St. Jude Science Scholars of Tomorrow

March 1, 2018
Marlo Thomas Center for Global Education and Collaboration
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105

Program Overview

The St. Jude Science Scholars of Tomorrow program, a symposium-style one day event, is designed to give students and teachers an opportunity to see real world application of many of the concepts they are using in the classroom. We also hope to provide students with a budding, or well-established, interest in science, engineering, math or healthcare a look at the broad range of possibilities for academic and career paths. This program is an opportunity to see and hear from scientists who work in the field every day. We select our student participants through a competitive application process. There is no cost to participate in this program.


James R. Downing, MD

James R. Downing, M.D., is president and chief executive officer of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As the architect of a new six-year strategic plan, he is leading the expansion of St. Jude clinical care and research programs in Memphis and around the globe. A renowned leader in pediatric cancer research, Dr. Downing focuses his work on understanding the genetic basis of cancer and using that information to improve the treatment of children with cancer. He was instrumental in launching the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project (PCGP), which has sequenced the normal and cancer genomes of more than 800 young cancer patients with some of the least understood and most aggressive tumors. The project made TIME magazine’s 2012 list of top 10 medical breakthroughs. In 2013, he was a finalist for TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. The PCGP has produced groundbreaking discoveries in brain tumors, leukemia, a cancer of the peripheral nervous system, an eye tumor and the degenerative disorder commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The project has also produced new computational tools that benefit the broader field of genomic medicine.

Dr. Downing is a Detroit native who earned his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Michigan. He joined St. Jude in 1986 after training in anatomic pathology at Washington University in St. Louis and completing a fellowship in hematopathology at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Prior to taking the helm of St. Jude, Dr. Downing served as the institution’s scientific and deputy director and as an executive vice president in the organization. He became the hospital’s sixth chief executive officer July 15, 2014.

For his work, Dr. Downing has received numerous honors, including the Association for Molecular Pathology Award for Excellence in Molecular Diagnostics, which recognizes lifetime, pioneering achievement, particularly in regard to molecular diagnostics and molecular medicine. In 2013, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (now known as National Academy of Medicine), and in 2016, he was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Most recently, he was awarded the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Prize and the E. Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize from the American Society of Hematology. In addition, Dr. Downing served on a Blue Ribbon Panel to advise former Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative through the National Cancer Institute.

Douglas Green, PhD

Doug Green received his Ph.D. in Biology and Immunology from Yale University in 1981. Following postdoctoral training in experimental surgery and marine biology, he received a faculty position at the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 1985. In 1990 he became the Head of the Division of Cellular Immunology at La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in San Diego, CA. Since 2005 he has been Chair of Immunology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, where he holds the Peter Doherty Chair. Doug Green is an ISI Highly Cited Investigator in the fields of immunology and molecular biology and has published over 600 research papers, reviews, commentaries, chapters, and books.  He is an honorary fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and received an honorary PhD in Biochemistry from University Tor Vergata in Rome. Last year he was the recipient of the prestigious Jurg Tschopp Award for cancer research. His research focuses on the central mechanisms and consequences of cell death and cell survival in cancer and the immune system.


This event is by invitation only and participants must register in advance. There is no registration on the day of the event. For information about how to apply for next year’s St. Jude Science Scholars of Tomorrow event, please sign up for updates on the main Science Scholars of Tomorrow program page.

Directions and Parking

Free parking is available on the St. Jude campus. Please display this parking pass on your windshield. Enter the campus from A. W. Willis and notify the security guard you are attending the Science Scholars symposium in the Marlo Thomas Center. You may also download this campus map to assist you in entering the campus, parking, and locating the Marlo Thomas Center.

Driving Directions


Opens at 7:30 a.m.
Group photo for all participants
8:15 - 8:30 a.m.
Welcome and Introduction - James R. Downing, MD, President & CEO 8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Keynote Speaker - Douglas Green, PhD, Chair, Department of Immunology 9:00 - 9:55 a.m.
Tours and Interactive Education Session
10:00 a.m. - Noon
Lunch Noon - 1:00 p.m.
Tours and Interactive Education Session 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Career Panel
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Conclusion 4:00 p.m.