St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientific director announces resignation

Memphis, Tennessee, March 26, 2015

 

Richard Gilbertson, M.D., Ph.D., to become director of the Cambridge Cancer Centre in England.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital officials today announced that the institution’s scientific and Comprehensive Cancer Center director, Richard Gilbertson, M.D., Ph.D., has decided to return to his native England and become the director of the Cambridge Cancer Centre at the University of Cambridge.

Since leaving England to join St. Jude in 2000, Gilbertson has led international efforts that have advanced scientists’ understanding of the biology driving several common childhood brain tumors and has been actively engaged in clinical trials to translate those discoveries into pioneering therapies.

Richard Gilbertson, MD., PhD.

Richard Gilbertson, MD., PhD., conferring with Chemical Biology and Therapeutics Chair

Under his leadership, the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center achieved a score of exceptional in 2013, the highest the National Cancer Institute (NCI) awards to cancer centers. St. Jude is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.

The following letter was shared with the St. Jude community earlier today.

Dear St. Jude employees,

It is with mixed emotions I share that Richard Gilbertson, M.D., Ph.D., has decided to return to his native England to become the director of the Cambridge Cancer Centre at the University of Cambridge in August.

Since joining St. Jude in 2000, Dr. Gilbertson has led international efforts that have advanced scientists’ understanding of the biology driving several common childhood brain tumors and has been actively engaged in clinical trials to translate those discoveries into pioneering therapies. Under his leadership, the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center achieved a score of exceptional in 2013, the highest the National Cancer Institute (NCI) awards to cancer centers. St. Jude is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.

Dr. Gilbertson also will take up the posts of Li Ka Shing Professor of Oncology, head of Department of Oncology, and senior group leader in the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute.

When Dr. Gilbertson joined St. Jude, he thought his stay in Memphis would be five years. We are so fortunate that he has devoted the past 15 years to St. Jude. While we will miss Dr. Gilbertson’s dedication and leadership, this is a great opportunity for him as well as for his family. Now, maybe he can finally find a good cup of tea.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Gilbertson on his news. We will announce plans for a search for his replacement in the near future.

Sincerely,

James R. Downing, M.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

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 percent to 80 percent 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 the hospital on Twitter and Instagram at @stjuderesearch.