Dr. Marka Crittenden receives honor to further research at Providence Cancer Institute

Author: Walter J. Urba, M.D., Ph.D., director of cancer research, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, and chief medical officer, Robert W. Franz Cancer Center of the Providence Cancer Institute

When Michael “Mike” Kelley died in October 2020 after a 22-month battle with stage IV head and neck cancer, his family and friends wanted to honor his memory by supporting further research at Providence Cancer Institute where he received his care. We announced on Feb. 25 – which would have been Mike’s 61st birthday – the Michael Kelley Endowed Chair for Cancer Research, which will be held by Dr. Crittenden.

There truly is no one more deserving than Dr. Crittenden, and Providence Cancer Institute is honored that generous donors want to help further her important research.

Dr. Crittenden is director of Translational Radiation Research, co-leader of the Integrated Therapies Lab at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, a division of Providence Cancer Institute, and a radiation oncologist with The Oregon Clinic. As a physician scientist trained in both radiation oncology and immunology, Dr. Crittenden works to develop new immunotherapies for cancer.

Mike’s wife is Laurie Kelley, a familiar name and face to many of us. She was chief philanthropy officer at Providence Foundations of Oregon and now leads Providence foundations at the system level. Mike was a community leader and volunteer, a successful attorney at the law firm Haglund Kelley, and a longtime supporter of nonprofit organizations and Catholic high school education and sports. He was a dedicated father of four and grandfather of three.

This newly endowed chair in his name will guarantee research that will push the boundaries in Providence’s focus on immunotherapy. The endowment will allow Dr. Crittenden and her team to hire additional scientists, conduct leading-edge cancer research and provide new treatments for patients with cancer.

The $2 million endowed chair was funded by gifts of $1 million each from Mark and Kathy Parker and from Darlene Shiley. Kathy is a community volunteer, and Mark is executive chairman and former president and CEO of Nike. Darlene is president of The Shiley Foundation and a long-time patron of the arts, medical research and education. 

Providence Cancer Institute is grateful for generous donors like Mark, Kathy and Darlene and thousands of others who believe in our commitment to finish cancer. Although the endowed chair’s initial phase has been funded, Providence Foundations of Oregon continues to seek additional support to further the important work of this endowed chair.

For more information

Providence Cancer Institute currently has more than 400 active clinical trials in key areas, such as cancers of the: breast, colon/rectum, prostate, lung, esophagus, liver and pancreas, head and neck, ovary, skin and blood. Other studies are investigating treatments for COVID-19.

About the Author

The Pulse content team focuses on bringing you the latest in clinical news from our world-class medical providers and physician leaders.

More Content by Providence Pulse Content Team
Previous Article
Providence leadership changes
Providence leadership changes

Read about new leadership changes at Providence that affect providers and care teams.

Next Article
Confronting climate change to protect health
Confronting climate change to protect health

“Get out and exercise in the fresh air, drink plenty of (clean) water, and eat healthy, fresh foods.” This ...