Carmen Puliafito

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Carmen Puliafito
Dean headshot.ashx.jpg

Carmen Anthony Puliafito[1] is an American ophthalmologist. From 2007 until March 2016, he was dean of the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine.


Puliafito, who grew up in Buffalo, New York, received a degree in medicine from Harvard Medical School and completed a residency in ophthalmology and a fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.[2]

He was appointed dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC in December 2007.[3] Before that, he had been director of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and chair of the department of ophthalmology.[2] In 2012, he was 21st of the most highly paid research university executives in the United States.[4]

In March 2016, Puliafito resigned as dean of the Keck School of Medicine, and USC professor Rohit Varma was appointed interim dean.[5] After leaving USC, he took a role as chief of strategic development with a pharmaceutical company called Ophthotech that was developing new drugs for eye diseases; he was laid off along with 80% of the staff in December 2016 when two Phase III clinical trials produced negative results.[1][6]

He has served on the board of the Children's Hospital Los Angeles.[7]

His license G 88200 in the State of California was revoked based on discipline orders on August 17, 2018.[8]


Puliafito was one of the inventors of optical coherence tomography;[9] for this work, James Fujimoto, Eric Swanson and Puliafito received a Rank Prize for Opto-Electronics in 2002.[9] In 2012, Fujimoto, Swanson, and David Huang, with Puliafito and Joel Schuman, received an António Champalimaud Vision Award from the Champalimaud Foundation.[10]

Puliafito participated in research into the use of bevacizumab for the treatment of retinal disorders.[11][12][13][14]

2017 Los Angeles Times report[edit]

The Los Angeles Times reported in July 2017 that while Pulafito served as dean and USC professor, he "kept company with a circle of criminals and drug users who said he used methamphetamine and other drugs with them."[1] The reporters reviewed video and photographs of Puliafito engaging in these activities in hotel rooms, apartments, and the dean's office.[1] According to the newspaper, a 21-year-old prostitute had overdosed while taking drugs with Puliafito in a Pasadena hotel room on March 4, 2016; the article included a recording of a conversation between a 911 operator and Puliafito. The report said that police had found methamphetamine in the room.[1] Three weeks later, on March 24, 2016, Puliafito resigned as dean of the Keck School of Medicine.[5]

Immediately following the publication of the Los Angeles Times report, USC announced that Puliafito had been placed "on leave from his roles at USC, including seeing patients."[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e Pringle, Paul; Ryan, Harriet; Elmahrek, Adam; Hamilton, Matt; Parvini, Sarah (July 17, 2017). "An overdose, a young companion, drug-fueled parties: The secret life of USC med school dean". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ a b Carmen Puliafito named new dean of the Keck School of Medicine. University of Southern California. Accessed February 2015.[self-published source]
  3. ^ USC Press Release. Dec 5 2007. USC Installs Dr. Carmen Puliafito as New Dean of the Keck School of Medicine
  4. ^ Alex Philippidis (Nov 18, 2013). "25 Top-Paid Research University Leaders". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Accessed February 2015.
  5. ^ a b Maamoon, Noorhan. "Dean of Keck School of Medicine of USC resigns". Daily Trojan. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  6. ^ Adams, Ben (January 17, 2017). "Ophthotech cuts to hit around 80% of staffers after phase 3 failures". FierceBiotech.
  7. ^ "Board of Trustees". Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Archived from the original on October 2, 2015.
  8. ^ "California Board Of Medicine".
  9. ^ a b [s.n.] (May 2002). New Products. Optometry & Vision Science 79 (5): 279–280. Accessed February 2015.
  10. ^ 2012: Williams & Fujimoto, Huang, Puliafito, Schuman, Swanson. Champalimaud Foundation. Accessed February 2015.
  11. ^ Michels S, Rosenfeld PJ, Puliafito CA, Marcus EN, Venkatraman AS. (2005). Systemic bevacizumab (Avastin) therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration twelve-week results of an uncontrolled open-label clinical study. Ophthalmology 112:1035–47.
  12. ^ Rosenfeld PJ, Moshfegi AA, Puliafito CA. (2005). Optical coherence tomography findings after an intravitreal injection of bevacizumab (Avastin) for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers & Imaging 36: 331–5.
  13. ^ Rich RM, Rosenfeld PJ, Puliafito CA, et al. (2006). Short-term safety and efficacy of intravitreal bevacizumab (Avastin) for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Retina 26: 495–511.
  14. ^ Moshfegi AA, Rosenfeld PJ, Puliafito CA, et al. (2006). Systemic bevacizumab (Avastin) therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration: twenty-four-week results of an uncontrolled open-label clinical study. Ophthalmology 113: 2002–11.
  15. ^ Adam Elmahrek, Sarah Parvini, Paul Pringle & Matt Hamilton, Former USC medical school dean no longer seeing patients; Pasadena police discipline officer, Los Angeles Times (July 17, 2017).