Trained as a pharmacist, Evans has devoted his entire career to improving the medical outcomes of children at Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, via his research, mentoring and leadership.
During his decade as CEO, St. Jude was ranked the number one Children’s Cancer Hospital by US News and World Report and by Parents Magazine. It has had a consistent presence on the Fortune Magazine list of the annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” as well as the top 10 “Best Places to Work in Academia” as ranked by The Scientist magazine. St. Jude additionally became designated and received an “Exceptional” ranking as an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Evans has authored over 450 scientific publications, including papers in New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Science, Nature, Nature Genetics, Cancer Cell and Nature Medicine. For the past 40-plus 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 the National Cancer Institute.
Evans was part of the St. Jude team that pushed cure rates for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common cancer in children, from 50% in 1975 to over 90% in 2021.
Evans has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences (2002) and the US National Academy of Medicine (2015.)