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Applications now being accepted for inaugural class of St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

First degree-granting program on the campus of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Memphis, Tennessee, September 1, 2016

The graduate program’s staff includes (from left) Racquel Collins, PhD; Brian Walton; Dayna Baker; and Stephen White, DPhil.

The graduate program’s staff includes (from left) Racquel Collins, PhD; Brian Walton; Dayna Baker; and Stephen White, DPhil.

The application process opens Sept. 1 for a new doctoral program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to train the next generation of scientists who want to discover better treatments and cures for catastrophic diseases.

This first biomedical graduate program with a focus on pediatric research will provide a distinct educational experience.

“The doctoral students who come to St. Jude will have the opportunity to make a real-world impact as they see how bench science is translated into innovative patient care,” said James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and chief executive officer.

The class size will be limited to 10 to 15 students per year, and admission will be highly selective. The application period extends through Dec. 1, 2016, with the inaugural class chosen in the spring of 2017. Studies will begin in August 2017.  

“The program is going to be completely unique,” explained Stephen White, D.Phil., dean of the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. “We have had the chance to design it from scratch without any preconceived notions about graduate education that are typically found in the big teaching institutions. And we have designed an innovative, challenging curriculum.”

White said the students will receive real-world feedback on the significance of the research they are doing as they work with internationally renowned biomedical scientists. The students will also work with clinical faculty to learn how patient treatment decisions are made.

“We are creating an integrated approach to help these future scientific leaders develop an understanding of how laboratory discoveries become new therapies,” White said. “We are looking for students who want to make an impact that can change patients’ lives.”

Students will have excellent resources, including hands-on training in state-of-the-art technologies, close mentorship by faculty advisers and generous benefits to support the students through their academic studies.

St. Jude is a global leader in pediatric oncology, but is also known for programs in infectious diseases, genetic and blood disorders, drug discovery and international medicine. Students in the new program will join a robust community of postdoctoral fellows, students from affiliated universities, faculty and clinicians all working toward the goals of finding cures and saving children.  

More information about the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences can be found at

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.