Transforming Human Health

A commitment to human health and well-being has been embedded in USC’s character since the founding of our medical school in 1885. The establishment of the Ostrow School of Dentistry in 1897 and the School of Pharmacy in 1905 extended our medical missions, which have continued to expand as the innovations, facilities, and capabilities of the three schools have proliferated over the intervening decades.

USC’s progress was accelerated by the acquisition of two hospitals in 2009 and by a second transformative gift from the W. M. Keck Foundation. Keck Medicine of USC integrates the activities of the Keck Medical Center of USC, the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the Keck Hospital of USC, as well as USC Norris Cancer Hospital, to deliver the highest-quality patient care, generate life-altering research breakthroughs, and hasten those discoveries into clinical applications.

Issues impacting human health are being addressed throughout the university. USC Viterbi School of Engineering scientists are at the forefront of developing breakthrough medical technologies such as assistive robotics, implanted devices, and medical simulations. Other Viterbi scientists are helping to pioneer leading-edge fields such as bioinformatics and nanoscience. The USC Ming Hsieh Institute for Research on Engineering-Medicine for Cancer links efforts on the University Park campus and Health Sciences campus to conduct research on nanoscale delivery platforms for drugs and therapeutics targeting cancerous cells and tumors. At the USC Davis School of Gerontology, scholars are investigating the keys to successful aging as more than 70 million baby boomers reach retirement age in the next 20 years. Experts at the USC Price School of Public Policy and USC Dworak-Peck School of Social Work are deeply involved with issues of health communication and health policy. And the sociological impacts of diseases afflicting multiethnic, diverse populations are being explored within the USC Dornsife College, the USC Rossier School of Education, and the USC Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism.

Soon remote consultations and surgery, regenerative technologies, and medicine personalized for our genotype will be the norm. We must recruit stellar new faculty focused on the key challenges of our time: cancer, stem cell research, neuroscience, biological sciences, preventive medicine, and community health. And we must provide them with state-of-the-art laboratories and clinics to carry out their work. The result will be extraordinary advances in the ways we understand, treat, and cure diseases and improved quality of life for individuals and families in our community and in the world beyond.