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Global Pediatric Cancer Initiative Experts and Information for Media

Geographical location of a child is one of the strongest predictors of whether that child is cured of cancer. More than 80% of all children live in low- or middle-income countries that often struggle to meet the health care needs of local populations. The World Health Organization (WHO) designated St. Jude as the first WHO Collaborating Center for Childhood Cancer, and in 2018, St. Jude Global was launched, its mission to improve worldwide the survival of children with cancer or blood disorders pursued through the sharing of knowledge, technology and organizational skills. The goal of this initiative is to increase the survival rate of children with the most common pediatric cancers to 60% globally by 2030.

Learn more about the St. Jude Global Initiative and the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine.

The following global pediatric oncology experts are available to speak to journalists on a range of topics related to research and global cancer care.

To schedule interviews or speak with one of our experts, email or contact one of our media relations staff.

Contact Media Relations

Global Childhood Cancer Experts

  • Nickhill Bhakta, MD, MPH

    Nickhill Bhakta, MD, MPH, is director of the Sub-Saharan Africa Region for St. Jude Global. An assistant faculty member, his research interests focus on the global epidemiology of childhood cancer, as well as leukemia survivorship and the cost-effectiveness of childhood cancer treatment in low- and middle-income countries. In collaboration with the Global Burden of Disease study at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, he found a greater burden of childhood cancer in low- and middle-income countries than previous estimates. Bhakta can be contacted about current global initiatives and its current and future trajectories.  

  • James R. Downing, MD

    James Downing, MD, is president and chief executive officer at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, as well as the hospital’s chair of Childhood Cancer Treatment. He also directs the molecular pathology laboratory, where his research focuses on human leukemia. This laboratory investigates the role of chromosomal translocations in the development of pediatric cancers and determines how the identification of these genetic errors can be used to aid in the diagnosis and management of pediatric patients. Downing was instrumental in launching the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, and was a finalist of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.

  • Sima Jeha, MD

    Sima Jeha, MD, is faculty in the departments of Oncology as well as Global Pediatric Medicine at St. Jude. In 2018, through the alliance of St. Jude Global, she and her Lebanese colleagues found that effective pediatric cancer treatment is possible in the midst of the refugee crisis caused by the war in Syria. She can be contacted about her research interests in developmental therapeutics, protocol development and clinical investigations in leukemia, relapsed and refractory leukemia, and leukemia in the adolescent and young adult.

  • Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, MD

    Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, MD


    Carlos Rodrigues-Galindo, MD, chairs the St. Jude Global Pediatric Medicine department and serves as the director of St. Jude Global. An alliance he was instrumental in forming in 2018, St. Jude Global aims to improve both the access to and quality of care children receive globally, as well as to provide better treatment options for children worldwide. The current strategic plans of the alliance include the development of regional networks for education and capacity expansion, as well as the research which is fundamental to St. Jude’s mission. Rodriguez-Galindo can be contacted about his research and expertise in global medicine and pediatric solid tumors.