About PTNI

Catastrophic neurological disorders in children are among the greatest medical challenges of our time. Many of these have a genetic contribution, often driven by a single gene mutation, particularly in pediatric cases. While tremendous advances in our understanding of the molecular basis of many of these diseases have been made, and symptom management and palliative therapies have improved survival, the underlying causes and clinical trajectory for many of these disorders remain to be addressed. A huge unmet need exists today for the majority of these disorders where no effective treatments are currently available, especially in those that are progressive and disabling in childhood. There is a unique opportunity to accelerate the development of novel therapies for seriously ill children living with these neurological disorders. The Pediatric Translational Neuroscience Initiative (PTNI) leverages the scientific strength and expertise in experimental therapeutics of St. Jude to rise to the challenge of altering the landscape of pediatric neurological disease.

PTNI programs



  • J. Paul Taylor, MD, PhD

    Executive Vice President/Scientific Director

    Chair, Cell and Molecular Biology

    Director, St. Jude Pediatric Translational Neuroscience Initiative 

    Edward F. Barry Endowed Chair in Cell and Molecular Biology

    Faculty Bio

  • Peter J. McKinnon, PhD

    Vice Chair, Cell and Molecular Biology

    Director, Center for Pediatric Neurological Disease Research

    Endowed Chair in Pediatric Neurological Diseases

    Faculty Bio

  • Richard Finkel, MD

    Director, Center for Experimental Neurotherapeutics

    George J. Pedersen Endowed Chair in Neurotherapeutics

    Faculty Bio

  • Kristin Stephenson

    Director, Strategy & Alliances

    Visit Bio