History milestone: Founding of the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

grad school 60th anniversary

During the decade between the 50th anniversary of the founding of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the 60th, one of the institution’s most significant advancements was the founding of the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The graduate school was officially organized in November 2015. The goal was to develop future leaders and innovators who will discover cures, advance treatments for catastrophic childhood diseases, and fundamentally advance global health.

While the school is young, graduate education is not new at St. Jude. Training biomedical scientists has been a key component of the hospital’s mission since the 1960s. The institution has helped to train thousands of postdoctoral fellows, medical students, clinical fellows and graduate students through affiliations with medical schools and research universities.

St. Jude President and CEO James R. Downing, MD, and the graduate school’s President and Dean Stephen White, DPhil, had been discussing the possibility of a graduate school at St. Jude since the early 2000s. They and other faculty leaders wanted to build a curriculum focused on St. Jude research goals.

The plan was ambitious: to leverage our world-class research and clinical environments, faculty, and resources to develop the next generation of leaders in research and child health. In June 2015, the St. Jude Board approved establishing the school as a separate institution. With new infrastructure and curriculum in place, the school welcomed its inaugural class of PhD students to campus in July 2017. The subsequent development of the school has been rapid. The Master of Global Child Health program launched in July 2019. A Master of Science program in Clinical Investigation was developed in July 2021.

The graduate school offers three programs:

  1. Master of Science in Clinical Investigations: This two-year program is designed for healthcare workers and researchers interested in advancing their understanding of the development, implementation, conduct and oversight of clinical investigation.
  2. Master of Science in Global Child Health: In collaboration with St. Jude Global, this program provides a transformative education that creates a corps of health professionals adept at tackling challenges in our constantly evolving world and produces agents of change committed to strengthening health systems with consequent benefits for the most vulnerable populations, especially children.
  3. PhD in Biomedical Sciences: With an outstanding basic science and translational research faculty, the PhD in Biomedical Sciences program offers rigorous laboratory training and a range of dissertation research material in pediatric oncology, infectious diseases, genetic and blood disorders, drug discovery and international medicine.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To learn more, visit stjude.org or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch

St. Jude Media Relations Contacts

Michael Sheffield
Desk: (901) 595-0221
Cell: (901) 379-6072