West Cancer Center and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), in partnership with St Jude Children's Research Hospital have named D. Neil Hayes, MD, MPH, as the Scientific Director of the UT-West Institute for Cancer Research.
The appointment also includes serving as the Van Vleet Endowed Professor in Medical Oncology in the Department of Medicine (Division of Hematology-Oncology) with secondary appointments in the Department of Genetics, Genomics, and Informatics (GGI) and the Department of Preventive Medicine in the College of Medicine (COM) of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC).
Through these leadership roles and appointments, Dr. Hayes will direct and drive funding to lead scientific initiatives for discovery in translational research for the advancement of novel cancer treatment and therapies.
Dr. Hayes will assume direction of a $25 million dollar fund raised through the combined efforts of West Cancer Center, University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Methodist Le Bonheur Health Care. He will utilize this fund to recruit additional scientists to the UT/West Institute for Cancer Research in service of a unique program of precision cancer medicine. West Cancer Center's ultimate goal is to become an NCI designated cancer center, which is anticipated to take seven to ten years with an additional investment of $100 million.
"Dr. Hayes will lead the scientific research and discovery portion of this journey, specifically launching a program to recruit scientists focused on genomic research for the development of more personalized cancer care," according to Dr. Lee Schwartzberg, Executive Director of West Cancer Center.
The recruitment of Dr. Hayes was a collaboration between healthcare leaders within the partnership and St Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Dr. Hayes most recently served as co-leader of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Clinical Research Program, Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology and the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Cancer Surgery, and director of Clinical Bioinformatics at UNC.