image of crowd of people surrounding a statue of St. Jude that has just been unveiled.

The hospital opens in Memphis, Tennessee, before a crowd of 9,000 people.

St. Jude initiates the Total Therapy approach to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment. The four-component approach still forms the backbone of ALL treatments today.


St. Jude develops the first immunologic method to diagnose solid tumors in children.


A group of St. Jude patients with ALL are the first to be successfully taken off therapy, based on evidence that remission can be sustained.


Rudolph Jackson, MD—one of the first Black doctors at St. Jude—helps establish the sickle cell program at the hospital.

black and white photo of doctor and nurse


St. Jude enrolls thousands of local infants in a successful nutritional program, which serves as the prototype for WIC, the federal health and nutrition program for women, infants and children.

image of man in white coat working at microscope



The hospital publishes a study that shows a 50% survival rate for ALL using a combination of chemotherapy and radiation. The achievement revolutionizes leukemia therapy worldwide.


St. Jude becomes the first to identify important subtypes of ALL, including T-cell leukemia. The finding leads to better risk classifications, new research directions and improved treatment.

black and white photo of doctor with patient


photo of man walking on seashore surrounded by gulls

World Health Organization (WHO) designates St. Jude as a Collaborating Center for the study of influenza transmission from animals to humans.


The hospital launches the first major effort to understand the lifelong progression of sickle cell disease—the Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Disease (CSSCD) .

black and white photo of nurse weighing young child

Clinicians develop a treatment that is effective for 55% of patients with neuroblastoma, the second most common solid tumor in children.



A St. Jude patient with sickle cell disease is the first to be cured with a bone marrow transplant.

Image of woman in red shirt holding photo of herself


St. Jude opens the After Completion of Therapy Clinic, the world’s largest long-term follow-up clinic for pediatric cancer patients.

Researchers pinpoint the first two specific genetic translocations known to cause acute lymphoblasic leukemia (ALL).

Scientists find evidence that some patients have a mixture of two acute leukemias: myeloid and lymphoid.


The hospital’s brain tumor program, which opened the previous year, begins accepting patients. Unlike other hospitals, St. Jude provides an integrated and personalized treatment plan for each child.

image of doctor performing imaging scan on patient


The hospital institutes a clinical program to seek a cure for pediatric AIDS.



St. Jude is the first to use gene marking to follow the course of bone marrow transplantation in children.

St. Jude scientists discover that an antimalarial drug can prevent or effectively treat a life-threatening form of pneumonia in patients with AIDS.


Scientists identify and associate mammalian G1 cyclins (types of proteins involved in initiating cell cycles) with the development of certain cancers.

photo of two women working in a laboratory

By measuring the number of copies of the N-myc gene in neuroblastoma patients, St. Jude researchers individualize chemotherapy for those children.


photo of staff of AIDS-Clinical-Trial-Unit

St. Jude forms a Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trial Unit with two other Memphis area hospitals.


Arthur Nienhuis, MD, establishes an experimental hematology program with a focus on developing gene therapy for blood disorders.

photo of ArthurNienhuis,MD, with four hematology patients


The Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trial Unit publishes evidence that shows HIV infections are preventable by chemotherapy treatment.


St. Jude is among the first to incorporate a computer-based, 3-D radiation therapy technique into pediatric brain tumor treatment.


By opening vector production labs, St. Jude becomes one of the few centers in the world with a comprehensive cell and gene therapy program.

Photo of Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty, PhD

Peter Doherty, PhD, St. Jude Immunology chair, is awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He and Rolf M. Zinkernagel, MD, PhD, of the University of Zurich share the prize for their pioneering research explaining how the immune system recognizes and kills virus-infected cells.


By individualizing chemotherapy dosage, scientists discover they can increase survival rates for children with ALL without causing excessive toxicity.

Photo of Dr. William Evans in white coat


Scientists identify a genetic defect that can predispose pediatric leukemia patients to secondary brain tumors.

In a landmark study, pharmacists at St. Jude demonstrate the importance of pharmacogenetics and drug-drug interactions.

photo of two women working in a laboratory



Scientists at St. Jude conduct the first measurements of radiation’s impact on the pediatric brain.

Photo of patient undergoing radiation treatment

Researchers find that cranial artery damage in patients with sickle cell disease may be reversed by bone marrow transplantation.


Scientists unveil a genetic screening technique that uses microarray chips to diagnose and treat ALL while improving diagnostic accuracy and identifying new prognostic details.


A St. Jude study that compares long-term outcomes of children treated for ALL shows Black children do as well as white children if given equal access to the latest treatments.

St. Jude becomes the nation’s first pediatric cancer research center to open a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility to produce vaccines, proteins, gene-based molecules and other biopharmaceuticals.

photo of someone in ppe working in good-manufacturing-practices-facility-(gmp)


Scientist testing new therapies in the lab

Investigators develop a laboratory model that closely mimics the human eye cancer retinoblastoma, providing scientists a way to test new therapies in the lab.


Researchers find certain traits inherited from parents can reduce the effectiveness of some chemotherapy drugs in children with ALL.

Investigators discover a specific pattern of gene expression in leukemic cells that links to their resistance to anti-leukemic drugs. The discovery helps explain why standard therapies fail to cure about 20% of children with ALL.


St. Jude reports a 94% survival rate for patients with ALL, using therapy that does not include radiation.

Dr. Pui with a patient
Investigators discussing the CCSS

The multi-institutional Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) publishes a seminal report describing the magnitude of therapy-related chronic health conditions experienced by long-term survivors of childhood cancer.

Subtypes of medulloblastoma, which was previously thought to be one disease, are defined.


Scientists identify the specific cell that causes retinoblastoma, disproving a long-held theory.

The hospital initiates the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study (SJLIFE) to evaluate long-term survivors of childhood cancer via comprehensive health assessments.

photo of man on treadmill being monitored by physical therapist


St. Jude is designated as a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center, making St. Jude the first and only pediatric cancer center to receive this distinction.

St. Jude physicians demonstrate children with bilateral Wilms tumor can retain normal function in both kidneys by undergoing bilateral nephron-sparing surgery, even when scans suggest the tumors are inoperable.

photo of surgeon in operating room

An initial study from St. Jude researchers demonstrates preventative antibiotics can reduce the potential for infection in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).


Patient celebration of end of chemotherapy

St. Jude announces that with effective personalized chemotherapy, cranial irradiation can be eliminated from the treatment of children with ALL.

The most comprehensive analysis yet of the genome of childhood acute myeloid leukemia finds only a few mistakes in the genetic blueprint, indicating the cancer arises from just a few missteps.



St. Jude and Washington University launch the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project (PCGP) to uncover why childhood cancer arises, spreads and resists treatment.

photo of sculpture of child playing on DNA helix

Acute myeloid leukemia survival rates rise to 71% for children treated on a St. Jude protocol.


Work at St. Jude identifies genetic factors that make Hispanic children more likely to receive fatal ALL diagnoses.

photo of two scientists looking at a scan

The Pediatric Cancer Genome Project announces the largest-ever release of comprehensive human cancer genome data for free access.


The Pediatric Cancer Genome Project identifies drugs that enhance oxidative stress as a possible treatment against rhabdomyosarcoma, the most common pediatric soft-tissue tumor.

image of tumor cells

St. Jude and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute create the Childhood Solid Tumor Network (CSTN), which provides preclinical research and fuels research worldwide.


The Pediatric Cancer Genome Project offers new leads for improved outcomes in children with high-grade glioma brain tumors.

St. Jude creates the Cancer Predisposition Program to evaluate and take care of children at increased genetic risk for cancer.

doctor and young patient talking

St. Jude creates the Sickle Cell Clinical Research and Intervention Program (SCCRIP) to study a large group of patients with sickle cell disease over time.


St. Jude opens the world’s first proton therapy center for children with cancer.

photo of child getting proton therapy treatment w/doctor and nurse attending

A study from the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project suggests that comprehensive genomic screening may be warranted for all pediatric cancer patients, not just those with family histories of cancer.

image of man in graduation robes

To train the next generation of scientists in a one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary setting, St. Jude establishes the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.


St. Jude is named a trial site for an HIV Prevention Trials Network study that compares for pre-exposure prevention of HIV in young men.


St. Jude researchers and clinicians show the use of a preventative antibiotic treatment during the initial phase of chemotherapy lowers infection risk, broadens protection, and reduces Clostridium difficile infection in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).


St. Jude-led research offers the most comprehensive analysis yet of the genomic alterations that lead to cancer in children and affirms the need for pediatric-specific precision therapies.

St. Jude Cloud, the world’s largest public repository of pediatric cancer genomics data, launches in collaboration with Microsoft and DNAnexus.

St. Jude is designated as the first World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Childhood Cancer. The collaboration is a worldwide effort to advance cure rates to at least 60% in children with six of the most common cancers by 2030.

St. Jude joins in the effort to eliminate human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers and establishes the St. Jude HPV Cancer Prevention Program.

photo of girl getting bandaid on arm after receiving vaccination


In collaboration with investigators at the National Institutes of Health and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, the St. Jude gene therapy vector cures eight infants with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1).

doctors and nurse with young patient
Microscopic Image of  protein

St. Jude acquires the nation’s largest and most powerful nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer to visualize protein structures that cannot be detected with other technology.



An international collaboration led by St. Jude shows therapy-induced mutations can drive about 25% of relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemias.

St. Jude launches the Pediatric Translational Neuroscience Initiative (PTNI) to bring promising treatments to children with neurological diseases.

photo of doctor and patient interacting as family looks on.


St. Jude scientists identify how the SARS-CoV-2 virus activates inflammatory cell death pathways. They find that drugs already used to treat some inflammatory diseases could be repurposed for COVID-19.

Scientists develop the Childhood Solid Tumor Network (CSTN) data portal on St. Jude Cloud. Developed in 2013, the CSTN includes wide-ranging data on 170 patient-derived samples that represent 21 types of childhood solid tumors.

By October 2021, the Global COVID-19 Observatory and Resource Center for Childhood Cancer had tracked 1,775 COVID-19 positive cases from 51 countries. This project provides an unparalleled resource for understanding how the SARS-CoV-2 virus affects children undergoing cancer treatment around the world.


Researchers at St. Jude find the cellular response to low oxygen also increases fetal hemoglobin expression in adults, which could lead to novel treatments for some common genetic anemias, such as sickle cell disease.

combined image of two scientists at work

Scientists at St. Jude develop a method that may be able to improve chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies by identifying the early cells that become the most effective cancer killers.

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and St. Jude announce the largest academic collaboration of its kind to transform and accelerate the identification of vulnerabilities in pediatric cancers and translate them into better treatments.

two women and a man sitting at a table


In a report published from the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Study (CCSS), researchers at St. Jude demonstrate the importance of a healthy lifestyle for childhood cancer survivors, showing that it can lower early-mortality risk.

Photo of 3 Researchers discussing report

Scientists from St. Jude perform the largest study yet examining drug sensitivity in pediatric ALL across genomic subtypes and its association with treatment response.

By adding a molecular anchor to chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), investigators at St. Jude increase the anti-cancer activity of cellular immunotherapies in cancer models.

In a collaboration between St. Jude and Rockefeller University, scientists reveal how the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) functions and how disease mutations and potentiators affect CFTR function, providing insights into potential new therapies for cystic fibrosis.

image of test tubes in lab with gloved hand holding one

Explore more

Learn more about the history of the hospital, our in-depth scientific accomplishments and the profound impact of our research enterprise at the links below.

St. Jude Research: Setting the Standard for Research and Discovery

Scientific Report: Translating Science into Survival

Scientific Milestones: Bringing Science to the Forefront