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Noted researcher will direct the country’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital officials have named Richard Gilbertson, M.D., Ph.D., director of its Comprehensive Cancer Center and an executive vice president in the organization. St. Jude is home to the first and only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.
Gilbertson will oversee the Cancer Center and its programs, directing, shaping and advancing the institution’s pediatric oncology research. He will also chair the Cancer Center Advisory Committee, serve as principal investigator of a Cancer Center Support Grant from the NCI and will collaborate with other NCI Cancer Center directors. Gilbertson was recruited to St. Jude in 2000.
“During the past decade, Dr. Gilbertson has emerged as perhaps the world’s top physician-scientist working on childhood brain tumors. He is a highly collaborative and insatiably driven investigator,” said Dr. William E. Evans, St. Jude director and CEO. “Dr. Gilbertson will bring that same engagement and vision to the Cancer Center as it continues to serve as a worldwide leader in understanding what causes childhood cancers and how to translate this knowledge into better treatments.”
At St. Jude, Gilbertson has led international efforts that have dramatically advanced understanding of the biology driving several common childhood brain tumors, and he has been actively engaged in clinical trials to translate this into innovative therapies.
Gilbertson trained as a pediatric oncologist, earning a medical degree from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England. Shortly afterward, he became a member of the Royal College of Physicians and completed his Ph.D. He left the United Kingdom to join the St. Jude Developmental Neurobiology and Oncology departments. Gilbertson has served as director of the hospital’s Molecular Clinical Trials Core and co-leader of the Neurobiology and Brain Tumor Program. He plans to continue his laboratory work focused on childhood brain tumors.
St. Jude has been an NCI-designated Cancer Center since 1977 and was named a comprehensive center in 2008.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The hospital’s research has helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent when the institution opened to almost 80 percent today. It is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. At St. Jude, families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance.