Board-certified in oncology and internal medicine, Dr. Urba specializes in clinical research and in the care of patients with melanoma. He has 30 years of experience in the development of immunotherapy.
Dr. Urba earned his Ph.D. in immunology at the UCLA School of Medicine and his medical degree at the University of Miami.
Dr. Urba completed his residency at Morristown Memorial Hospital in New Jersey, an affiliate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, N.Y. He was a clinical staff fellow in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He was a senior staff fellow at the NCI Biological Response Modifiers Program and director of the NCI Clinical Services Program at the Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center in Frederick, Maryland.
In 1993, Dr. Urba joined Providence Health & Services in Portland, to lead the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center in the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute at Providence Cancer Center. Dr. Urba credits his mom, a 27-year breast cancer survivor, as the reason he went into cancer research. So when Providence set out to build the cancer center on the campus of Providence Portland Medical Center, Dr. Urba became involved in planning every detail.
"I knew it had to pass the mom test," he says. "Would I want my mom to be cared for here? Would she have access to the newest treatment discoveries? Would she be treated with kindness and respect through every step of her care? The Providence Cancer Center passes the test. My mom finds that comforting. And so do I."
Video introduction to Dr. Urba and Providence Cancer Center.
Dr. Urba's strong commitment to research is evidenced in his activities. He is an affiliate investigator in the division of clinical research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and has been an invited speaker at numerous international scientific conferences. He has served on several oversight committees and advisory boards focused on cancer immunology and immunotherapy, including the melanoma, immunomolecular and genitourinary committees with Southwest Oncology Group; the cellular, tissue and gene therapies advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration; and the NCI board of scientific counselors for clinical studies and epidemiology.
Dr. Urba also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Immunotherapy, Journal of Translational Medicine, The Oncologist, and the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer.
Find a full list of Dr. Urba's professional publications.