Meet Our Faculty

Walter J. Urba, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of cancer research
Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute

Dr. Urba leads a team of more than 60 investigators at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute in the effort to discover new treatments for cancer patients. He is an internationally-recognized leader in cancer immunotherapy and the treatment of patients with melanoma. Read more about Dr. Urba’s clinical practice and leadership.


Keith S. Bahjat, Ph.D.
Assistant member
Chief, Laboratory of Immunologic Monitoring
Principal investigator, Bahjat Laboratory

The Laboratory of Immunologic Monitoring measures patients' immune responses to different anti-cancer immunotherapy interventions, such as experimental cancer vaccines, to assess their effectiveness. Read more.

The Bahjat Laboratory is interested in understanding the signals that regulate the expansion and function of CD8+ T cells, and why seemingly healthy, normal T cells would be rendered incapable of killing their intended target. The laboratory utilizes models of microbial infection to elicit a robust, well-characterized T cell response. Read more.


Carlo B. Bifulco, M.D.
Anatomic and clinical pathologist
Director, Translational Molecular Pathology

As an anatomic and clinical pathologist, Dr. Bifulco supports the institute’s efforts in translational pathology and genomics research through his expertise in hematopathology and molecular genetic pathology. Prior to joining the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Dr. Bifulco served on the pathology faculties at the University of Florida and at Yale University, and was an attending pathologist at the National Cancer Institute in Milan, Italy. Read more.

Marka R. Crittenden, M.D., Ph.D.
Radiation oncologist
Director, Translational Radiation Research
Co-principal investigator, Integrated Therapies Laboratory

As a radiation oncologist and director of translational radiation research at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Dr. Crittenden specializes in the radiotherapy treatment of cancer patients and leads the institute’s radiation immunotherapy research. As co-principal investigator of the Laboratory of Integrated Therapies, she and Michael Gough, Ph.D., investigate the ability of cytotoxic therapy to provide large-scale cancer cell death in vivo, while modifying the profile of immune cells within the tumor. Read more about Dr. Crittenden’s clinical practice and the Laboratory of Integrated Therapies.

Todd S. Crocenzi, M.D.
Medical oncologist
Director, Gastrointestinal Oncology Research

Dr. Crocenzi is a medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of patients with liver, pancreatic, stomach, colon and other gastrointestinal cancers. In his role as director of gastrointestinal oncology research, he is exploring ways in which immunotherapy can be integrated effectively into standard treatments for colorectal cancer and other cancers of the gastrointestinal system.  Read more about Dr. Crocenzi’s clinical practice and gastrointestinal oncology research.

Brendan D. Curti, M.D.
Medical oncologist
Director, Genitourinary Oncology Research and Biotherapy Clinical Program

Dr. Curti is a medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of patients with melanoma and prostate cancer, and serves as the director of genitourinary oncology research at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute and director of the biotherapy clinical program at Providence Cancer Center. Read more about Dr. Curti’s clinical practice and genitorurinary oncology research.

Christopher Dubay, Ph.D.
Program manager, Biomedical Informatics

With his extensive background in data management and bioinformatic analysis, Dr. Dubay works closely with our investigators and other health system IT professionals to strengthen our research efforts with bioinformatics support.

Bernard A. Fox, Ph.D.
Full member
Chief, Laboratory of Molecular and Tumor Immunology

The Laboratory of Molecular and Tumor Immunology hypothesizes that a primary reason for the failure of past tumor vaccine strategies is that the magnitude of the antitumor immune response is insufficient to mediate tumor regression. One answer to this is to create a lymphopenic host, reconstitute that host with lymphocytes and then inoculate with a tumor vaccine. Read more.

John E. Godwin, M.D., M.S.
Medical oncologist/ hematologist

Dr. Godwin is a medical oncologist and hematologist specializing in the treatment of leukemia, lymphoma and blood coagulation. He has conceived, designed and led innovative clinical trials in leukemia and lymphoma for Southwest Oncology Group. Dr. Godwin has served on various panels for the NIH-NCI and was a member of the NCI Leukemia Steering Committee before joining the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute. Read more.

Michael J. Gough, Ph.D.
Assistant member
Principal investigator, Laboratory of Integrated Therapies

The Integrated Therapies Laboratory is a collaborative research effort between Dr. Gough and Marka R. Crittenden, M.D., Ph.D. It encompasses their overlapping research interest into the ability of cytotoxic therapy to provide large-scale cancer cell death in vivo, while modifying the profile of immune cells within the tumor. Read more.

Hong-Ming Hu, Ph.D.
Associate member
Chief, Laboratory of Cancer Immunobiology

The long-term goal of the Laboratory of Cancer Immunobiology is to understand how the immune system senses tumor cells and develop effective cancer vaccines and immunotherapy strategies. Read more.

Rom S. Leidner, M.D.
Medical oncologist

Dr. Leidner is a medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of patients with oral, head, neck and thoracic cancers. He is also a clinical investigator at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute focusing on immunotherapy for head and neck cancers in collaboration with Providence Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Program.  Read more.

William L. Redmond, Ph.D.
Assistant member
Principal investigator, Laboratory of Cancer Immunotherapy

The goal of the Laboratory of Cancer Immunotherapy is to determine the molecular mechanisms by which tumors induce immune suppression. Ultimately, understanding how tumors escape destruction by the immune system will guide the development of novel anti-tumor therapies.  Read more.

Rachel E. Sanborn, M.D.
Medical oncologist
Co-director, Thoracic Oncology Program

Dr. Sanborn is a medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of patients with lung cancer. She is also co-director of Providence Thoracic Oncology Program at Providence Cancer Center and a clinical investigator at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute. Read more about Dr. Sanborn’s clinical practice and lung cancer research.

Andrew D. Weinberg, Ph.D.
Full member
Chief, Laboratory of Basic Immunology

The main focus of the Laboratory of Basic Immunology is to understand T cell activation during disease states.  We have explored ways to manipulate the fate of antigen-specific T cells to enhance tumor-specific memory in hosts with cancer or down-regulate antigen-specific responses in autoimmune disease. Read more.

Jennifer Wilk, D.V.M., DACLAM
Director, Cancer Research Animal Division

Under the direction of Dr. Wilk and her staff, our research is enhanced through the provision of healthier animal models and collaboration in clinical protocol development. Dr. Wilk provides guidance for laboratory staff in regards to protocol development and project support.