Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) Program

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Memphis, TN.
Type Basic Science Research, Clinical Research, Academic Enrichment


The Pediatric Oncology Education program at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is funded by the National Institutes of Health / National Cancer Institute. The POE program offers a unique opportunity for students preparing for careers in the biomedical sciences, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, psychology, or public health to gain biomedical and oncology research experience. The POE program provides a short-term training experience (internship) in either laboratory research or clinical research.

A primary goal of the program is to encourage students to pursue a career in cancer research, either as a laboratory-based scientist or a physician scientist. Thus, qualified students with an interest in cancer research are particularly encouraged to apply.

Departments or divisions include anesthesiology (medical students only), biochemistry, chemical biology & therapeutics, developmental neurobiology, diagnostic imaging (medical students and physics or biomedical engineering majors only), epidemiology and cancer control (medical students), oncology (a few clinical positions for medical students and a few lab positions for others), immunology, infectious diseases, neuro-oncology (one medical student only), nursing research (nursing majors only), pathology, pharmaceutical sciences, psychology (psychology majors only), radiation oncology (medical students and physics or biomedical engineering majors only), and structural biology.

Students participating in the Pediatric Oncology Education program will receive training in a superb academic environment created by the interaction of committed basic scientists, research-oriented physicians, and postdoctoral fellows. Depending on their special interests, trainees will spend their rotations in a clinical research or a laboratory research setting. Trainees will be matched with a faculty mentor who shares their research interests and will participate in the mentor's ongoing research projects. Trainees are required to attend a core lecture series ("Lunch & Learn") designed specifically for them, as well as other weekly St. Jude conferences, including leukemia-lymphoma conference and tumor board.

Fifty US citizen students from 38 schools in 18 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia participated in POE 2011. Their average undergraduate GPA was 3.80 on a 4.0 scale. They included 14 medical students, 27 undergraduates (including May 2011 graduates), four PharmD students, and five graduate or first year post-baccalaureate students. The 27 undergraduates included three sophomores with research experience; all others were further along in their academic careers. Ten 2011 participants were POE 2009 or 2010 class members returning for a second POE rotation.

Please note that the POE program is a PRE doctoral program. Anyone who has an MD is NOT eligible for the POE program and should NOT apply. MDs who have completed residency training in Pediatrics may be eligible for our Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Training Program. Qualified non-US physicians may be eligible to visit St Jude through our International Outreach Program.


Trainees MUST be a United States citizen, non-citizen national, or possess a visa permitting permanent residence in the United States (required by the funding organization). Most POE students are highly qualified undergraduate or graduate students preparing for careers in medicine or biomedical sciences. A few are attending or have been accepted into a medical, pharmacy, or nursing school. POE students MUST have an undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.40/4.00 in math and science (biology, chemistry, physics) AND at least a 3.40 overall. Graduate students and medical students must also meet the undergraduate GPA requirements. POE students will have completed at least their sophomore year of college when they begin the program. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to these requirements. Because our program is so competitive, sophomores should not apply unless they have relevant research experience. While not required, most successful applicants have prior research experience.


Check with program administrator on dates and deadlines.

More Information

Suzanne Gronemeyer, PhD
Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) Program and Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) Program, Pediatric Oncology Education Program
Memphis, TN 38105-2794
Phone: 901-495-2488
Fax: 901-495-3292