Skip to main content

St. Jude to develop $412 million research center to advance discovery

New center to attract scientists and clinicians in pediatric biomedical research

Memphis, Tennessee, February 19, 2018

Artist's rendering of the planned advanced research center at St. Jude

The center will house cutting-edge technologies and resources that can transform science and accelerate the pace of discovery.

A new era of scientific advancement is emerging at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with the development of a $412-million advanced research center, the institution announced today.

Designed as an interactive hub of exploration and discovery, the more than 625,000-square-foot center will cultivate transformative research and collaboration and attract scientists and clinicians to St. Jude. Slated to break ground in spring 2018 and open in 2021, it is a major component of a $1 billion capital expansion of the St. Jude campus.

“The advanced research center will bring together a powerful combination of talent and technology in a space designed to propel discovery,” said James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and chief executive officer. “We are creating an environment where scientists and clinicians will have ready access to leading-edge resources and opportunities to pursue breakthroughs in hopes of accelerating progress in treating and curing catastrophic pediatric diseases.”

The advanced research center builds on the St. Jude legacy of innovations for understanding and treating childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Architecturally, it will be an interactive and interdisciplinary environment designed specifically for generating new ideas and teamwork. Its labs and spaces will enable researchers to collaborate openly and across departments. The center will stream natural light through open atriums and courtyards and will feature numerous interaction zones uniting key disciplines of science.

Artist's rendering of the new St. Jude research building

The research building will be an interactive and interdisciplinary environment designed specifically for generating new ideas and teamwork.

Developed by The Crump Firm, lead architect on the project, and Jacobs Engineering, experts in lab design, the advanced research center will feature state-of-the-art labs focusing on immunology, neurobiology, cell and molecular biology, gene editing, metabolomics, advanced microscopy, epigenetics, genomics, immunotherapy and RNA biology. The center will also house cutting-edge technologies and resources that can transform science and accelerate the pace of discovery.

“Every aspect of the advanced research center has been customized to inspire and support researchers who seek to lead and collaborate,” said James I. Morgan, Ph.D., St. Jude scientific director and executive vice president. “We have committed critical resources to equip the brightest minds in science with the world’s most sophisticated technologies and equipment so that we can continue to speed discoveries that will save children.”

Progress at St. Jude extends worldwide because of the organization’s global collaborations and rapid sharing of results and knowledge.

“Through our international efforts, St. Jude is working to raise the survival rates of children with cancer worldwide by sharing knowledge, technology and organizational skills,” said Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, M.D., St. Jude Global Pediatric Medicine chair and executive vice president. “The vital work that will occur in the advanced research center will help make improvements in the level and quality of care delivered around the globe.”

The advanced research center propels St. Jude for the long term, accommodating growth for the next 20 years and beyond, with two of eight floors slated for future expansion and evolving technology.

The ambitious expansion at St. Jude is being made possible largely through the continued support of generous donors across the nation and the world who are committed to helping fulfill the St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children.

“At St. Jude, we strive for the day when no child dies in the dawn of life,” Downing said. “The investment in the advanced research center ensures that our pioneering work will continue far in the future.”

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.