About the Program

For decades, scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have made steady progress in finding cures for children with catastrophic diseases. However, it is increasingly clear that team science approaches can speed discovery by filling gaps in our knowledge due to the complexity and diversity of pediatric cancers and other life-threatening conditions. Our institution aims to be a nucleating force for collaboration, harnessing external expertise by funding the world’s top scientists in key specialties to collaborate on areas we have identified as top priorities.

As a key element of our strategic vision, St. Jude has formally established the St. Jude Research Collaboratives Program. These consortia leverage the insights and capabilities of renowned scientists and clinicians to create collaborative teams committed to tackling groundbreaking projects that accelerate scientific research in the pursuit of cures for pediatric disease. We have funded investigators from across the country, at leading institutions, to join collaborative teams to explore complex problems such as cancer epigenetics and fundamental cell biology, gene therapy for sickle cell disease, and the application of implementation science to several aspects of childhood cancer.

St. Jude collaboratives are initiated as proposals developed by St. Jude faculty, in partnership with expert scientists from other institutions - all trailblazers in their respective fields. St. Jude’s investment in these collaboratives ensures that the brightest minds have the resources to ask paradigm-shifting questions, and the community to support continued discovery efforts. Proposals are reviewed and selected by some of the institution’s most accomplished senior researchers. There are currently 5 funded collaboratives, but given the quality and impact of the existing collaboratives via the new Strategic Plan, St. Jude is looking to expand the program substantially. 

Funded Collaboratives:

The Biology and Biophysics of RNP Granules (2021)

[Previously funded in 2017 as The Biology of Liquid Organelles]

Embarking on a set of highly relevant and challenging questions about ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granules and their role in cellular function and disease based on a new view of condensates as network fluids.

Epigenetic Regulation in Pediatric Cancer (2017)

Advancing the understanding of epigenetic regulation of transcription and development in contexts directly relevant to the most problematic subtypes of childhood cancer. 

Novel Gene Therapies for Sickle Cell Disease (2018)

Uniting experts in globin gene expression, lentiviral vectors, genome editing, and clinical bone marrow transplantation/gene therapy to synergistically create novel cures for sickle cell disease. 

3D Genomics of Pediatric Cancer (2019)

Studying the phenomena and factors known to be associated with genome organization, identifying new phenomena and factors that impact organization, and studying the differences in these activities that distinguish normal from neoplastic cells. 

Implementation Science for Survivorship, HPV, and Global (2020)

Enhancing St. Jude’s impact on childhood cancer by maximizing dissemination and implementation of current and future research findings, intervention-based approaches, and cancer control programs.