Leadership and Staff

Our leadership team, staff and faculty work together to help training future leaders in the lab and in the clinic. We develop inquisitive researchers probing the molecular basis of disease and therapy. We equip medical practitioners with cutting-edge knowledge to conduct clinical and translational research and work to improve health care systems worldwide. 

The position of Assistant Dean, Clinical Investigations MSc Program, will be filled soon. 

  • Stephen White, DPhil

    President and Dean

    Email: stephen.white@stjude.org

    Stephen White is from London, England and obtained his BSc in Biochemistry from Bristol University and his DPhil in Molecular Biophysics from Oxford University. Following postdoctoral fellowships at Oxford and the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, he moved to Brookhaven National Laboratory as a staff biophysicist in 1984. In 1990, he moved to Duke University Medical Center as an Associate Professor, and in 1996 was recruited to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to establish the Department of Structural Biology. In 2015, he was asked to establish the new St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He now serves as the first Dean of the school.  His wife, Dr. Miguela Caniza, is an infectious disease clinician at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and a faculty member of the Graduate School and the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine.

  • Brian Walton

    Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer

    Email: brian.walton@stjude.org

    Brian Walton has worked in higher education accounting and administrative positions for the last 20 years. Hired at Brandeis University as an Associate Controller, he was then promoted to Assistant Vice President for Students and Enrollment, a newly created division responsible for ensuring the success of undergraduate students outside the classroom. Brian was then hired as the Associate Dean of Finance & Administration at the Brown University Graduate School, where he oversaw the operational areas of the Graduate School and 80+ graduate programs. Brian joined St. Jude in April 2016 to oversee the operations of the Graduate School. His expertise in admissions and recruiting, advising, finance, human resources, and student life are highly valued in this new role.

  • Suzanne Baker, PhD

    Associate Dean, Biomedical Sciences PhD Program

    Email: suzanne.baker@stjude.org

    Suzanne Baker earned her PhD in Molecular Biology and Human Genetics from The Johns Hopkins University. After postdoctoral training at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, she joined the faculty at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

    Her research is directed toward understanding normal and cancerous growth in the brain, with a specific focus on the underlying molecular, cellular and genetic mechanisms driving high-grade gliomas (HGG) in children. Ongoing studies are directed toward understanding how disrupted development and chromatin dysregulation contributes to the pathogenesis of HGG. Her work incorporates in vivo and in vitro model systems for mechanistic studies as well as preclinical testing of selective therapies.

    Suzanne directs the Division of Brain Tumor Research and is the Associate Director for Basic Research and the Co-Leader of the Neurobiology and Brain Tumor Program in the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center. She holds the Brain Tumor Research endowed chair at St. Jude.

  • J. Racquel Collins, MT(ASCP), MBA, PhD

    Assistant Dean, Biomedical Sciences PhD Program, and Director of Institutional Research

    Email: racquel.collins@stjude.org

    Racquel Collins earned her PhD in Cancer and Radiation Biology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and her MBA from the University of Memphis. Her career at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital began in 2008 as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2011, she joined the Molecular Pathology Laboratory as a board-certified medical technologist, where she was responsible for genetic testing and assay development. In 2014, Racquel became the director of Scientific Lab Operations, where she provided administrative and supervisory direction for Scientific Operations and oversaw institution-led laboratory shared resources. Racquel joined the Graduate School in May 2016, where her responsibilities include marketing, recruiting, admissions and mentoring.

  • Shaloo Puri, MBBS, DTCD, MPH, MPA

    Associate Dean, Global Child Heath MSc Program

    Director, Global Graduate Studies, Department of Global Pediatric Medicine

    Email: shaloo.puri@stjude.org

    Shaloo Puri is a global health leader with 26 years of experience of transformational impact in complex multi- sectoral settings at country and global levels. She has held leadership positions in organizations including Harvard University, World Economic Forum and World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with USAID, Global Fund, Gates Foundation, World Bank, other development and UN agencies, public and private sectors. She is known to be a distinguished thought leader with expertise in policy research and analysis, and in creating and leading innovative educational programs and multi-stakeholder partnerships across the spectrum of global health and health systems.

    She earned her medical degree and postgraduate specialization in Respiratory Diseases from India. Subsequently she did a MPH from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and went on to do a MPA and a fellowship in Public Policy and Management from the Kennedy School at Harvard University. In July 2018, Shaloo moved to St. Jude from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she headed the Doctor of Public Health Program. She now leads the Master of Science in Global Child Health Program and the St. Jude Global Scholars Program of the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine, providing transformative education to future change agents and child health leaders. 

  • Julie Laveglia, MA

    Assistant Dean, Global Child Heath MSc Program

    Email: julie.laveglia@stjude.org

    Julie brings more than 15 years in the field of international education to her role at St. Jude, starting her career teaching English through the JET Program outside of Kyoto, Japan. Julie then returned to the U.S. to work at New York University with its Center for Global Affairs and NYU-in-Paris program. Afterward, Julie worked on the International Human Resources team at Lehman Brothers.

    She pivoted back to higher education and moved to Boston to work in the LASPAU Office of Harvard University, where she was primarily responsible for advising graduate-level Fulbright grantees from Central and South America. Most recently, Julie worked in the Overseas Programs division at Washington University in St. Louis where she worked closely with students, faculty, and university partners in East and South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

    Julie was born and raised outside of Philadelphia in Southern New Jersey. She received her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Environmental Science from Boston College. While an undergrad, she studied abroad at the Universidad de Sevilla. Julie received her master’s degree in International Education from New York University. While a graduate student, she interned with the Sister City Program within the New York City Commission to the United Nations. Julie is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education degree from the University of Memphis, with a concentration in higher and adult education.

    At St. Jude, Julie works with the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in collaboration with the St. Jude Department of Global Pediatric Medicine on the design, implementation, management and evaluation of the Master of Science in Global Child Health program and postgraduate capstone projects. Together these initiatives form the Global Scholars program, which offers students a transformative education needed to enhance the treatment and care of childhood cancers and catastrophic illnesses in an evolving world.

  • Patricia Flynn, MD

    Associate Dean, Clinical Investigations MSc Program

    Email: pat.flynn@stjude.org

    Pat Flynn earned her BS at Rhodes College in Memphis and her MD at Louisiana State University Medical Center. She did her pediatric residency at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center/Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center and her fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Le Bonheur and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She earned a Master of Science in Epidemiology from UTHSC.  Patricia began working in the HIV/AIDS program at St. Jude in 1988. The program provides comprehensive care for infants, children and adolescents with HIV infection and is the site of several clinical trials networks making new interventions and treatments available to its patients.  She has played an active role in the development and conducted numerous clinical trials for HIV and other infectious diseases.

  • Victor M. Santana, MD

    Associate Dean, Clinical Investigations MSc Program

    Email: victor.santana@stjude.org

    Victor M. Santana is from Puerto Rico where he obtained his undergraduate and medical degree from the Catholic University and the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, respectively. He subsequently obtained specialty training in Pediatrics and in Hematology-Oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1984, he joined the faculty at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where he has contributed in many roles as physician, clinical researcher and administratively as a Division Chief for Solid Malignancies, Chair of the Institutional Review Board and as past Senior Vice President for Clinical Trials Administration and Associate Director for Clinical Research in the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center. Presently he directs the Global Research Unit in the St. Jude Global Alliance.

  • Dayna Baker

    Operations Coordinator

    Email: dayna.baker@stjude.org

    Dayna Baker joined the St. Jude Department of Virology & Molecular Biology in 1987, working directly with the chair, Robert Webster, PhD, and providing administrative support to the faculty. Following 10 successful years, she transferred to the Department of Structural Biology where she oversaw the expansion of the new program with chair Stephen White, D.Phil. As the departmental administrator, Dayna has coordinated diverse projects including faculty recruitment, grant submissions, budgets, capital equipment purchases and service contracts. She joins the new St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences as the Senior Administrator.

  • Tiffany Young-Polk

    Registrar

    Email: tiffany.young-polk@stjude.org

    Tiffany Young-Polk has worked in higher education for 14 years at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, where she served as the Assistant to the Director of Information Technology, Associate Registrar and Director of Veterans Affairs. She also served on the Student Veteran Center Resource Team, the Enrollment Management Committee and the Fifth Year Review Committee.  During her time at Lane College, Tiffany led key projects including the opening of a Student Veteran Center and the redesign of the institution’s degrees. She also assisted in the setup and configuration of the institution’s student information and learning management systems.

    Tiffany joined the St. Jude Graduate School as Registrar in October 2016. She is responsible for services in the area of enrollment, academic record keeping, and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC) Accreditation.

  • McGehee Marsh, JD, PhD

    Legal Counsel

    McGehee Marsh is a patent attorney, licensed to practice law in Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky and the District of Columbia. She has a PhD in Environmental Toxicology/Chemistry. She is an environmental auditor and has practiced intellectual property and environmental law in Kentucky. McGehee was Kentucky Senate General Counsel and one of the architects of Kentucky’s postsecondary education reform, which created new funding formulas and reorganized missions and focus for Kentucky’s public colleges, universities, community colleges and technical schools. She worked for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education as Chief Science Advisor and Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs. She was responsible for implementing legislation passed during her tenure at the Senate, which created initiatives to attract knowledge-based economy companies to Kentucky, and to recruit women to the sciences. McGehee raises and trains service dogs and is a member of American Mensa.