St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has named Greg Armstrong, M.D., MSCE, the new chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, the department that has established the institution as a world leader in the study of childhood cancer survivorship.
A physician-scientist, Armstrong is the principal investigator of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), a multi-institutional cohort and multidisciplinary collaborative resource for evaluating the long-term outcomes of children with cancer who survived five or more years after diagnosis. Continuously funded by the National Cancer Institute since 1994, the CCSS is the world’s largest established open resource for survivorship research. In addition, Armstrong is a co-program leader for the Cancer Control and Survivorship Program, one of the five major programs within the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“At St. Jude, we have a commitment to providing patients the best chances of survival and empowering them to lead healthy and fulfilling lives after treatment,” said James R. Downing, M.D., president and CEO of St. Jude. “Dr. Armstrong's leadership will be integral in achieving our mission to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases.”
“Dr. Armstrong is not only a highly productive and impactful researcher, but also a passionate advocate for survivors,” said Charles W. M. Roberts, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center. “He is an experienced leader who will bring outstanding capabilities to this key institutional leadership role.”
Armstrong assumes the position at a critical time for St. Jude as it continues to invest heavily in research to reduce the toxicity of cancer therapy and enhance the quality of life for all pediatric cancer survivors as part of the institution’s $12.9 billion strategic plan.
“The Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control’s strong foundation will allow us to identify more effective and less toxic treatments to help long-term survivors and identify genetic predispositions to the long-term effects of common cancer treatments,” said Armstrong. “We want to disseminate this research globally so we can minimize the long-term side effects of pediatric cancer treatment.”
In addition to his duties at St. Jude, Armstrong is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group’s Scientific Council and Outcomes and Survivorship Committee and the Steering Committee for the NCI’s Childhood Cancer Data Initiative.
“I always knew I wanted to work in pediatrics and give children with cancer a chance to beat their enemy,” said Armstrong. “I have the two best jobs in the world as both a physician and a scientist: As an oncologist, I have the opportunity to take care of one patient and family at a time. However, it is through research on the long-term outcomes of these survivors that we have the opportunity to change care for an entire population.”
He earned his M.D. from the University of Alabama Medical School and his Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his residency and fellowship training at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Armstrong replaces the inaugural chair of the department, Les Robison, Ph.D., whose foundational work has been key in advancing some of the world’s largest and most impactful research programs in pediatric cancer survivorship.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer, sickle cell disease, and other life-threatening disorders. 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 60 years ago. St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes to help doctors and researchers at local hospitals and cancer centers around the world improve the quality of treatment and care for even more children. To learn more, visit stjude.org, read St. Jude Progress blog, and follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.