A Missouri Southern grad and his family have a unique bond with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
“I have three children at home, so the family aspect and kids have already been something that means so miuch to me as a person,” said Josh Mason, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate.
Josh Mason works in the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cell Therapy at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He is a Missouri Southern graduate, and received his Ph.D. In biology from Notre Dame.
“During grad school, I did a lot of work that was really on how do cancer cells live, grow, and really how to they survive in these really harsh environments,” said Mason.
With his training in cancer and how much family means to him, working at St. Jude just made sense.
“You can see it in commercials, you can see it on TV. You know that you’re going to face an environment to where children are now coming that probably have already failed treatment, don’t have a treatment that’s known in their hometown,” he explained.
It also made sense for his family to be part of the St. Jude dream home giveaway. His father manages Race Brothers Farm and Home Supply in Carthage, a sponsor of the giveaway. Josh has never spoken in depth to his family about the true impact of the work he does, but he is proud of the connection his family now has to St. Jude.
“Just the fact that they support such a thing is pretty humbling but also exciting,” said Mason.
He’s also proud of the work being done by so many scientists on campus each and every day.
“The research is really designed at St. Jude to not stay in the lab. It’s designed to go to the clinic where you can actually try to assist a disease that currently doesn’t have much available at the time,” he explained.
The group he works with tries to design new immune-based therapies for children with cancer.
“The goal is that we can actually take immune cells from patients, we can then change them and really re-program them into killing cells, that are designed specifically for the tumor of interest. Then, you can actually give these cells back to a patient,” he said.
He’s been working at St. Jude since July 2018 and describes it as nothing short of life-altering.
“Families here deserve nothing but the best of everybody that walks through those front doors. You know, I think that’s the biggest hope, that no matter whatthe research implication is, that they know everyday I was willing to do whatever I could to actually impact a patient and their families,” said Mason.
Tickets for the Southwest Missouri St. Jude dream home giveaway are available now. The house is on Kent Drive in Webb City. We have the link for you to reserve your ticket here.