Dr. Evans joined St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRH) as a student in 1972, chaired the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department from 1986-2002, served as Scientific Director & EVP from 2002-2004, and as President and CEO of SJCRH from 2004-2014. He currently holds the St. Jude Endowed Chair of Pharmacogenomics at SJCRH and is a Professor at the University of Tennessee Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine.
During his decade as CEO, St. Jude was ranked the #1 Children’s Cancer Hospital by USNWR and by Parents Magazine, #1 in the Best Places to Work in Academia by Scientist Magazine, consistently among the Top 100 Best Places to Work by Fortune Magazine, received a perfect score by The Joint Commission and an “Exceptional” ranking as an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Evans received his BSc and Pharm.D. degrees from the University of Tennessee HSC (1973, 1974) and spent a sabbatical year (1987-88) at the University of Basel (with Prof. Urs Meyer). He has received honorary doctoral degrees from Rhodes College, the Ohio State University and the University of Florida.
For the past 40 years his research has focused on the pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, for which he has received three consecutive NIH MERIT Awards from NCI. Evans has authored over 400 scientific publications and has received several national awards for his research, including the 1994 Volwiler Award from AACP, the 2009 Pediatric Oncology Award from ASCO (with Mary V. Relling of SJCRH), the 2009 Team Science Prize from AACR (shared with SJCRH colleagues), the 2012 Remington Medal from APhA, the 2013 Oscar B. Hunter Award from ASCPT and the 2018 Parker Medal from ACCP.
He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2002 (now the US National Academy of Medicine) and the German National Academy of Sciences in 2016.
Evans currently chairs the Scientific Advisory Board of the Princess Maxima Children’s Cancer Center in The Netherlands (2014-present), and has previously served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee (2014-2018) and the Board of Trustees of Rhodes College (2005-2014). He served on the Board of Directors of Accredo Health (ACDO) from 2003 until it was acquired by Medco in 2005.