The Path to a Cure
February 4, 1962
The hospital opens in Memphis, Tennessee, before a crowd of 9,000 people.
St. Jude opens during a turbulent era in American history. The star-shaped building designed by renowned African-American architect Paul Revere Williams immediately becomes the region's first fully integrated hospital. The integration of St. Jude also extends to the Memphis hotel industry. In order to house St. Jude families, a facility must agree to offer housing to anyone, regardless of race.
A St. Jude cancer patient with both sickle cell disease and cancer undergoes a bone marrow transplant to target her cancer.
However, the procedure also cures her sickle cell disease and she becomes the first person in the world cured of sickle cell disease through a bone marrow transplant. That discovery occurs because St. Jude is committed to studying multiple pediatric diseases.
The St. Jude sickle cell program is named one of 10 Comprehensive Sickle Cell Centers by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
“We must do what others cannot do.”
St. Jude President and CEO James Downing, MD, unveils a bold plan for saving the lives of children around the globe — extending clinical research for sickle cell beyond symptom management to cures.
A Sickle Cell Disease Transition Clinic is created to help 18-year-olds make the leap from St. Jude to adult-care facilities of their choice.
St. Jude is the first health care organization to receive the Legacy Grant from The Links Foundation Inc., to support the advancement of sickle cell disease research.
- St. Jude leads the Sickle Cell Clinical Research and Intervention Program (SCCRIP), which studies how sickle cell disease progresses over time, from childhood into adulthood, and how we can improve the quality of life for sickle cell disease patients while we continue to search for cures.
- Although a bone marrow transplant is a potential “cure” for sickle cell disease, it is not an easy cure, and it has many complications. That is why St. Jude continues to research alternate approaches to cure sickle cell disease.
- St. Jude faculty perform innovative laboratory research on sickle cell disease and other blood disorders. In these labs, St. Jude not only conducts basic research, but also uses translational research to bridge the gap from the lab to the bedside.