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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital appoints scientific director

James Morgan, Ph.D., will lead the institution’s basic science programs

Memphis, Tennessee, August 24, 2016

James Morgan, MD

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has named James Morgan, Ph.D., scientific director and an executive vice president. Morgan held the interim scientific director post since 2015, and was formerly chair of the Department of Developmental Neurobiology.

As scientific director, Morgan will oversee the institution’s basic science programs and related research efforts. The appointment comes as St. Jude takes steps to strengthen its basic research programs to advance the fight against childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

“Under Dr. Morgan’s direction, the Department of Developmental Neurobiology has earned a world-class reputation for cutting-edge basic science,” said James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and chief executive officer. “His scientific expertise and leadership experience will be invaluable in leading efforts to research and find cures for pediatric catastrophic diseases.”

Morgan joined St. Jude in 1995 as a full member and co-chair of the newly formed Department of Developmental Neurobiology. He became the department’s chair in 2006, guiding Developmental Neurobiology as it became renowned for investigating fundamental aspects of nervous system function and developing novel clinical therapies.

He earned a doctorate from the University of Aston in Birmingham, England, and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Tubingen, Germany. Following training, Morgan joined the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, New Jersey, before coming to St. Jude. He holds the Shahdam, Edna and Albert Abdo Basic Science Chair.

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.