Associate Professor Michael Patrick Hay

BSc (Hons), PhD


Michael Hay obtained his BSc (Hons) and PhD in Chemistry from The University of Canterbury, New Zealand. After postdoctoral positions  at Imperial College, London, and the University of Auckland, Michael was appointed as a Research Fellow in the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre as a medicinal chemist in 1991. He is currently investigating bioreductive drugs that target the tumour microenvironment. He is an Associate Investigator in the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery.

Research interests:

Research | Current

Assoc. Prof. Hay has five principal Research Areas that together form a coherent body of work in the area of anti-cancer drug development selectively targeting the tumour microenvironment through bioreductive mechanisms and/or selective target inhibition.  Secondary areas of interest include the development of novel drugs targeting M. tuberculosis, and new methodology in medicinal chemistry.

My current research interests are:

  1. Discovery of novel agents to target the tumour microenvironment
  2. Discovery of new hypoxia activated prodrugs
  3. Development of third generation nitroimidazole-based radiosensitizers
  4. Development of hypoxia activated prodrugs targeting DNA damage response pathways.
  5. Development of hypoxia-selective cytotoxins and radiation response modifiers based on the 1,2,4-benzotriazine dioxide core.
  6. Design and synthesis of drugs that target hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1alpha).

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Hay, M. P., Hicks, K. O., & Wilson, W. R. (2017). Discovery of the hypoxia-activated prodrug SN30000. In S. Chackalamannil, D. P. Rotella, S. E. Ward (Eds.) Comprehensive Medicinal Chemistry III. Volume 8, Case histories in recent drug discovery (pp. 58-94). Oxford: Elsevier. 10.1016/B978-0-12-409547-2.12450-3
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kevin Hicks, William Wilson
  • Bonnet, M., Hong, C. R., Gu, Y., Anderson, R. F., Wilson, W. R., Pruijn, F. B., ... Hay, M. P. (2014). Novel nitroimidazole alkylsulfonamides as hypoxic cell radiosensitisers. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 22 (7), 2123-2132. 10.1016/j.bmc.2014.02.039
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Yongchuan Gu, Kevin Hicks, Bob Anderson, William Wilson, Frederik Pruijn
  • Hay, M. P., Hicks, K. O., & Wang, J. (2014). Hypoxia-directed drug strategies to target the tumor microenvironment. (pp. 111-145). 10.1007/978-1-4614-5915-6_6
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kevin Hicks
  • Chitneni, S. K., Bida, G. T., Yuan, H., Palmer, G. M., Hay, M. P., Melcher, T., ... Dewhirst, M. W. (2013). F-18-EF5 PET Imaging as an Early Response Biomarker for the Hypoxia-Activated Prodrug SN30000 Combined with Radiation Treatment in a Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Xenograft Model. JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE, 54 (8), 1339-1346. 10.2967/jnumed.112.116293
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: William Wilson
  • Wang, J., Foehrenbacher, A., Su, J., Patel, R., Hay, M. P., Hicks, K. O., & Wilson, W. R. (2012). The 2-nitroimidazole EF5 is a biomarker for oxidoreductases that activate the bioreductive prodrug CEN-209 under hypoxia. Clin Cancer Res, 18 (6), 1684-1695. 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-2296
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: William Wilson, Kevin Hicks
  • Hunter, F. W., Wang, J., Patel, R., Hsu, H.-L., Hickey, A. J. R., Hay, M. P., & Wilson, W. R. (2012). Homologous recombination repair-dependent cytotoxicity of the benzotriazine di-N-oxide CEN-209: comparison with other hypoxia-activated prodrugs. Biochem Pharmacol, 83 (5), 574-585. 10.1016/j.bcp.2011.12.005
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: William Wilson, Tony Hickey, Francis Hunter
  • Chan, D. A., Sutphin, P. D., Nguyen, P., Turcotte, S., Lai, E. W., Banh, A., ... Solow-Cordero, D. E. (2011). Targeting GLUT1 and the Warburg Effect in Renal Cell Carcinoma by Chemical Synthetic Lethality. SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE, 3 (94)10.1126/scitranslmed.3002394
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jack Flanagan, Bill Denny
  • Bonnet, M., Flanagan, J. U., Chan, D. A., Lai, E. W., Nguyen, P., Giaccia, A. J., & Hay, M. P. (2011). SAR studies of 4-pyridyl heterocyclic anilines that selectively induce autophagic cell death in von Hippel-Lindau-deficient renal cell carcinoma cells. Bioorg Med Chem, 19 (11), 3347-3356. 10.1016/j.bmc.2011.04.042
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jack Flanagan

Contact details

Primary location

M&HS BUILDING 504 - Bldg 504
Level 1, Room 121
New Zealand