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Data Science Experts and Information for News Media

Computational biologists, bioinformaticians and biostatisticians at St. Jude have helped advance the understanding and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases. They lead research to create innovative data-driven computational methods, perform cutting-edge analysis and have established the world's best pediatric cancer data resources. These researchers provide state-of-the-art data and computational expertise that bolsters research initiatives at St. Jude by designing and analyzing studies across the spectrum of laboratory research, early and late-phase clinical trials and late-effect and epidemiological studies.

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Data Science Experts

  • M. Madan Babu, PhD, FRSC

    M. Madan Babu, PhD, St. Jude Department of Structural Biology, is an early pioneer in establishing data science-based approaches to reveal principles of biological systems. As the St. Jude Center of Excellence in Data-Driven Discovery director, he leads a prolific and innovative research team leveraging computational and experimental methods to study biological systems at different scales of complexity. His recent work has focused on g-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are the target of one-third of all Food and Drug Administration-approved medicines. A better understanding of GPCRs will have profound implications for pharmaceutical development. Babu was awarded the 2019 EMBO Gold Medal for his contributions to the field of computational biology. 

  • Paul Geeleher, PhD

    Paul Geeleher, PhD, St. Jude Department of Computational Biology, is the bioinformatics lead for St. Jude in the Pediatric Cancer Dependencies Accelerator project — a collaboration between St. Jude, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Geeleher employs new computational methodologies applied to extensive preclinical screening data from cancer cell lines and patient -omics datasets to investigate unmutated genes as potential drug targets in pediatric cancers. In his laboratory, he leads a hybrid team of scientists aimed at improving outcomes for patients with catastrophic pediatric cancers. His primary research interests include genomics, drug repurposing and neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancerous tumor that almost always affects children.

  • Clay McLeod

    Clay McLeod


    Clay McLeod, St. Jude Department of Computational Biology, is the director of product development and engineering and the primary project manager for St. Jude Cloud. St. Jude Cloud is the world’s largest public repository of pediatric cancer genomics data. This free resource allows researchers worldwide to access genomic data, analysis tools and interactive visualizations. Partnering with Microsoft and DNAnexus, St. Jude Cloud apps are a cohesive blend of comprehensive data, scientific expertise, engineering innovation and cloud infrastructure.

  • Motomi Mori

    Motomi Mori, PhD, MBA, St. Jude Department of Biostatistics chair, is an expert in cancer genetic analysis, which applies mathematical and statistical methodologies to essential questions in areas such as medicine, public health and other biomedical fields. Through her leadership, the Department of Biostatistics is integrated into the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center and plays a vital role in developing and designing clinical trial protocols. 

  • Jinghui Zhang, PhD

    Jinghui Zhang, PhD, St. Jude Department of Computational Biology chair, is known for her groundbreaking computational expertise in pediatric cancer genomics. As group lead for analyzing the next-generation sequencing data provided by the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, Zhang produced new computational tools to help fellow scientists probe the genetic origins and fundamental driving mechanisms of pediatric cancers. Zhang’s research in the genomic landscape of pediatric cancer has led to new directions in research involving high-risk leukemia, brain and solid tumors. Zhang is the mind behind St. Jude Cloud, conceptualizing the resource and overseeing its development and launch.