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Karen L. Kelly, MD, Named Chief Executive Officer of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer


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The Board of Directors of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Karen L. Kelly, MD to the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective Spring 2022.

Karen L. Kelly, MD

Karen L. Kelly, MD

Dr. Kelly, a renowned medical oncologist, is an active, long-standing member of IASLC and a former member of the IASLC Board of Directors. She is recognized internationally for her expertise in lung cancer research, and her career has been dedicated to providing enhanced cancer care through cutting-edge clinical trials. Dr. Kelly’s lung cancer research has involved all aspects of the disease from risk reduction and screening to treatment. She has been at the forefront of drug development to treat lung cancer throughout her career.

Dr. Kelly most recently has served as Professor of Medicine and Associate Director for Clinical Research, University of California, Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and held the Jennifer Rene Harmon Tegley and Elizabeth Erica Harmon Endowed Chair in Cancer Clinical Research at UC Davis. She frequently lectures on lung cancer topics, nationally and internationally. Dr. Kelly has authored or coauthored more than 190 publications, including original papers, reviews, and book chapters. She has served as Chair of the Lung Committee for SWOG, one of the nation’s leading cooperative cancer research organizations, since 2016.

Future Plans

“I am honored to serve the members of IASLC as its next CEO,” Dr. Kelly commented. “I am committed to its growth and enhancement. There has never been a more exciting time for our lung cancer community as the whisper of cure becomes an audible reality. Meaningful advances in lung cancer care are rapidly coming, coupled with tackling health disparities and access to optimal care, and ultimate impact will be achieved. I am excited to take this journey with our talented members, Board, and staff.”

As the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Kelly will partner closely with the IASLC Board and staff to ensure that the mission and strategy established by the Board are achieved. Dr. Heather Wakelee, IASLC Board President, commented: “The IASLC Board is delighted with the appointment of Dr. Karen Kelly as the next IASLC CEO. Dr. Kelly’s long-standing and active membership in the organization, outstanding leadership skills, and preeminence as an internationally renowned thoracic oncologist make her the ideal candidate to lead IASLC as our next CEO.” 


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