University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston President John Mendelsohn, MD, took the helm of MD Anderson in 1996. After what he calls "15 years of the happiest and most productive period of my life," he announced last December his intention to step down. The 74-year-old won't be retiring, but will stay on as a faculty member and take over as co-director of the new Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy. "It's good for new blood to come in and new ideas," said Mendelsohn, under whose leadership MD Anderson has expanded dramatically. With budgets being slashed on the state and federal level, his successor will likely have to take a different approach. Mendelsohn recently talked with the Tribune about what budget cuts mean for MD Anderson, the value of public research and his advice for his successor.