Keck School of Medicine of USC
|University of Southern California|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California teaches and trains physicians, biomedical scientists and other healthcare professionals, conducts medical research, and treats patients. Founded in 1885, it is the second oldest medical school in California after the UCSF School of Medicine.
In addition to the medical degree program, the school offers master's and doctoral degree programs in various biomedical fields. It also offers the joint MD-PhD program as part of a cooperation with the California Institute of Technology located in nearby Pasadena.
USC Health is an affiliated system of hospitals, clinics, and primary care providers and as of 2013, USC Health included three hospitals, some campus-based specialty clinics, five community-based ambulatory care clinics, and USC Care Medical Group, which is the physician practice of doctors who are on the faculty of the Keck School of Medicine. Hospitals and clinics include the Keck Hospital of USC and the cancer center, which USC acquired from Tenet Healthcare in 2009 for $275 million after three years of litigation between the parties, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and the USC Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale.
History of the school
In July 1999, the W. M. Keck Foundation donated $110 million to the USC School of Medicine. The school was then renamed the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. The school committed to raising $330 million in matching funds, and used a large portion of the gift to expand research efforts, including the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute.
In 2015, Paul Aisen, who leads the US Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) and its approximately $100 million in funding, left University of California San Diego and joined the faculty of Keck. Aisen had been recruited to UCSD from Georgetown in 2007 to run the ADCS which UCSD had established in 1991. Aisen left UCSD because he was unhappy with the level of support that UCSD was providing him and due to the offer from USC. UCSD and USC ended up in litigation over control of the program. USC rented space for Aisen in a San Diego office park, where Keck's Alzheimer's Therapeutic Research Institute is located under Aisen's direction. Some aspects of data management were temporarily settled in 2016; as of 2017 the litigation was ongoing.
A report in Nature noted that Keck had been recruiting from San Diego, hiring four scientists from Scripps Research Institute after a proposed merger fell through, and that Keck had recruited the director of the UCSD Health System to run its Children's Hospital.
The Los Angeles Times reported in July 2017 that while Puliafito 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." The reporters reviewed video and photographs of Puliafito engaging in these activities in hotel rooms, apartments, and the dean's office. 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. Puliafito resigned as dean three weeks afterwards. 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."
USC announced that Varma was no longer dean in October 2017, when the Los Angeles Times told the school it was going to publish a story about a 2003 sexual harassment finding by USC against Varma which had not been publicly disclosed previously.
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- Song, Jason (March 28, 2016). "Dean of USC's Keck School of Medicine steps down". Los Angeles Times.
- "Press Release: Noted physician, scientist Rohit Varma named dean of Keck School of Medicine of USC". University of Southern California. November 9, 2016.
- 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.
- 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).
- Parvini, Sarah (October 5, 2017). "USC medical school dean out amid revelations of sexual harassment claim, $135,000 settlement with researcher". Los Angeles Times.