The president of one of the nation’s leading cancer centers resigned this week — here’s what you need to know

This Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012 photo shows buildings of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The nation's largest cancer center is launching a massive "moonshot" effort against eight specific forms of the disease, similar to the all-out push for space exploration 50 years ago. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston expects to spend as much as $3 billion on the project over the next 10 years and already has "tens of millions" of dollars in gifts to jump start it now, said its president, Dr. Ronald DePinho. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Houston’s world-class cancer center, MD Anderson, had a shakeup in leadership Wednesday when its president, Dr. Ronald DePinho, resigned.

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In a release from the facility, Dr. DePinho stated he was stepping down after “months of self-reflection,” and a “deep engagement with the Chancellor and…Board.” He also shared a short video on the situation.

“This great and noble institution needs a new president who will inspire greater unity and a sharp operational focus on navigating the tectonic changes in healthcare delivery and economics,” Dr. DePinho added.

Some of DePinho’s self-described “shortcomings” and “regrets” may be related to the disintegration of a partnership with IBM that was intended to integrate the cognitive computing system Watson as part of MD Anderson’s day-to-day battle to eradicate cancer.

The $62 million investment was about as effective as the Texans’ dud investment in Brock Osweiler, and the lack of success left both parties in a bit of an awkward situation, with IBM defending the 90 percent success rate of the product, but MD Anderson ultimately choosing to walk away.

MD Anderson operates under the University of Texas, which relies on a large portion of its funding from the state. This could be why DePinho was asked to stay on through the end of the legislative session in May — that and probably to help find a replacement to keep the hospital on track in its mission.

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System Chancellor William McRaven also provided a statement:

“I will be forever grateful to President DePinho for all he has done, not only for his great institution, but for every person, myself included, whose life has been impacted by cancer. We all know that he has been and will continue to be our champion.”

MD Anderson’s longtime rival Memorial might be hiring, doc.

What do you think?

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