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 Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences was founded in 2015 to educate the next generation of researchers and health care professionals at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. By training researchers to probe the molecular basis of disease and therapy, medical practitioners to conduct clinical and translational research, and health professionals to improve health care systems worldwide, the Graduate School is committed to the advancement of global heath and the discovery of cures for pediatric catastrophic diseases. The Graduate School’s degree programs include the Biomedical Sciences doctoral program, the Global Child Health master’s program, and the Clinical Investigations master’s program. To learn more, visit www.stjude.org/graduate-school or follow the Graduate School on social media at @StJudeGraduate (Twitter) and @StJudeGradSchool (Facebook, Instagram).

St. Jude Media Relations Contacts

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