St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center

Developmental Biology & Solid Tumor Program

Some of the most devastating and poorly understood cancers to affect children arise in the peripheral nervous system, muscles and bones. Despite recent advances in understanding the etiology of pediatric solid tumors, the overall survival rate has not significantly improved in over two decades.

The Developmental Biology and Solid Tumor Program, a collaborative, multidisciplinary program of the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center, aims to improve the survival and quality of life of children with solid tumors by integrating basic, translational and clinical research.

Program leadership and organization

The program is organized into four thematic working groups that provide a forum for basic, translational and clinical researchers to work together. These working groups are:

  • Immunotherapy
  • Precision Medicine
  • Rare Tumors
  • Recurrent Disease

Members of the Developmental Biology and Solid Tumor Program come from multiple departments across St. Jude, including Oncology, Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, Developmental Neurobiology, Radiation Oncology, Diagnostic Imaging, Global Pediatric Medicine, Pathology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Surgery, Computational Biology and Immunology.

Michael Dyer, PhD, and Alberto Pappo, MD, lead the program. Dr. Dyer is chair of the St. Jude Department of Developmental Neurobiology and an Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. He is a leading developmental biologist and cancer biologist with expertise in cancer genomics, epigenomics and preclinical testing. Dr. Pappo heads the St. Jude Solid Tumor Division and is an internationally recognized leader in the design and implementation of clinical trials for childhood solid tumors.


Michael Dyer, PhD - Co-Leader, Developmental Biology & Solid Tumor Program

Alberto Pappo, MD - Co-Leader, Developmental Biology & Solid Tumor Program

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