William N. Hait, MD, PhD, is global head of Johnson & Johnson External Innovation. In this role, he leads the global research and development group in its mission to discover and develop innovative new medicines to address the world’s most serious unmet medical needs.
Hait joined Johnson & Johnson in 2007 as senior vice president, worldwide head of hematology and oncology, Ortho Biotech oncology research and development, and assumed the role of global therapeutic area head, oncology, in 2009.
An expert in translational cancer research, Hait has sought to integrate molecular and cellular biology with clinical pharmacology, and translate findings to the clinic. His research has a special focus on multidrug resistance in breast cancer and the mechanisms of drug resistance in other cancers.
Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, he was the founding director of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and professor of medicine and pharmacology and associate dean for oncology programs at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School from January 1993 to March 2007. Under Hait’s leadership, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey was successful in obtaining a cancer center designation from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1996 and received the NCI’s highest designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2002.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Hait received his medical degree and doctorate in pharmacology from the Medical College of Pennsylvania cum laude, and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society. He received his house-staff training at the Yale-New Haven Hospital and served as chief medical resident under Samuel Their, MD. After completing his fellowship in medical oncology at Yale, he joined the Yale University School of Medicine faculty in 1984, where he served as associate director of the comprehensive cancer center, director of the Breast Cancer Unit, and co-director of the Lung Cancer Unit. He was appointed chief of medical oncology at Yale University School of Medicine in 1988. He is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.
During his AACR presidential tenure, Hait launched the AACR’s Translational Cancer Medicine Series of special conferences and co-chaired the steering committee for the AACR-NCI-FDA Cancer Biomarkers Collaborative. Among his extensive AACR service commitments, Hait has chaired or co-chaired numerous committees, including the Clinical and Translational Cancer Research Committee, the Stand Up To Cancer Management Committee, the Centennial Conference on Translational Cancer Medicine: Cancer Clinical Trials and Personalized Medicine, and the Scientific Review Committee for the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference: Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics. Additionally, Hait has served as editor-in-chief of Clinical Cancer Research and as an editorial board member of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics and Cancer Research. He was inaugurated into the first class of the fellows of the AACR Academy at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013.
Hait is a member of the Medical Advisory Board of both the New Jersey Breast Cancer Coalition and Susan G. Komen and is an active member on the scientific advisory boards of several universities. He served on various committees for the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Association of American Cancer Institutes, and the NCI.