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Dr. Lovell A. Jones

Molecular endocrinologist Lovell A. Jones was born January 12, 1949 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He attended the University of California, Berkeley where he received his Ph.D. degree in the field of zoology, with an emphasis on endocrinology and tumor biology. Upon completing his Ph.D., Jones worked as a post-doctoral fellow/instructor in the department of physiology and obstetrics, gynecology & reproductive sciences at the University of California Medical Center at San Francisco.

In 1980, Jones joined the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as an assistant professor in the department of gynecology and biochemistry, where he has served for over thirty years. As the first African American to be hired in the basic/behavioral sciences, he rose through the ranks to a tenured full professor. During his tenure, he focused on the role of steroid hormones in reproductive cancers and health disparities that exist in minority and medically underserved populations. Jones served as founder of the Biennial Symposium Series: Minorities, the Medically Underserved & Cancer and co-founder of the Intercultural Cancer Council. He has served as director and co-principal investigator of the National Black Leadership Initiative, the first major minority outreach project sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. In 2000, Jones was named the first director of M.D. Anderson’s Congressionally Mandated Center for Research on Minority Health (CRMH). In 2011, he assumed the positions of research professor of social work at the University of Houston and director of the joint Dorothy I. Height Center for Health Equity & Evaluation Research (DH CHEER).

Jones chaired the training session of the strategic fact-finding meetings on Minority Health and Training in Biomedical Sciences for the Office of the Associate Director for Research on Minority Health (now the National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institute of Health (NIH). Jones also served as a member of the Clinical Research Panel of the National Task Force on the National Institute of Health (NIH) Strategic Plan. In addition, he served on the Breast Cancer Integration Panel for the Department of Defense, and has published over 150 scientific articles on subjects ranging from hormonal carcinogenesis to health policy. By 2012, Jones had received more than $40 million dollars in research and educational funding.

In 2002, Jones received the Humanitarian Award from the American Cancer Society and was honored on the floor by the U.S. House of Representatives for his work. Jones was awarded the NIH/NICMHD Director’s Award for Health Disparities Excellence in Research, Policy & Practice. He received the 2012 Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award from the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, as well as the NAACP Unsung Hero Award. In September 2013, upon his retirement from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Jones became the first African American to be honored by the University of Texas System with Professor Emeritus status at Anderson. He then became the first African American in the University of Texas System to be awarded a second title of Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 2014.

In retirement Jones is continuing his efforts to address the issue of health disparities and mentor the next generation.

Lovell A. Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 08/14/2012.

Accession Number

A2012.198

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/14/2012

Last Name

Jones

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Allan

Schools

Perkins Road Elementary School

McKinley Elementary School

Southern University Laboratory School

Robert E. Lee High School

Louisiana State University

California State University, East Bay

University of California, Berkeley

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on schedule

First Name

Lovell

Birth City, State, Country

Baton Rouge

HM ID

JON31

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Open

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Depends on audience

Favorite Season

Fall

Speaker Bureau Notes

Emergency #: 713-628-6005

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Big Island, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

If you don't care who gets the credit, you accomplish a lot.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

1/12/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chinese Food

Short Description

Molecular endocrinologist and biology professor Dr. Lovell A. Jones (1949 - ) is founder of the 'Biennial Symposium Series: Minorities, the Medically Underserved & Cancer' and co-founder of the Intercultural Cancer Council.

Employment

University of California, San Francisco

University of Texas

Delete

Intercultural Cancer Council

University of Texas, Austin

Center for Health Equity & Evaluation Research

University of Houston

University of California

Favorite Color

Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lovell Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lovell Jones lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lovell Jones describes his mother's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lovell Jones describes his mother's family background - part two

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lovell Jones talks about his grandfather, Eddie Lockhart

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lovell Jones talks about his great grandmother and her family ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lovell Jones talks about his great grandmother's curse on her slave owner

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lovell Jones talks about his mother's growing up and the unique racial politics of Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lovell Jones talks about how he is related to Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lovell Jones talks about his mother's education

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lovell Jones describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lovell Jones talks about the lasting impact of war on his father and his father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lovell Jones talks about his parents' relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lovell Jones talks about his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lovell Jones describes his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lovell Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lovell Jones talks about his experience in elementary school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lovell Jones talks about the challenges of being an advanced student in school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lovell Jones talks about his experience in junior high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lovell Jones talks about his participation in the integration of Baton Rouge schools

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lovell Jones talks about his experience with racism in school - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lovell Jones talks about his experience with racism in school - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lovell Jones reflects upon his experiences in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lovell Jones describes how he came to attend Louisiana State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lovell Jones talks about his experience at Louisiana State University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lovell Jones talks about his transition from Louisiana State University to California State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lovell Jones talks about his grandmother and mother's influence on him

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lovell Jones talks about his impetus to study science

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lovell Jones talks about how he met his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lovell Jones talks about his decision to attend the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lovell Jones talks about his experience at the University of California, Berkeley and his mentor, Howard Burn

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lovell Jones talks about how he came to his dissertation research topic on the influence of natural estrogens on carcinogenesis

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lovell Jones talks about the impact of his dissertation research on the influence of natural estrogens on carcinogenesis

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lovell Jones talks about his post-doctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lovell Jones talks about his reaction to his mother's diagnosis with cancer

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lovell Jones talks about his career and his parents' experiences with cancer

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lovell Jones talks about his decision to work at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lovell Jones talks about his efforts to increase awareness about the high incidence of cancer in black people

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lovell Jones talks about his education, policy, and research initiatives

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lovell Jones talks about his initiatives for addressing health disparities

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lovell Jones talks about cancer and race

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lovell Jones talks about race and the difference in how cancer effects certain populations and communities

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lovell Jones talks about slavery's legacy on racial politics in the U.S and society's declining value for people

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lovell Jones talks about the problems with the U.S. healthcare system

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lovell Jones shares his views on the U.S. healthcare system

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lovell Jones reflects on his career and talks about how people of color are valued in society

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lovell Jones talks about his wife's encounter with discrimination

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lovell Jones reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lovell Jones talks about his students and mentee's

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lovell Jones reflects on his life choices

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lovell Jones talks about his children

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Lovell Jones talks about his wife and their marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Lovell Jones talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

6$2

DATitle
Lovell Jones talks about the problems with the U.S. healthcare system
Lovell Jones talks about his wife's encounter with discrimination
Transcript
This idea of not caring about one's fellow man in terms of health coverage. The whole idea that we're already paying for it in other ways that's costing us more than doing it the right way, is just mind boggling for me.$$What would you see as the ideal health care system for the United States?$$I, I would say it would have to be one that--the European system is not going to work here. I mean we're too far down that road. I, I think the, the way that health reform was put--the bill that was, that came out was, was not the best bill that could have come out. And it came out primarily because of Civics 101, and that--what I mean by that is we lost it because of one election in Massachusetts. We had to deal with the House version. We could never take it back to the Senate because we're now down one vote as opposed to the 60 votes. And so we're left with this thing that should have been massaged, as most legislations are, legislative bills. House comes in, goes to the Senate, Senate does its thing. Then it goes to a consensus committee. They pound on it, they make it something that's presentable to some extent, and then it goes back to both houses to be voted on. This thing never happened that way. It was--I mean in that bill is the, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shell, 1,051 times, okay. You're giving the power to one person to make decisions with some said this, some said that, maybe you know it's up to you to make that decision. The whole issue with regards to the implementation of Medicaid expansion. The whole idea of exchanges. Well that process works well in Massachusetts. It would probably work well in Michigan, maybe California. But it is not going to work well in the southwest. The reason Texas has 25 percent uninsured. If we implement it in its best form, we're only going to get down to nine, ten, 11 percent. That's a lot of people. And then when you take away the safety nets that were in place, disaster is going to happen, okay. New Mexico, Arizona, southern California, same boat to a large extent. And it's not--people say it's those undocumented, it's not. Yes they're part of it. But these are American citizens that are too poor to be able to afford the exchange, but too rich to be covered in it in terms of being covered 100 percent. They're the out lies. Now in a state that has maybe two to three percent, it can be absorbed by other venues. A state that has six to nine percent, 11 percent, there are no other venues to absorb that. And so you still have this massive pressure on the health care system.$And sometimes we're our, we're our own worst enemies. I remember when my wife, who's a high risk patient, four of her aunts, her mother, all have had breast cancer. Only one is still alive. So either there's a genetic trait or some issue related to risk. And so she came here, and I would come with her most of the time, and so a few years ago she came by herself and she got sent down to Credit Counseling. And so she called me from Credit Counseling and said dear you didn't pay the insurance. I said what do you mean I didn't pay? I'm a full professor on faculty, you know it's automatically paid. What do you mean I--and you know, and she was telling me somebody came and saw her and said Mrs. Jones, and she said yes. And she said Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones married to Dr. Lovell Jones? Yes. The Dr. Lovell Jones that works here? Yes. We made a mistake. You know we're going to take you--dear they're taking me someplace, I don't know where they're taking me. Phone hangs up. I rush over to the clinic where she is. I said where's my wife? She's not here. What do you mean she's not here? So as I'm standing at the desk, I get a phone call from my wife. Says dear I'm on my way to the Galleria, I'm going to do something. I said what do you mean? She said got back, they saw me, everything's fine so I'm going to celebrate. So I turned and I said why did you guys send my wife down to Credit Counseling? Well you know Dr. Jones there was a $25 co-pay. Yeah. It hadn't been paid. Yeah. I said my wife could have written a check. I mean if I know my wife, she was dressed to the nines. She wears my wallet. So well you know Dr. Jones a large percentage of Hispanics aren't insured. I said what's that got to do with my wife? She's not Hispanic. Well you know--I said African--I said wait a minute. What does any of that have to do with my wife? Well you know first hired, last hired, first fired. I said no, what does that have to do with my wife? Our mission here is to take care of people. So what does that have to do with--all of a sudden people start gravitating and I said you haven't heard the end of this. You have not heard the end of this. And then I started talking to people. I said people in asking did this happen to you, did this happen? And I found out that this had happened to other faculty. So it's an issue of value, but the most interesting thing about this, the person who was asking the questions, the person who denied her care, was African American. And so we assume the value system of others. And so that's--so at some point we have to get past this and that's my greatest hope and one I work towards. And I have in my research group--in fact some people refer to it as the United Nations, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Africans, whites all working together. And in fact at the bi-annual symposium a young student came up to me after one of the evening events and he says Dr. Jones I have to say this to you. This has been the best meeting I've ever been to. The things I've learned. He said but it's not what I've learned scientifically, he said I've learned that people from all walks of life, whether they're racially different, whether they're religious differences, whether they're cultural differences, whether they're political differences, can get together and work towards a common goal. I now know it's possible. And that's what I will take with me.