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Life Sciences Pathway Initiative

From the Four-Year Update to the University Strategic Plan:
The life sciences will be the dominant area of scientific research in the early decades of the 21st century, and few universities will be considered as having significant science programs without major strengths in the life sciences. Southern California is one of the most active regions in the world in biotechnology and biomedical devices, and most of the major universities in the region are seeking to use this activity to provide a competitive advantage.

USC has significant competitive advantage in several fields of basic research in the life sciences, including neuroscience, functional genomics, cancer and computational biology, and a number of our clinical research programs are strong and growing. At the applied boundaries of the field, we have both excellent clinical medicine and several strong programs in Engineering that contribute to our efforts in biotechnology and biomedical devices, including biomedical and electrical engineering and computer science. The Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering at USC will stimulate growth in biomedical engineering and related device?oriented research, and facilitate the movement of university?created technologies to the market place.

We must, over the next year, define very carefully where USC should focus its efforts in order to establish real excellence and an international leadership role in this critical field.

It is clear that many areas of basic biological research at USC are not strong enough at present to enable us to take the leadership position we seek, and thus selective strengthening must take place rapidly. Examples of selective strengthening are already underway in the College and in the School of Medicine, but a broader inventory of strengths and weaknesses in the life sciences across the university needs to be carried out in the coming year, and plans must be made to address critical weaknesses. Coordination across a large number of very diverse schools and programs will be critical to the success of this initiative.

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USC School of Dentistry
Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
USC Independent Health Professions
Keck School of Medicine
USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences
USC School of Pharmacy