Dr. Willis was born and raised in Georgia. In 1995 he moved to Texas to complete his Internal Medicine residency at UTMB. Upon completion of his residency, Dr. Willis returned to rural Georgia and went into private practice in Internal Medicine, where he cared for underserved individuals. Dr. Willis participated in the National Health Service Corps private practice payback option for 4 of his 6 years in private practice. In 2004, Dr. Willis returned to UTMB to pursue an oncology fellowship. In 2006 he joined the Hematology/Oncology faculty at UTMB and in 2007 was named medical director of the Hematology/Oncology clinics. He has worked to improve clinic efficiency as well as the clinic Press Ganey scores. Dr. Willis also serves as a preceptor for the TDCJ oncology clinic.
Dr. Willis's research interests include lung, head and neck cancers. He is the Principle Investigator (PI) for several lung, head and neck cancer trials. He is The Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) Principle Investigator for UTMB and has opened 10 SWOG trials since attaining this position. Dr. Willis also facilitates a Thoracic Multi- Disciplinary Tumor Board on a weekly basis. Since 2008, Dr. Willis has worked with both the residency program and the residency advisory committee. He is dedicated to improving Internal Medicine residents' knowledge of Hematology and Oncology. Dr. Willis regularly attends morning report and organizes lectures for the residents. He is a Member of the Diess society which promotes resident education and participates in educating the medical students by giving various lectures. He also serves as a facilitator for the Practice of Medicine (POM) and as a faculty advisor for the National Student Research Forum.
In 2010 Dr. Willis was named the UTMB Oncology Fellowship Program Director. Through his dedicated efforts, he has been able to re-expand the fellowship program to 6 Fellows after a post Hurricane Ike reduction. Dr. Willis is also active in the Galveston community. He serves on the Galveston Hurricane Youth Football Board and coaches the 11-12 year old group. Dr. Willis also volunteers as the on-field physician for all of the Hurricane football games. He is also a volunteer for the Lymphoma/Leukemia Society and American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Dr. Willis is responsible for a medical ministry at Live Oak Baptist Church in Galveston and was recently honored by the Galveston Chapter of the NAACP for his community work in 2011. He was also reconized as a trailblazer by the Galveston Zeta Phi Beta chapter in 2015.
Morehouse School of Medicine - Atlanta, GA, MD, 1995
Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston, TX, 1996
Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston, TX, 1998
American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine
American Board of Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology
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