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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital names Motomi Mori chair of Biostatistics

Memphis, Tennessee, January 23, 2020

Dr. Motomi Mori sits in front of a black background.

Dr. Motomi Mori, Ph.D., Biostatistics chair and endowed chair in biostatistics. 

Motomi Mori, Ph.D., has joined St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as chair of the Department of Biostatistics. She will also hold the Endowed Chair in Biostatistics. 

Mori comes to St. Jude from Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. She held the Walter and Clora Brownfield Endowed Professorship in Cancer Biostatistics and served as director of the Biostatistics Shared Resource at OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute. 

“As an expert in cancer genetic analysis, Dr. Mori brings a wealth of experience to the position,” said James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and chief executive officer. “During her visits to St. Jude, she has shared a compelling vision to grow the department and provide state-of-the-art biostatistical support across the spectrum of laboratory, basic, translational, clinical and survivorship research conducted at St. Jude.”

The work of the Biostatistics department, which is made up of 14 faculty and 46 staff, is principally research focused, and a substantial portion of its work is dedicated to clinical trials. With Mori’s appointment, the department’s reporting structure will move under the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center to ensure alignment with the development and execution of translational and clinical research. 

“Dr. Mori is an exceptional leader whose expertise and vision will enhance the quality of research design and analysis and amplify the impact of our science across the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center,” said Charles Roberts, M.D., Ph.D., St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center director. “She is precisely the type of individual who can better facilitate the ability of all her colleagues to collectively meet our goal of finding cures and saving lives of children with cancer.”

Mori completed undergraduate studies at the University of Montana and earned a Master of Science in Statistics and a doctorate in Biostatistics from the University of Iowa. She also holds an MBA in health care management from OHSU.

Mori said she is excited about the opportunity to come to St. Jude and work hard to make an impact on childhood cancer.

“I plan to make the department the best place to work, where everyone can be her or his best to contribute to innovative biostatistics research and to the organizational mission,” she said. “I also plan to build a stronger alliance and collaboration with basic and translational research groups, as well as emerging and strategic research areas.”

St. Jude has the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.

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 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 or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.