logo for CENOS

The Center of Excellence in Neuro-Oncology Sciences (CENOS) was established to address fundamental questions in neuro-oncology through application of bold, innovative strategies designed to advance knowledge, enhance treatment, and improve outcomes of children affected by malignant brain tumors. CENOS is led by Paul Northcott, PhD, Endowed Chair in Molecular Neuro-Oncology, Member of the Neurobiology & Brain Tumor Program and the Department of Developmental Neurobiology.

CENOS is motivated to execute disruptive, discovery-driven translational research in pediatric neuro-oncology. The Center of Excellence aims to recruit elite scientists who approach childhood brain tumors from complementary scientific angles, mobilizing a broad range of innovative technologies and creative approaches to make groundbreaking discoveries.

woman in lab

Using a multidisciplinary approach that leverages access to unprecedented clinical trial cohorts and state-of-the-art shared resources developed at St. Jude, CENOS strives to become an international leader in the field of pediatric neuro-oncology research, renowned for conducting impactful science.

St. Jude has a long legacy in leading large, forward-thinking clinical trials for children with malignant brain cancers. Aligning laboratory research with the clinical departments at St. Jude has enabled groundbreaking biological insights relevant to prognosis and clinical response in infants and children undergoing therapy for malignant brain tumors. By further strengthening these collaborations, CENOS aims to refine diagnosis, risk stratification, treatment, and response monitoring, with the collective mission to achieve lifelong cures, while profoundly reducing toxicities associated with therapy.

CENOS instills a heavy focus on learning from patients and faithful disease models, utilizing a discovery-centric approach to disentangle childhood brain tumors at their core. Complementary successes of CENOS faculty in modeling different subgroups of the most aggressive childhood brain tumors, including high-grade glioma, ependymomas, and other embryonal malignancies in physiologically relevant systems has fundamentally informed disease mechanisms, developmental origins, and selective dependencies, creating a platform for fostering knowledge, drug discovery, and essential preclinical studies.


CENOS Research Groups

Suzanne Baker

Suzanne Baker Lab

Deciphering the pathogenesis and therapeutic vulnerabilities of pediatric high-grade glioma

Stephen Mack

Stephen Mack Lab

Deciphering epigenetic and transcriptional mechanisms of cancer through the lens of pediatric brain tumors

Stephen Mack

Paul Northcott Lab

Leveraging multi-omic bulk and single-cell approaches to decipher molecular landscapes and developmental origins of medulloblastoma