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

Making Cancer History Voices Collection

Margaret Kripke Interview 1

Descriptive Summary

Collection: Making Cancer History Voices Oral History Collection:
Interviewee: Kripke, Margaret
Interviewer: Brunet, Lesley W.
Title: Margaret Kripke Interview 1
Date: December 13, 2007
Abstract Dotted with personal insights, this interview with Dr. Margaret Kripke tells the story of her educational experiences and journey to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Kripke begins by recalling time spent completing her dissertation in Jerusalem and then her career at the National Cancer Institute. She then expresses her affinity for M.D. Anderson and Houston before ending the interview with her contribution to the creation of what is now known as the Organization for Women, which focuses on women’s needs in the workplace.
Collection ID: OH-KripkeM-20071213
Original Format: Audiocassette
Format: 1 streaming video file and 1 interview transcript
Interview Length: 1 hour
Language: Materials are in English
Repository: Historical Resources Center, Research Medical Library,The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Biographical Note

Margaret Kripke, Ph.D. is widely regarded as a trailblazer and role model for women in medical science, academia and executive leadership. She has supported and mentored countless colleagues, employees and trainees throughout her distinguished career. Dr. Kripke’s many accomplishments include: first woman chair of an M.D. Anderson academic department, Immunology; pioneering research focused on ultraviolet radiation’s role in skin cancer; creation of the field of photoimmunology, the study of interactions between light and the immune system; first female member of the institution’s management and executive committee; first woman to attain the title of Senior Vice President and, ultimately, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer; two-time appointment by President George W. Bush to the three-person President’s Cancer panel, on which she continues to serve under President Barack Obama.

A native of California, Dr. Kripke received her Ph.D. in immunology from the University of California at Berkeley and completed postdoctoral work at Ohio State University. After three years on the University of Utah faculty, she joined the National Cancer Institute – Frederick Cancer Research Facility, where she advanced to director of the Cancer Biology program. After joining M.D. Anderson in 1983 as professor and founding chair of the Department of Immunology, she entered administration in 1998 as Vice President for Academic Programs. She was promoted to Senior Vice President in 1999 and Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer in 2001.

Dr. Kripke’s reputation at M.D. Anderson and throughout the international cancer research community led to the 2008 establishment of the Margaret L. Kripke Legend Award. This award recognizes scientific and medical leaders who have made extraordinary efforts to hire a diverse workforce, promote women to leadership roles, nominate women for awards and otherwise advance their careers.


Restrictions on Access

This interview contains no restrictions

Restrictions on Use

All requests for copying of materials must be submitted to the Historical Resources Center in writing for approval. All reproductions will be handled by HRC staff

Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained in writing by the Historical Resources Center

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Kripke, Margaret L.
Fidler, Josh
Fuller, Lillian M., ‡d 1923-
Becker, Frederick F.
Weiss, David W., 1927-
Subjects (Organizations)
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center -- History
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Women's Faculty Organization
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Women Faculty and Administrator’s Organization
National Cancer Institute (U.S.)
Hospitals, Special
Skin Neoplasms -- immunology
Houston (Tex.)
Oral History

Administrative Information


Interview conducted between Dr. Margaret Kripke and Lesley Brunet on December 13, 2007 in Houston, Texas.

Preferred Citation

Margaret Kripke Interview 1, December 13, 2007, Research Medical Library, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Processing Information

Oral history was edited by Jewelry Yep, HRC Intern, March 2011



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