Richard J. Gilbertson, Md, Phd
Head of Dept.
Dr. Richard Gilbertson trained as a pediatric oncologist in the UK where he earned his MD (1992) and PhD (1998) degrees, becoming a member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1995. He moved to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, in 2000 where he served as Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, Executive Vice President, and Director of the Division of Brain Tumor Research. He held the Lillian R. Cannon Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Endowed Chair. In 2015, Dr. Gilbertson returned to the UK to direct the University of Cambridge Cancer Center as the Li Ka Shing Chair of Oncology. His laboratory research is focused on understanding the link between normal development and the origins of cancer, particularly brain tumors. His lab was the first to describe a cancer stem cell niche in brain tumors; demonstrate that a solid cancer can arise from tissue specific stem cells; use innovative cross-species genomics to trace the developmental origins of pediatric brain tumors; and to use whole genome sequencing to identify novel subgroup-specific mutations in medulloblastoma. His research has been translated into numerous diagnostic tests and innovative clinical trials for children with cancer.