The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Research Medical Library

Making Cancer History Voices Collection

T.C. Hsu Oral History Interview 2, May 10, 2001

Descriptive Summary

Collection: Making Cancer History Voices Oral History Collection:
Interviewee: Hsu, T. C. (Tao-Chiuh), 1917-,
Interviewer: Brunet, Lesley Williams,
Title: T.C. Hsu Oral History Interview 2
Dates: May 10,2001
Abstract Dr. Tao-Chiuh Hsu continues his reflections with Lesley Brunet regarding his career at M.D. Anderson. The interview begins with a discussion of Dr. Felix Haas and the evolution of the department of biology. William R. Brinkley’s contributions and interactions with the department are recounted as well. Several of Dr. Hsu’s major accomplishments to science are highlighted including the development of chromosomal banding techniques, biological specimen banks, and cell preservation. The interview continues with a discussion of his sentiments regarding the re-organization of cell biology and his laboratory location within the Hermann Professional Building. A discussion regarding the collection of tissue samples from cats ends the interview. Several humorous stories regarding his personal life and work are also shared.
Collection ID: Hsu_TC_20010510
Original Format: Audiocassette
Format: 1 streaming video file and 1 interview transcript
Interview Length: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Language: Materials are in English
Repository: Historical Resources Center, Research Medical Library,The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Biographical Note

Dr. Tao-Chiuh (T. C.) Hsu is considered internationally to be the father of modern cytogenetics. He was born and raised in China where he did his undergraduate work at the National University of Chekiang in 1941. Dr. Hsu came to the United States to pursue graduate studies in zoology at the University of Texas in Austin, 1948. This was followed by doctorate studies and post-doctoral research at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston from 1951 to 1955. In 1952, Dr. Hsu accidentally discovered the hypotonic solution to separate a chromosome, a breakthrough for cytogenetic research.

Dr. Hsu became associate professor at M. D. Anderson in 1955. He built a laboratory which fostered an international community of scientists in cytogenetic research. Dr. Hsu always welcomed collaboration and helped identify a unique method of charting individual segments of chromosomes.

Dr. Hsu’s contribution to medical research includes over 300 scientific articles. He was the editor for the Atlas of Mammalian Chromosomes and the author of a book in cytogenetics. Dr. Hsu was a member of several influential cellular research societies, including the National Institute of Health section of cellular studies and the American Society for Cell Biology. He was also a prolific guest speaker at numerous cancer and genetics conferences. Dr. Hsu was a well respected faculty member at M. D. Anderson, where he won numerous awards recognizing his work. He also held several presidential and chair positions within the institution. . Dr. Hsu passed away July 9, 2003 at the age of 86.


Restrictions on Access

This interview contains no restrictions

Restrictions on Use

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Hsu, T. C. (Tao-Chiuh), 1917-
Haas, Felix Levere, 1917-
Brinkley, William R.
Pathak, Sen
Strong, Louise C., 1944-
Subjects (Organizations)
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center -- history
Genetic Research
Molecular Biology
Hospital Departments
Hospitals, Special
Laboratories, Hospital
Cell Biology
Cell Line
Chromosome Banding
Biological Specimen Banks
Houston (TX)
Oral History

Administrative Information


Interview with Dr. T.C. Hsu conducted by Lesley W. Brunet

Preferred Citation

T.C. Hsu Oral History Interview 2, May 10, 2001, Research Medical Library, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Processing Information

Oral history was edited Michele Wilson, HRC Intern, Spring 2011.



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