NEWS | May 14, 2012

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center physician and research director selected as leadership fellow


Karen Kelly, associate director for clinical research at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been selected as a fellow of the prestigious Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Karen Kelly © UC Regents
Karen Kelly

Kelly, an internationally recognized medical oncologist who specializes in lung cancer, will be part of the 2012-2013 class of 54 women physicians and scientists from 48 different institutions around the country and beyond, including from Puerto Rico, Canada and Saudi Arabia.

ELAM® is dedicated to preparing senior women faculty for positions of leadership at academic health centers, where they can play a role in helping the organizations become more inclusive of different perspectives and responsive to the needs and expectations of society.

"I am honored to have been chosen for this exciting program," Kelly said. "With our cancer center's new National Cancer Institute 'comprehensive designation' and expanding translational research programs, this fellowship will give me tools I can bring to our multidisciplinary efforts to discover better treatments and improve outcomes for all patients."

As a fellow, Kelly will be required to develop an "Institutional Action Project" designed to address an institutional or departmental need or priority. The project is designed to help ELAM® fellows understand the challenges facing academic health centers and the skills a leader needs to address them, while also helping to implement concrete changes within the health system. She will attend three week-long, in-residence sessions, beginning in September.

Since her recruitment to the cancer center from the University of Kansas in 2011, Kelly has enhanced the infrastructure of the clinical trials program and founded several clinical cancer innovation groups. As director of the Phase 1 Clinical Trials Unit, she is developing additional venues to evaluate new drugs, building relationships with industry partners and working to recruit more patients to trials.

Kelly has held many leadership roles in national cancer organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and the National Cancer Institute. She has authored more than 150 papers, reviews and book chapters and frequently lectures on lung cancer topics worldwide.

About ELAM®
ELAM® is a core program of the Institute for Women's Health and Leadership® at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa. The Institute continues the legacy of advancing women in medicine that began in 1850 with the founding of the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, the nation's first women's medical school and a predecessor of today's Drexel University College of Medicine. For more information on the ELAM® program curriculum, faculty and participants, visit   

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 9,000 adults and children every year, and access to more than 150 clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program engages more than 280 scientists at UC Davis, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Jackson Laboratory (JAX West), whose scientific partnerships advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Through the Cancer Care Network, UC Davis collaborates with a number of hospitals and clinical centers throughout the Central Valley and Northern California regions to offer the latest cancer care. Its community-based outreach and education programs address disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations. For more information, visit