My patients and colleagues call me Dr. Bill, and I joined the division of pediatric hematology and oncology in 2002, with a focus on platelet disorders and leukemia. I received my bachelor’s degree in biology from Oberlin College and my medical degree from the University of Florida. I also completed a pediatric internship, pediatric residency and pediatric fellowship at UF.
I was inspired to go into medicine by my father, who was a pioneer in adult oncology. I always admired him for his work but could not imagine how he could work with such sick people. When I was in medical school and as a resident, I was always most comfortable working with patients with cancer, and I am sure this is because of my father’s influence. I am naturally a pediatrician as I love to work with children. I am now the chief of the division, and I also chair the Children’s Oncology Group clinical trial AALL0622, Improved Targeted Tyrosine Kinase Therapy for Ph+ Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
As a pediatric oncologist, I have worked hard to improve the treatments for children with leukemia. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work on and then lead clinical trials using new targeted therapies for children with high-risk leukemia. My laboratory has interest in how normal and leukemic stem cell interact with the bone marrow microenvironment. My current projects are focused on developing better therapies for Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia and infant leukemia.
My goal is to be a great teacher and lead my division and my department to provide the best care for our patients. My experiences with my own parents’ illnesses has instilled in me a fierce allegiance with my patients. I have assembled a team of like-minded providers who want to do the very best for our kids.
In my free time, I frequently volunteer at Camp Boggy Creek, sing in three a cappella groups and write limericks. I've also organized wilderness river trips for children who have completed their cancer treatment. I have three amazing children with my wife, Dr. Marci Slayton who is a pediatrician and in my free time I enjoy spending time gardening, bird-watching and cooking.