Ryan Hays, M.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW). He specializes in epilepsy and sleep disorders, and serves as the Section Chief for the Epilepsy section at UTSW, as well as the Medical Director for Sleep Medicine at Parkland Hospital & Health System.

Dr. Hays grew up in Louisiana and Texas, and earned his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Texas Wesleyan University, and then his medical degree at Texas A&M College of Medicine. He completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Texas A&M/Scott & White Hospital in Temple, TX, before matriculating into the neurology residency program at Northwestern University in Chicago. He also completed a Sleep Medicine Fellowship at Northwestern, as well as 2 additional fellowships in Clinical Neurophysiology and Epilepsy at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He is one of only a few specialists in the nation to hold certification from the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology in four different disciplines: Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology, Epilepsy, and Sleep Medicine. 

Dr. Hays’ clinical interests include diagnosing and managing seizures and sleep disorders. As Medical Director of William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) and electroencephalography (EEG) services, he oversees the diagnosis and management of patients with refractory epilepsy. He also identifies patients who may be candidates for neurosurgery when medications do not effectively control their seizures. His research interests parallel his clinical practice, and he has authored/co-authored many publications, reviews, and book chapters in these associated fields—covering important topics such as SUDEP (sudden unexplained death in epilepsy), epilepsy surgery techniques and outcomes, the role of autoimmunity in epilepsy, and quality of life issues in patients with epilepsy and sleep disorders.

Dr. Hays has a passion for neurology education, and has served as the former Program Director for the Clinical Neurophysiology and Epilepsy Fellowships at UTSW, as well the prior Assistant Program Director for the Neurology Residency Program at UTSW. He is also the founder of the Advanced Electroencephalography Fellowship Program at UTSW. He has won several teaching awards, and has mentored several residents and fellows-- many of whom have ultimately pursued academic careers themselves.

Because of his interest in healthcare quality and improving processes and systems to deliver the best outcomes for patients, he has obtained an M.B.A. in Healthcare Leadership from the distinguished Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas Dallas. He has worked with several stakeholders to developed systems and processes to monitor and improve patient outcomes at Parkland and UTSW.

He has previously served as the President of the Texas Society of Sleep Professionals, and chaired two of their annual CME symposiums to disseminate updates in the field of sleep medicine throughout the state and the Southwest. Dr. Hays is also active in several other organizations, including serving on the Professional Advisory Board of the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas, and has been elected as a Fellow of the American Epilepsy Society (FAES).


Medical School
Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine (2004)
Scott and White Memorial Hospital (2005), Internal Medicine
Northwestern University School of Medicine (2008), Neurology
Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine (2009), Neurophysiology
Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine (2010), Epilepsy
Northwestern University School of Medicine (2011), Sleep Medicine
Graduate School
UT Dallas/Naveen Jindal School of Management (2020), Healthcare Leadership

Research Interest

  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Epilepsy Surgery
  • Healthcare Quality
  • Intracranial neurophysiology (stereo-EEG, subdural grids/strips, cortical mapping)
  • Neurostimulation for epilepsy and sleep disorders
  • Quality of life outcomes in patients with epilepsy
  • Quality of life outcomes in patients with sleep disorders
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Sleep Apnea


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Emergency department visits and readmissions in patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) at a safety net hospital.
Ramamurthy S, Steven Brown L, Agostini M, Alick Lindstorm S, Dave H, Dieppa M, Ding K, Doyle A, Hays R, Harvey J, Perven G, Podkorytova I, Zepeda R, Das RR, Epilepsy Behav 2021 Aug 122 108225
Emergent Admissions to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit in the Setting of COVID-19 Pandemic-related, State-mandated Restrictions: Clinical Decision Making and Outcomes.
Zepeda R, Lee Y, Agostini M, Alick Lindstrom S, Dave H, Dieppa M, Ding K, Doyle A, Harvey J, Hays R, Perven G, Podkorytova I, Das RR, Neurodiagn J 2021 Jun 61 2 95-103
Physical activity status and quality of life in patients with epilepsy - Survey from level four epilepsy monitoring units.
Green R, Abe C, Denney DA, Zhang R, Doyle A, Gadelmola K, Cullum CM, Simon J, Neaves S, Perven G, Dieppa M, Hays R, Agostini M, Ding K, Epilepsy Res 2021 Apr 173 106639
Stereo-EEG Evaluation and Surgical Treatment in Patients With Drug-Resistant Focal Epilepsy Associated With Nodular Heterotopia.
Durica SR, Caruso JP, Podkorytova I, Ding K, Hays R, Lega B, Perven G, J Clin Neurophysiol 2021 Apr
Non-lesional mesial temporal lobe epilepsy requires bilateral invasive evaluation.
Perven G, Podkorytova I, Ding K, Agostini M, Alick S, Das R, Dave H, Dieppa M, Doyle A, Harvey J, Lega B, Zepeda R, Hays R, Epilepsy Behav Rep 2021 15 100441
Nine-year prospective efficacy and safety of brain-responsive neurostimulation for focal epilepsy.
Nair DR, Laxer KD, Weber PB, Murro AM, Park YD, Barkley GL, Smith BJ, Gwinn RP, Doherty MJ, Noe KH, Zimmerman RS, Bergey GK, Anderson WS, Heck C, Liu CY, Lee RW, Sadler T, Duckrow RB, Hirsch LJ, Wharen RE, Tatum W, Srinivasan S, McKhann GM, Agostini MA, Alexopoulos AV, Jobst BC, Roberts DW, Salanova V, Witt TC, Cash SS, Cole AJ, Worrell GA, Lundstrom BN, Edwards JC, Halford JJ, Spencer DC, Ernst L, Skidmore CT, Sperling MR, Miller I, Geller EB, Berg MJ, Fessler AJ, Rutecki P, Goldman AM, Mizrahi EM, Gross RE, Shields DC, Schwartz TH, Labar DR, Fountain NB, Elias WJ, Olejniczak PW, Villemarette-Pittman NR, Eisenschenk S, Roper SN, Boggs JG, Courtney TA, Sun FT, Seale CG, Miller KL, Skarpaas TL, Morrell MJ, Neurology 2020 Jul
Comparison of psychiatric comorbidities and impact on quality of life in patients with epilepsy or psychogenic nonepileptic spells.
Abe C, Denney D, Doyle A, Cullum M, Adams J, Perven G, Dave H, Dieppa M, Hays R, Agostini M, Ding K, Epilepsy Behav 2019 Nov 102 106649
Response to: Assessing sexual dysfunction in men with epilepsy: A need for specific tools!
Olson DM, Dawson EA, Stutzman SE, Hays RS, Epilepsy Behav 2019 Jul 106278
Assessing recent suicidal ideation and behavior in the adult epilepsy monitoring unit.
Husari KS, Blackburn KM, Ding K, Roaten K, Hays R, Epilepsy Behav 2019 Mar 94 100-103
Performance of the International Index of Erectile Function tool in men with epilepsy.
Dawson E, Stutzman SE, Olson DM, Hays RS, Epilepsy Behav 2019 Mar 94 78-81


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • Beta Gama Sigma (Honor society for business school graduates – restricted to top 10% of undergrads, top 20% of MBA students and select doctoral candidates at AACSB-accredited business schools).
    UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management (2020)
  • Phi Kappa Phi (Nation's oldest and most selective, multidisciplinary, honor society, designed to recognize the academic achievements of the most outstanding students)
    UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management (2019)
  • elected Fellow (FAES)
    American Epilepsy Society (2017)
  • Neurology Faculty - "Trephined Cranium Award"
    UTSW Neurology Faculty teacher of the year (2015)
  • Board of Director's Distinguished Service Award
    Texas Society of Sleep Professionals (2014)
  • Neurology Faculty - "Trephined Cranium Award"
    UTSW Neurology Faculty teacher of the year (2013)
  • Neurology Fellow - Teacher of the Year
    Thomas Jefferson University (2010)
  • Neurology Resident - Teacher of the Year
    Northwestern University (2008)
  • Law Sone Award
    Texas Wesleyan University (2000)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Academy of Neurology (2008)
  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2011)
  • American Clinical Neurophysiology Society (2010)
  • American Epilepsy Society (2009)
  • Sleep Research Society (2011)
  • Texas Society of Sleep Professionals (2011)