelsohns have received honors as a couple, including the Leadership Houston Distinguished Leaders Award; the Woodrow Wilson Public Service Award; the Guideposts Magazine Norman Vincent and Ruth Stafford Peale Humanitarian Award; The Cancer League’s Torch of Hope Award; and the Career and Recovery Resource, Inc. Barrier Breaker Award. The Mendelsohns, who have been married for 47 years, have three sons and eight grandchildren.

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