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Mission Statement

The Hayes Research Lab expertise is in bridging multidisciplinary clinical cancer care, clinical trials, translational cancer research, and model systems of cancer with a focus on aerodigestive tumors.

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About Dr. D. Neil Hayes
Scientific Director, UT-West Institute
for Cancer Research

Neil Hayes is a native of Winston-Salem, NC and graduate of Davidson College with a BS in chemistry. He completed his medical degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and then a Masters of Public Health at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. His residency was at the Boston City Hospital in the Boston University School of Medicine program and then fellowship training in Hematology / Oncology at the Tufts New England School of Medicine where he also completed a Masters degree in Clinical Research.  In conjunction with his fellowship he completed post-doctoral training in the lab of Dr. Matthew Meyerson at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Upon completion of clinical training he took a faculty position at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Medicine where he saw patients with aerodigestive tumors. At UNC, Hayes was a professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology and the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Cancer Surgery and Director of Clinical Bioinformatics. He was principal investigator of The Cancer Genome Atlas project focused on characterizing the spectrum of human cancers. He has dedicated himself to the translational study of cancer genomics. During his tenure at UNC, he became key personnel to numerous grants in his field of study and has > 150 peer-reviewed publications with over 80,000 citations in 2021.

In 2017, Dr. Hayes assumed a new set of responsibilities in a move to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center as the Director of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center for Cancer Research. Dr. Hayes also serves as chief of Hematology / Oncology in the Department of Medicine. He is also a Van Vleet Endowed Professor in Medical Oncology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, with appointments at the Department of Medicine, the Department of Genetics, Genomics, and Informatics, and the Department of Preventive Medicine in the College of Medicine of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. In Tennessee, Hayes has assumed direction of a significant initiative supported by the combined efforts of University of Tennessee Health Science Center and local hospitals in support of a program of precision cancer medicine with the goal to establish an NCI designated cancer center status.