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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital names Charles Roberts, M.D., Ph.D., director of its Cancer Center

Roberts, an internationally recognized leader in cancer epigenetics, will oversee the country’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.

Memphis, Tennessee, July 22, 2015

Charles Roberts, MD, PhD

Charles Roberts, MD, PhD

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has named Charles W. M. Roberts, M.D., Ph.D., as executive vice president and director of the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center, the first and only National Cancer Institute (NCI)–designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Roberts will also serve as full member in the Department of Oncology and hold the Lillian R. Cannon Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Endowed Chair.

“As a world-class investigator, compassionate physician and experienced leader, Dr. Roberts is well suited to guide the Cancer Center, which connects scientists and clinicians to drive advances in research and treatment,” said James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and chief executive officer.

Roberts will assume the director role September 1. He joins St. Jude from Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where he served as deputy chief scientific officer. He is an international leader in cancer epigenetics, and his research has provided new insights into the central role of chromatin remodeling in germline and sporadic cancers. Roberts has also co-led an initiative on DNA sequencing of pediatric solid tumors at the Broad Institute.

Beyond scientific accomplishments, he is a noted a pediatric oncologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. He chaired the pediatric Institutional Review Board for Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital and co-led the pediatric solid tumor disease program.

“The St. Jude Cancer Center reflects leading excellence in research, patient care, education and community outreach,” Roberts said. “It’s an honor to join the St. Jude faculty, and I look forward to continuing the advancement of scientific research to find cures for pediatric cancers.” 

Roberts received his medical and doctoral degrees from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He completed his pediatric residency and pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital.

The St. Jude Cancer Center is crucial in helping the hospital fulfill its mission of finding cures and saving children. In the most recent NCI review, the Cancer Center was honored to receive the highest possible score of “exceptional.”

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 shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. To learn more, visit or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.