Suzanne Gronemeyer, PhD (Spotlight)

When Suzanne Gronemeyer, PhD, joined Diagnostic Imaging in 1988, she was not only the first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) physicist at St. Jude, but actually the first MRI physicist in the city of Memphis. However, perhaps her most ground-breaking work has been with the hundreds of students who come to St. Jude each year to learn alongside some of the world’s preeminent scientists. Since she became the Director of the  Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) Program in 1996, Dr. Gronemeyer has substantially increased the NIH/NCI funding for program, prompting rapid growth. She also founded the St. Jude Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program, which is funded by a supplement to the institution’s Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute. The CURE program runs parallel with the POE program and provides additional funds to allow St. Jude to bring in outstanding under-represented minority students. “St. Jude has given me the opportunity and support to pursue my academic and intellectual interests, to our mutual benefit,” Dr. Gronemeyer says. “I love the people at St. Jude and all the wonderful students whose careers I help foster through the POE and CURE programs.” Although she loved her work as an MRI applications scientist with Siemens, she jumped at the chance to join St. Jude. “As it turns out, I found out quickly that Memphis is a wonderful place to live,” she says. “I met my husband in Memphis.” Her move was also fortunate for all of the students she has helped in the past decade to realize their dreams of making a difference in the world through medical research.