St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Announces Largest Strategic Expansion Targeting Pediatric Catastrophic Diseases Globally

The plan calls for 1,400 extra jobs; the expenditure of $ 1.9 billion on new construction, renovation and capital needs; and the development of new areas of research, according to a publication by St. Jude.

“The plan is ambitious and the goals are far-reaching,” said James R. Downing, MD, president and CEO of St. Jude. “We are deploying significant resources to broaden scientific understanding, improve survival, improve quality of life and connect researchers around the world in their quest to cure and save children with cancer and other deadly diseases . “

This expansion builds on the research hospital’s earlier strategic plan, which was the largest expansion in the institution’s history at the time and resulted in $ 7 billion in investment. Over the past six years, St. Jude has advanced basic, clinical, and translational research among many milestones. Globally, access to quality care – once a dream for children in low- and middle-income countries – is beginning to be realized through its renewed international outreach efforts reaching seven regions of the world. On campus, St. Jude accepted nearly 20% more new cancer patients; increased faculty by 30% and staff by 23%; and embarked on several large-scale construction projects, the release says.

The new plan continues this momentum by focusing on five areas: basic science, childhood cancer, catastrophic childhood diseases, global impact, and work and work culture.

According to the release, the highlights in these areas are:

Build a workforce to accelerate the healing of children
Under the plan, St. Jude will hire nearly 70 new faculty members, plus laboratory support staff, to work in basic, translational, and clinical research in 22 departments. These researchers will have the freedom to pursue the kind of conceptually-driven research that leads to tomorrow’s clinical advancements.

Investing at the interface of science and technology
Over the next six years, St. Jude will invest more than $ 250 million to expand the most modern technology and resources available to scientists and clinicians in their quest to understand why pediatric catastrophic diseases arise, spread and resist treatments . These investments include:

Creating a Cryo-Electron Tomography Center to determine the atomic structure of molecules in their original state in human cells. Establish a Center of Excellence in Advanced Microscopy to build the next generation of microscopes that examine cells in ways that were previously unimaginable. the digital infrastructure needed to become a global leader in the application of data science to biological discovery in normal and disease states.

Creating a better future for children with cancer
St. Jude will invest $ 3.7 billion over the next six years to expand cancer-related research and related clinical care. These efforts will aim to increase survival rates for cancers at the highest risk and for children with recurrent diseases, while improving the quality of life of childhood cancer survivors. The investments include:

Accelerate preclinical and clinical testing of new therapeutic agents so that the most promising agents can quickly transition from clinical research to standard care. Expanding large-scale collaborative trials to reach more childhood cancer patients in the US and around the world. Immunology and Immunotherapy Initiative (TI3) – an interdepartmental collaboration aimed at expanding the use of cellular cancer immunotherapy as curative treatments for pediatric solid tumors and brain tumors.

Find healings everywhere and save children
In the US, more than 80% of children diagnosed with cancer will be cured. In contrast, 80% of children with cancer live in resource-limited countries, where only 20% survive their disease. To address this, St. Jude will more than triple its investment in its international efforts, coordinated through St. Jude Global and the St. Jude Global Alliance, over the next six years. This represents an investment of more than $ 470 million. Global initiatives include:

Expansion of educational programs to train the workforce needed to treat childhood cancer worldwide; strengthening the healthcare systems needed to deliver that care; and strengthening regional and global programs to create the research infrastructure needed to continuously improve the quality of care in resource-constrained environments. creating seven international operating hubs with St. Jude staff to effectively manage the St. Jude Global Alliance, a network of more than 140 institutions in more than 50 countries. Development of a multi-million dollar global drug access program for pediatric cancer – in collaboration with the World Health Organization, other UN agencies and international organizations – to distribute an uninterrupted supply of anti-cancer drugs for the treatment of childhood cancer in low and middle-income countries.

Beyond Cancer: Investing in Other Pediatric Catastrophic Diseases
Under the plan, St. Jude will expand research and treatment programs to promote the cure of catastrophic childhood diseases. The $ 1.1 billion six-year investment includes work on non-cancerous diseases, such as sickle cell anemia; a new laboratory study of infectious diseases affecting children worldwide; and a new research and clinical program to better understand and treat pediatric neurological disorders.

Promote a culture and environment that encourage progress
The plan outlines several strategies to ensure that St. Jude remains a place where teamwork thrives; internal and external collaboration thrives; and employees can make a difference in the lives of children. These include:

Expanding the St. Jude Research Collaboratives program of funding from five to eleven teams of scientists around the world through an investment of more than $ 100 million Enriching future biomedical research pipelines for potential employees by creating experiences for high school and college students in the science. -sky process, which calls for mission-related, groundbreaking ideas outside of the strategic plan, with $ 180 million Building and supporting the best environments that help employees advance the life-saving work of the facility and provide patients and their families with a home Away The $ 1.3 billion in new construction and renovations includes the completion of The Domino’s Village, a family home with one, two and three bedroom units; Family Commons, a quality of life space with family services for patients from school to technical support; and the Advanced Research Center – and the construction of ambulatory, clinical office and administrative buildings and parking garages.

The multi-phase expansion plan is fueled almost entirely by steadily increasing donor contributions generated by ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness-raising organization for St. Jude.

“We are making our biggest financial investment ever – during a pandemic – because the public, our donors, have shown their commitment to us,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., ALSAC president and CEO. “It’s an incredible demonstration of loyalty and purpose, and the power of people coming together to help the most vulnerable in our society: sick children.”

Private fundraising conducted by ALSAC is the organization’s lifeline as pediatric cancer research typically receives a disproportionately low share of government research dollars. Of the approximately $ 6 billion distributed annually by the National Cancer Institute, only an estimated 4% target pediatric cancers. It is estimated that 87% of the funds to sustain and grow St. Jude over the next six years will come from public donations. According to the St. Jude model, patients are never billed for treatment, travel, housing, or food.

“As we move forward with this strategic plan, our mission – to advance the cure and prevention of catastrophic pediatric diseases through research and treatment – continues to be at the forefront of everything we do,” said Downing. “The mission serves as our compass, and the plan serves as our guide to the journey ahead.”

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