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The Science of Childhood Cancer

A 15-week virtual lecture series


The Science of Childhood Cancer is an interactive, weekly lecture series designed to engage the scientific community on key questions in pediatric cancer research. Invited speakers are leading experts across the spectrum of basic, translational, clinical and population science.

A new 15-week season will launch in fall 2022, hosted by the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center. Register to receive updates and an announcement when the new speaker lineup is released, and browse archive lectures from previous speakers.

View archived lectures


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Prior Lectures

  1. photo of Charalampos Kalodimos

    The Conformational Landscape of Protein Kinases in Physiology and Disease

    Charalampos Kalodimos, PhD
    Member, St. Jude Faculty
    Chair, Structural Biology Department
    Joseph Simone Endowed Chair in Basic Research
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

    Watch the Lecture


    photo of Lindsay Morton

    Genetic Susceptibility to Subsequent Neoplasms Following Childhood Cancer

    Lindsay M. Morton, PhD
    Senior Investigator & Deputy Branch Chief, Radiation Epidemiology Branch
    Head, Cancer Survivorship Research Unit
    Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute 

    Watch the Lecture


    photo of Jun J. Yang

    Unraveling the Heterogeneity of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Through the Lens of Pharmacogenomics

    Jun J. Yang, PhD
    Member and Vice Chair, Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences
    Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

    Watch the Lecture


    photo of David Chen

    Identify Novel Therapeutic Opportunities in Pediatric Cancers Using High-Resolution CRISPR Tiling Scans

    David Chen, PhD
    Associate Professor, Systems Biology , City of Hope Cancer Center

    Watch the Lecture

    photo of Liling Wan

    Reading Epigenetic Landscape: New Mechanisms and Therapeutic Opportunities

    Liling Wan, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Department of Cancer Biology
    Penn Epigenetics Institute
    Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

    Lecture not recorded


    photo of Suzanne Baker

    Disrupted Development in Pediatric High-Grade Glioma

    Suzanne J. Baker, PhD
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

    Lecture not recorded


    photo of Yutaka Yasui

    What Can We Learn From GWAS Data?  Genetic Heterogeneity and Rare Variant Hypothesis of Cancer Risk

    Yutaka Yasui, PhD
    Member, Epidemiology and Cancer Control
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

    Watch the Lecture


    photo of Alejandro Gutierrez

    Pathobiology of asparaginase resistance

    Alejandro Gutierrez, MD
    Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

    Lecture not recorded


    photo of Katherine Janeway

    Learning From Children: Designing Better Clinical Trials with Their Data

    Katherine A. Janeway, MD, MMSc
    Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
    Senior Physician, Dana-Farber / Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
    Director, Clinical Genomics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


    photo of Jiyang Yu

    Targeting Hidden Drivers Toward Precision Oncology

    Jiyang Yu, PhD
    Associate Member
    Department of Computational Biology
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital


    photo of Stefan Pfister

    Mapping Childhood Brain Tumor Profiles Onto Normal Development Identifies Novel Therapeutic Vulnerabilities

    Prof. Dr. Stefan M. Pfister
    Director Preclinical Program, Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ)
    Head, Division of Pediatric Neurooncology, DKFZ
    Deputy Head, KiTZ Clinical Trial Unit (ZIPO) and Pediatric Brain Tumors, Heidelberg University Hospital


    photo of Hongbo Chi

    Functional Genomics of T-Cell Metabolism and Immuno-oncology

    Hongbo Chi, PhD
    Member and Robert G. Webster Endowed Chair in Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

    Watch the Lecture


    photo of Yaël Mossé, MD

    Discovering and Targeting Neuroblastoma Vulnerabilities: ALK Inhibition as a Paradigm

    Yaël Mossé, MD
    Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


    photo of Ralph DeBerardninis

    Human Metabolic Outliers

    Ralph J. DeBerardinis, MD, PhD
    HHMI Investigator and Professor
    Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern

    Lecture not archived


    photo of Akiko Shimamura

    Clonal Evolution and Somatic Reversion in Genetic Predisposition to TP53-Mutated MDS

    Akiko Shimamura, MD, PhD
    Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
    Samuel E. Lux IV Chair in Hematology Oncology
    Director, Bone Marrow Failure and MDS Program
    Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center


    image of Kevfin Oeffinger

    Secondary Breast Cancer: A Paradigm for Survivorship Research

    Kevin Oeffinger, MD
    DCI Center for Onco-Primary Care
    Duke University

  2. Charles Mullighan portrait

    Deconvoluting the Origins of Acute Leukemia

    Charles G. Mullighan, MBBS (Hons), MSc, MD
    Member, Pathology
    Deputy Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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    Meredith Irwin portrait

    Identification of Biomarkers, Models and Targets to Improve Outcomes and Precision Approaches for Neuroblastoma

    Meredith Irwin, MD
    The Hospital for Sick Children
    Chair, Department of Paediatrics; Professor, Departments of Paediatrics; Medical Biophysics; Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology
    University of Toronto

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    Olivier Delattre portrait

    Modulation of the Activity of the Dominant Oncogene EWS-FLI1 by Germline Polymorphisms and Cohesin Mutations

    Olivier Delattre, MD, PhD
    Inserm Research Director
    Head of Cancer, Heterogeneity, Instability and Plasticity Department
    Head of the Pediatric Oncology Center
    Institut Curie, Paris, France

    Watch the lecture


    Melissa Hudson  portrait

    The Role of Survivorship Research in Advancing Childhood Cancer Care and Quality of Survival

    Melissa M. Hudson, MD
    Director, Cancer Survivorship Division
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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    Dan Landau portrait

    Deciphering Somatic Evolution with Single-Cell Multi-Omics

    Dan A. Landau, MD, PhD
    Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology
    Associate Professor of Physiology and Biophysics
    Weill Cornell Medical College
    Core Member
    New York Genome Center

    Lecture not archived.


    David Teachey  portrait

    The Biology, Diagnosis, and Management of T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Lymphoma

    David T. Teachey, MD
    Associate Professor of Pediatrics
    Division of Oncology
    The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
    University of Pennsylvania
    Perelman School of Medicine

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    David Fisher portrait

    Sunlight and Skin: Lessons for Melanoma Therapeutics From Its Unique Pathogenesis

    David E. Fisher, MD, PhD
    Professor of Dermatology and Pediatrics
    Chair, Dept of Dermatology
    Mass General Hospital & Harvard Medical School

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    Matt Vander Heiden portrait

    Influence of Metabolism on Cancer Progression

    Matt Vander Heiden, MD, PhD
    Director, Koch Institute
    Lester Wolfe Professor in Molecular Biology
    Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

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    photo of Bradley Bernstein

    Epigenetic Mechanisms of Tumorigenesis

    Bradley Bernstein, MD, PhD
    Chair, Department of Cancer Biology
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Institute Member
    Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

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    Rising Stars of Cancer Research

    Photo of Saar Gill

    Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Redirected Macrophages for the Treatment of Solid Tumors

    Saar Gill, MBBS, PhD, FRACP
    Associate Professor of Medicine
    Scientific Co-Director, Cell Therapy and Transplantation
    University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

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    Rising Stars of Cancer Research

    photo of Yvonne Chen

    Engineering Next-Generation CAR-T Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy

    Yvonne Y. Chen, PhD
    Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics
    University of California, Los Angeles

    Lecture not archived.


    Mignon Loh portrait

    What Will it Take To Cure Every Child with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia?

    Mignon Loh, MD
    Professor of Pediatrics
    Benioff Chair of Children’s Health
    Deborah and Arthur Ablin Endowed Professor of Pediatric Molecular Oncology
    Chair, ALL Committee, Children’s Oncology Group
    Benioff Children’s Hospital, UCSF, San Francisco, CA

    Watch the lecture


    Martin Pule Heiden portrait

    CAR T Cell Therapies for Childhood Cancer, the University College London Experience

    Martin Pule, MB, FRCPath
    Senior Lecturer in Haematology
    University College London

    Watch the lecture


    Kirsten Ness portrait

    Interventions to Prevent or Remediate Frailty in Childhood Cancer Survivors

    Kirsten K. Ness, PT, PhD, FAPTA
    Member, Epidemiology and Cancer Control
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

    Watch the lecture


    Rising Stars of Cancer Research

    Giles Robinson portrait

    Tailoring Medulloblastoma Therapy to Fit the Evolving Molecular Landscape

    Giles Robinson, MD
    Associate Member, Oncology Department
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

    Watch the lecture


    Rising Stars of Cancer Research

    Mariella Filbin portrait

    Developmental Pathways, Plasticity and Novel Treatment Opportunities in Pediatric High-Grade Brain Tumors

    Mariella Filbin, MD, PhD
    Attending Physician in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
    Co-Director for Research, Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorder Center

    Lecture not archived.


    Doug Green portrait

    Persister Act: Near-Death Experiences in Cancer Cells

    Douglas R. Green, PhD
    Chair, Immunology Department
    Co-Leader, Cancer Biology Program
    Peter C. Doherty Endowed Chair of Immunology
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

    Lecture not yet archived.

  3. Jinghui Zhang portrait

    Genomic Variants in Pediatric Cancer: Landscape, Precision Oncology, and Data Sharing Ecosystem

    Jinghui Zhang, PhD
    Chair, Department of Computational Biology
    St. Jude Endowed Chair in Bioinformatics
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    Original lecture date: January 28

    Watch lecture


    Richard Gilbertson portrait

    Will We Ever Cure Cancer?

    Richard Gilbertson, MD, PhD
    Li Ka Shing Chair of Oncology
    Head, Department of Oncology
    Director, Cancer Research UK Major Centre 
    University of Cambridge, England
    Original lecture date: February 4

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    Scott Armstrong portrait

    Chromatin Complexes as Therapeutic Opportunities in Cancer

    Scott Armstrong, MD, PhD
    President, Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
    Chair, Department of Pediatric Oncology
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    David G. Nathan Professor of Pediatrics
    Harvard Medical School
    Original lecture date: February 11

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    Robin Yabroff portrait

    Financial Hardship After Childhood Cancer

    Robin Yabroff, PhD, MBA
    Scientific Vice President, Health Services Research
    American Cancer Society
    Original lecture date: February 18

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    John Crispino portrait

    Mechanisms of Leukemogenesis in Children with Down Syndrome

    John Crispino, PhD, MBA
    Director, Division of Experimental Hematology
    The Wall Street Committee Endowed Chair
    Department of Hematology
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    Original lecture date: February 25

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    Sheila Singh portrait

    Therapeutic Targeting of Self-Renewal of Medulloblastoma Stem Cells: Strategies for Blocking Recurrence

    Sheila Singh, MD, PhD, FRCS(C)
    Pediatric Neurosurgeon, McMaster Children's Hospital
    Professor of Surgery, McMaster University
    Principal Investigator, Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute, McMaster University
    Senior Canada Research Chair in Human Cancer Stem Cell Biology
    University Scholar, Chair, McMaster College of Health Inventors
    Original lecture date: March 4

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    Jinghui Zhang portrait

    Single Cell Atlases as Roadmaps in Pediatric Cancer

    Aviv Regev, PhD
    Head of Research and Early Development
    Original lecture date: March 11

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    Douglas Hawkins portrait

    Successes and Challenges in Pediatric Cancer: The COG Perspective

    Douglas S. Hawkins, MD
    Chair of Children's Oncology Group
    Professor of Pediatrics
    University of Washington School of Medicine
    Seattle Children’s Hospital
    Original lecture date: March 18

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    David T.W. Jones portrait

    Pediatric High-grade Glioma – Novel Drivers Define a Spectrum of New Tumor Subgroups

    David T.W. Jones, PhD
    Group Leader, 'Pediatric Glioma Research'
    Hopp Children’s Cancer Center (KiTZ)
    German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
    Original lecture date: March 25

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    Karen Vousden portrait

    A Role for Metabolism in Cancer Development and Progression

    Karen Vousden, PhD
    Senior Group Leader
    The Francis Crick Institute
    Original lecture date: April 1

    Lecture not archived


    Anne Kirchhoff portrait

    Identifying Strategies to Improve HPV Vaccination Among Childhood Cancer Survivors

    Anne Kirchhoff, PhD, MPH
    Associate Professor, Pediatrics
    University of Utah/Huntsman Cancer Institute
    Original lecture date: April 8

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    Madan Babu portrait

    Data Science Approaches to GPCR Signaling and Personalized Medicine

    Madan Babu, PhD, FRSC
    Endowed Chair in Biological Data Science
    Director, Center of Excellence for Data Driven Discovery
    Department of Structural Biology
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    Original lecture date: April 15

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    Zhaoming Wang portrait

    Genetic and Epigenetic Approaches Towards Understanding Risk of Chronic Health Conditions Among Survivors of Childhood Cancer

    Zhaoming Wang, PhD
    Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control
    Department of Computational Biology
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    Original lecture date: April 22

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    Kimberly Stegmaier portrait

    A First-generation Pediatric Cancer Dependency Map

    Kimberly Stegmaier, MD
    Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
    Ted Williams Chair and Vice Chair of Pediatric Oncology Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Institute Member, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
    Original lecture date: April 29, 2021

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    Cigall Kadoch portrait

    Structure and Function of Mammalian SWI/SNF Chromatin Remodeling Complexes in Human Cancer

    Cigall Kadoch, PhD
    Associate Professor, Department of Pediatric Oncology
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School
    Institute Member and Epigenomics Program Co-Director, Broad Institute
    Original lecture date: May 6, 2021

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  4. Michel Sadelain portrait

    CAR T Cells: On the Road to Synthetic Immunity

    Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD
    Director, Center for Cell Engineering
    Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair
    Member, Immunology Program
    Member, Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics
    Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    Original lecture date: August 13

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    Charles W.M. Roberts portrait

    Chromatin Remodeler Mutations in Cancer: Mechanisms and Therapeutic Vulnerabilities

    Charles W.M. Roberts, MD, PhD
    Member, St. Jude Faculty
    Executive Vice President
    Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center
    Director, Division of Molecular Oncology
    Department of Oncology
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
    Original lecture date: August 20

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    Terry Fry portrait

    The Future of CAR T Cells for Hematologic Malignancies: Beyond Antigen Targeting

    Terry J. Fry, MD
    Professor of Pediatrics, Hematology and Immunology
    Co-Director, Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Initiative and Director of Cancer Immunotherapy
    University of Colorado School of Medicine
    Robert and Kathleen Clark Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer Therapeutics
    Children’s Hospital Colorado, Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
    Original lecture date: August 27

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    Richard Kriwacki portrait

    Phase Separation in Gene Transcription: From the Nucleolus to Aberrant Transcription in Leukemia

    Richard W. Kriwacki, PhD
    Co-Leader, Cancer Biology Program
    Department of Structural Biology
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
    Original lecture date: September 3

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    Smita Bhatia portrait

    Late Effects Among Survivors of Blood or Marrow Transplantation

    Smita Bhatia, MD, MPH
    Director, Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship
    Gay and Bew White Endowed Chair in Pediatric Oncology
    Professor and Vice Chair, Dept. of Pediatrics
    School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Original lecture date: September 10

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    Christine Brown portrait

    Advancing CAR T Cells for the Treatment of Glioblastoma: Progress and Challenges

    Christine Brown, PhD
    Heritage Provider Network Professor of Immunotherapy
    Deputy Director, T Cell Therapeutics Research Laboratory
    City of Hope
    Original lecture date: September 17

    Lecture not archived.


    Kevin Krull portrait

    Cognitive Outcomes of Childhood Cancer: Neurophysiology, Biomarkers and Interventions

    Kevin R. Krull, PhD
    Endowed Chair, Cancer Survivorship
    Faculty Member, Departments of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, and Psychology
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
    Original lecture date: September 24

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    Ioannis Aifantis portrait

    3D Chromosomal Organization in Pediatric Leukemia: Impact for Drug Response and Disease Progression

    Iannis Aifantis, PhD
    Professor and Chair
    Department of Pathology and Perlmutter Cancer Center
    NYU Grossman School of Medicine
    Original lecture date: October 1

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    Paul Northcott portrait

    Medulloblastomics 2020: Biological & Clinical Insights From 1,000s of Patients

    Paul A. Northcott, PhD
    Associate Faculty Member, Department of Developmental Neurobiology
    Division of Brain Tumor Research
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
    Original lecture date: October 8

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    Crystal Mackall portrait

    CAR T Cells for Pediatric Cancers: Progress and Challenges

    Crystal Mackall, MD
    Ernest and Amelia Gallo Family Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine
    Founding Director, Stanford Center for Cancer Cell Therapy
    Director, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Stanford
    Associate Director, Stanford Cancer Institute
    Leader, Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program
    Director, Cancer Immunotherapy Program
    Department of Pediatrics - Hematology & Oncology
    Department of Medicine - Blood & Marrow Transplantation
    Stanford University
    Original lecture date: October 15

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    Richard Young portrait
    Isaac Klein portrait

    Partitioning of Cancer Therapeutics in Nuclear Condensates

    Richard A. Young, PhD
    Professor, Department of Biology
    Member, Whitehead Institute
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

    Isaac A. Klein, MD, PhD
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Whitehead Institute
    Original lecture date: October 22

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    Rani George portrait

    Harnessing Lineage Plasticity for the Treatment of Neuroblastoma

    Rani George, MD, PhD
    Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
    Dept. of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Boston Children's Hospital
    Original lecture date: October 29

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    Paul Thomas portrait

    Organized Destruction and Destructive Organization: The Diversity of Immune Responses Towards Tumors and Pathogens

    Paul G. Thomas, PhD
    Faculty Member, Department of Immunology
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
    Original lecture date: November 5

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    Michelle Monje portrait

    Targeting Neuron-Glial Interactions in Childhood Brain Cancer

    Michelle Monje, MD, PhD
    Associate Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences
    Stanford University
    Original lecture date: November 12

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    Eric Chow portrait

    Emerging Late Effects of Targeted Molecular Therapies

    Eric Chow, MD, MPH
    Associate Professor, Clinical Research Division
    Associate Professor, Public Health Sciences Division
    Director, Prevention Center Shared Resource
    Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
    Medical Director, Cancer Survivorship Program
    Seattle Children's Hospital
    Associate Professor, Pediatrics
    University of Washington
    Original lecture date: November 19

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Comprehensive Cancer Center

St. Jude is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.