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Hayes Appointed Scientific Director of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Institute for Cancer Research

Published Online:4:38 PM, Wed October 11, 2017

D Neil Hayes, MD, MPH
D Neil Hayes, MD, MPH, has been appointed scientific director of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) Institute for Cancer Research and the Van Vleet Endowed Professor in Medical Oncology in the Department of Medicine (Division of Hematology‐Oncology). 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.

Hayes’ new role also includes 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.
In his new role, Hayes will assume direction of $25 million fundraised through the combined efforts of West Cancer Center, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and Methodist Le Bonheur Health Care. The funds will be used to recruit additional scientists to the UT/West Institute for Cancer Research in service of a unique program of precision cancer medicine.
Hayes will help lead West Cancer Center in its ultimate goal of becoming an NCI-designated cancer center. The goal is anticipated to take 7 to 10 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,” said Lee Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, executive director of the West Cancer Center.

Hayes was recruited to his new role by a collaboration between healthcare leaders within the partnership and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

 “Our goal was to attract Neil because of his strong background in cancer genomics and his goal of moving genomic paradigms to clinical decision making. This molecular focus that involves bringing the result to the patient is the forefront of precision/personalized medicine in cancer and other areas. He will be the focus of this approach on the UTHSC campus and at West Cancer Center,” said David Stern, MD, Robert Kaplan Executive Dean for the College of Medicine at UTHSC.

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