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St. Jude Scientist Named Pew Scholar

Charles Mullighan, M.D., Ph.D., becomes fourth St. Jude scientist honored

MEMPHIS, Tenn., June 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Charles Mullighan, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant member in the Pathology Department at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, has been named a 2009 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.

Selected by The Pew Charitable Trusts as one of 17 of the country's most promising early-career scientists, Mullighan will receive a $240,000 award over four years to support his research.

"Dr. Mullighan's appointment as a Pew Scholar is further validation of his remarkable accomplishments at this early stage in his career and the potential he has as a physician-scientist to make major discoveries in the future," said Dr. William E. Evans, St. Jude director and CEO. "We are fortunate to have Dr. Mullighan as one of a strong group of junior faculty who ensure the future success of St. Jude."

Mullighan's research focuses on the use of high-resolution, genome-wide approaches to identify genomic aberrations contributing to leukemogenesis and influencing leukemia outcome; the use of in vitro and in vivo experimental approaches to model genomic abnormalities in leukemogenesis; and the genetics of disease susceptibility and disease phenotype, most notably the genetic determinants of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant outcome.

"Being named a Pew Scholar is a tremendous honor and will provide very important support at this stage of my career," Mullighan said. "The award also reflects the exceptional research environment at St. Jude that has enabled the work recognized by the scholarship to be performed."

Pew Scholars are junior faculty members at medical schools and research institutions who show outstanding promise in research that is related to the advancement of human health.

A native of Adelaide, Australia, Mullighan attended medical school at the University of Adelaide, earning a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery with honors in 1993. He received a Master of Science from the University of London in 1997; and earned a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Adelaide in 1998.

Mullighan is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. In 2004, he joined the staff at St. Jude as a postdoctoral fellow in Pathology and was named an assistant member in the department in May 2008. Mullighan is also the recipient of the prestigious American Society of Hematology Merit and Scholar awards.

Brenda Schulman, Ph.D., a member of Structural Biology and Genetics/Tumor Cell Biology at St. Jude, became the hospital's first Pew Scholar in 2002. Michael Dyer, Ph.D., a member of Developmental Neurobiology at St. Jude, received the distinction in 2004, and Joseph Opferman, Ph.D., an assistant member of Biochemistry, was honored in 2006.

In its 25th year, the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences has invested more than $125 million to support more than 460 scholars. Previous scholars have gone on to win the Nobel Prize, MacArthur Award Fellowships and the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. For more information, please visit

SOURCE St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
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