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Provost's Retreat on Health 2005
Davidson Conference Center
October 19, 2005; 8:30 A.M.-3:30 P.M.

Retreat Agenda

Speaker Bios

Participant List
Retreat Survey & Evaluation
Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research


Helena Chui, M.D.
Dr. Chui is the McCarron professor and chair of Neurology at the USC Keck School of Medicine, where her research focuses on brain-behavior correlations in dementia.  She is also a professor of Gerontology in the Davis School of Gerontology.  Dr. Chui is the principal investigator for a 13-year, NIH/NIA-funded, multi-center, program project to study ischemic vascular dementia and its interactions with Alzheimer disease (P01 AG12435). She is the director of the federally-funded Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC) at USC, as well as the co-director of the Alzheimer Disease Research Center of California (ARCC) at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.

Dr. Chui has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and 20 book chapters.  Her publications have examined clinical heterogeneity, clinical diagnosis, natural history, and clinical-imaging-pathological correlations in dementia due to Alzheimer and cerebrovascular disease. Dr. Chui received both her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University, and completed her residency in neurology and fellowship in behavioral neurology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

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Eileen Crimmins, Ph.D.
Dr. Crimmins is the Edna M. Jones chair in Gerontology and a professor of both Gerontology and Sociology.  She also is the director of the Division of Health and Health Sciences at the Davis School of Gerontology. Dr.  Crimmins has received NIA support for several projects, including one to examine how markers of biological functioning can be used to explain the poorer health outcomes of older people with less education and lower incomes, and one relating health among those in their 50s and 60s to unhealthy and demanding work environments, risky health behaviors, and access and utilization of medical care. Dr. Crimmins also is supported by AARP to develop appropriate measures of the health of the population. She is cooperating with federal agencies to develop a set of health indicators, comparable to economic indicators, which could be used to assess trends and differences in health. She also received an NIA grant to sponsor an international meeting to address issues related to the measurement of health.

The division is the home of the multidisciplinary USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health (CBPH).  At USC the center is directed by Dr. Crimmins, with Caleb Finch as co-director. It links demographers, biologists, economists, psychologists, epidemiologists, health policy specialists, medical researchers and clinical geriatricians devoted to understanding population health. Its purpose is to integrate medical, biological, and epidemiological information to model and predict population health trends. The Center provides pilot project money for relevant research and promotes a series of seminars and workshops on the two campuses. Two initial projects investigate the role of APOE in causing differences in cognitive ability and the role of under nutrition in health problems. Dr. Crimmins received her Ph.D. in demography from the University of Pennsylvania.   

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Kathleen R. Ell, D.S.W.
Dr. Ell is Ernest P. Larson Professor of Health, Ethnicity, and Poverty in the USC School of Social Work.  She has conducted extensive research on psychological distress, morbidity, and mortality resulting from life-threatening illness and on health care seeking behavior. A hallmark of her research and numerous publications has been its focus on low-income and ethnically diverse populations.

Dr. Elli is currently conducting three large-scale randomized clinical trials (funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Mental Health) of multifaceted interventions to improve the detection and treatment of major depression in low-income patients with cancer or diabetes; and to improve access and adherence to adjuvant cancer treatment among low-income women with breast or cervical cancer. Her studies are conducted by multidisciplinary teams of investigators and carried out at the LAC+USC Medical Center and the Roybal and El Monte Comprehensive Health Clinics. 

Dr. Ell has authored more than 60 publications and is the past director of the Institute for Advancement of Social Work Research, Washington, DC.   She earned her B.A. from Valparaiso University, Indiana and her M.S.W. and D.S.W. from UCLA.

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Thomas L. Garthwaite, M.D.
Thomas L. Garthwaite, M.D. was appointed by the LA County Board of Supervisors as the director and chief medical officer of the County of Los Angeles Department of Health Services on February 1, 2002. Dr. Garthwaite is the first medical doctor to serve as director since the unified Department of Health Services was formally established in 1972. He is at the helm of the second largest county health system in the United States, with an annual operating budget of $3.3 billion and nearly 24,000 employees. The county's health delivery system includes five hospitals and numerous clinics.  In addition, the Department is responsible for public health services including restaurant inspections, disease control, and bioterrorism preparedness.

Previously, Dr. Garthwaite served as Under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs. In that capacity, he was the CEO for the nation's largest integrated health care system and oversaw a dramatic seven-year transformation in which the VA provided demonstrably higher quality of care to 930,000 more veterans--with 27,000 fewer employees and with a 24% lower cost per veteran served.

A graduate of Cornell University, Dr. Garthwaite earned his medical degree from Temple University. He completed his internship and residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals before joining VA in 1976. Board-certified in internal medicine, his VA career included nearly 20 years of experience as a physician and clinical administrator at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, where he served as the Center's chief of staff for eight years.

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Michael I. Goran, Ph.D.
Dr. Goran is associate director of the Institute for Prevention Research at USC and professor in the departments of Preventive Medicine Research and Physiology and Biophysics in the Keck School of Medicine. His research focuses on the etiology and prevention of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in children.  Dr. Goran received his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester, UK prior to postdoctoral training in the United States.  He previously served on the faculty of Medicine at the University of Vermont, and the department of Nutrition Sciences at UAB prior to coming to USC in 1999.

Currently, Dr. Goran serves as the principal investigator of several National Institutes of Health grants and is director of the USC Center for Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (USC C-CTREC), a new $12-million grant just awarded by NCI.

Dr. Goran has published nearly 200 professional articles.  He was the developer and executive producer of the IMPACT CD-ROM, an interactive computer game promoting physical activity in children, and editor of the Handbook of Pediatric Obesity due to be published later this year.  He is currently heading the USC initiative on obesity to bring together faculty from across all disciplines and campuses, including Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles.

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Randolph Hall, Ph.D
Dr. Randolph Hall was appointed vice provost for research advancement in June 2005.

He has been the founding director of two interdisciplinary and multi-university national research centers in collaboration with other universities and across schools within USC. The first, METRANS, is the national center for metropolitan transportation and policy research and is the focal point for transportation research at USC. The second center is the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), the first university center of excellence selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security after a competition among 72 universities.

Dr. Hall also leads a collaborative effort with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to improve health-care delivery at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center with support from L.A. Care.  He is the author and editor of books on queueing, transportation science and delay reduction in health-care delivery (forthcoming).
Dr. Hall has served as the chair of the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and as senior associate dean for research in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, where he was responsible for research development, research administration and collaboration of interdisciplinary research efforts. He holds a Ph.D. degree from UC Berkeley.

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C. Anderson Johnson, Ph.D.
Dr. Johnson is the Sidney Garfield Professor of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine.  He is the director of USC's Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research (aka Institute for Preventive Research), and the Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC).  In addition, he is the principal investigator for TTURC Project 1, Preventing Tobacco Use Across Cultures, which assesses culturally tuned approaches to preventing tobacco smoking and exposure to smoke among the youth of different cultures in a variety of cultural settings.  His current research is dedicated to understanding the determinants of health-related lifestyles and approaches to prevention of behavioral risks for disease.  Dr. Johnson’s research includes tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use, nutritional practices and physical exercise, and communication strategies for health promotion.

Dr. Johnson came to USC in 1980 as associate professor of pharmacy and director of the Health Behavior Research Institute.  Before that, he had been with the University of Minnesota for five years, the last two as the co-director of the Program in Cardiovascular Behavior at the College of Pharmacy and the School of Public Health.  He received his bachelor's degree in psychology and his doctorate in social psychology, both from Duke University.

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Gerald E. Loeb, M.D.
Dr. Loeb is professor of biomedical engineering and director, Medical Device Development Faculty of the Alfred Mann Institute Biomedical Engineering at the Viterbi School of Engineering.  He works on neural prosthetics—interfaces between electronic devices and the nervous system that are used to replace sensory and motor functions and correct dysfunctions in people with neurological problems.  Dr. Loeb was one of the developers of the cochlear implant used to restore functional hearing to the deaf and continues to pursue improvements in this mature technology.  His research group is now working on BIONs—BIOnic Neuorons that are small enough to be injected into paralyzed muscles, where they receive power and send and receive data by radio links with an external controller.  In addition to developing and testing technology, Dr. Loeb has been active in basic neurophysiological studies of the sensorimotor nervous system in order to understand normal biological control. 

Dr. Loeb received his B. A. and M.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University, and trained in surgery at the University of Arizona.  He spent 15 years in the Laboratory of Neural Control at the National Institutes of Health and 12 years at Queen's University, where he was professor of Physiology and director of the Bio-Medical Engineering Unit.  He served as chief scientist (consulting) for Advanced Bionics Corp. of Sylmar, CA, from 1994 until joining USC in 1999.  He has published more than 190 journal articles and chapters, a book on electromyography, and holds 23 patents. 

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Glenn A. Melnick, Ph.D.
Dr. Melnick is a professor and Blue Cross of California chair in health care finance at the School of Policy, Planning, and Development, where he serves as director of SPPD’s programs in Health Management and Policy. He also directs the USC Center for Health Financing, Policy and Management.  An expert in health economics and finance, Dr. Melnick came to USC in 1996 from the UCLA School of Public Health. He is a senior economist and resident consultant at RAND, and has served as an expert witness for the Federal Trade Commission.

Dr. Melnick's research has contributed to the understanding of healthcare markets, particularly the effects of market-based pro-competition and managed care. His recent work includes an evaluation of the economics of emergency departments in California hospitals and research into the effects of hospital system formation on managed care.  He also has worked in number of countries to provide technical assistance on issues of health financing and health system organization, and in 1998, initiated the School’s successful International Public Policy and Management master’s degree program for Pacific Rim mid-career professionals, which he continues to lead. Dr. Melnick is the author of numerous publications, including articles in the Journal of Health Economics; JAMA; Health Affairs; Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law; American Journal of Public Health; Medical Care and Journal of Ambulatory Care Management. A frequently-tapped media expert, he has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today, among others.  He received his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in urban and regional planning and health economics.  Dr. Melnick serves as the secretariat of the USC Health Collaborative.

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Michael B. Nichol, Ph.D.
Dr. Nichol is associate professor and QSAD Centurion chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy at the School of Pharmacy. He also holds joint appointments in the Davis School of Gerontology and the School of Policy, Planning, and Development. Dr. Nichols’ research interests include state health policy, pharmacoeconomics, pharmacy counseling and patient behavior, occupational licensure, and cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses.  He serves as chair of the USC Health Collaborative.

Dr. Nichol has served as a consultant to numerous organizations, including National Medical Enterprises, SysteMetrics, Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Astra-Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer Inc., and Upjohn-Pharmacia. He also has served on the board of directors of several southern California research and health service organizations.  His previous positions include executive director of the Western Oregon Health Systems Agency, and planner with the Oregon State Health Planning Agency. Dr. Nichol graduated from the University of Tulsa with a B. A. in political science, the University of Oregon with an M.A. in public affairs, and the University of Southern California with a doctorate in public administration. He has received a University Teaching Award for classroom innovations and other awards conferred by the American Society of Health- System Pharmacists Foundation and the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research for excellence in research.  He has authored or co-authored research articles in journals including Pharmacoeconomics, Medical Care, American Politics Quarterly, Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, and the Journal of Aging and Social Policy, among others. 

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Catherine A. Sugar, Ph.D.
Dr. Sugar is assistant professor in the Department of Information & Operations Management at the Marshall School of Business and holds a joint appointment in the School of Pharmacy.  She arrived at USC in 1998 after receiving her Ph.D. in statistics from Stanford University. Dr. Sugar’s current areas of research interest include clustering, classification, and patterns of covariation in data, with a focus on computer-intensive and non-parametric statistics. She has extensive applications interests, and much of her work is multi-disciplinary and collaborative.  To date her applications projects have been primarily in medical areas; including health services research, nephrology, and HIV genetics.  She has done consulting or collaborative work for a number of companies; including the RAND Corporation, Janssen Pharmaceutica, and Roche Biosciences. 

Dr. Sugar’s research work has been published in Health Services Research.  A dedicated teacher, she founded and ran the first Stanford department of statistics seminar course on how to teach, and was involvement in the development and teaching of Stanford's Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Core, a new program designed to introduce non-scientists to scientific principles in an exciting and meaningful manner. In 1997, she won Stanford's Centennial Teaching Assistant Award.  She also has won USC’s “Teaching Has No Boundaries Award” and the Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence. 

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Simon Tavaré, Ph.D.
Dr.Simon Tavaré holds the George and Louise Kawamoto Chair in Biological Sciences and is a professor of Biological Sciences, Mathematics, and Preventive Medicine in the USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, and the Keck School of Medicine, respectively. 

Mathematician-biologist Dr. Tavaré’s research interests include both statistical and population genetics, quantitative methods in cancer biology, computational molecular biology, and bioinformatics.  He is one of the pioneers of the field of computational biology and has made key contributions in statistical genetics. His most well known work is about how to use gene sequences to trace the lineage of a cell, an individual or a species, back through time.

A fellow in the American Statistical Association, the Royal Statistical Society, and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Dr. Tavaré received his Ph.D. in probability and statistics from the University of Sheffield, UK and did a postdoctoral research fellowship at Stanford. 

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Elizabeth M. Zelinski Ph.D.
Dr. Zeliniski is dean and executive director of the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.  She holds the Rita and Edward Polusky chair in Education and Aging and is a professor of Gerontology and Psychology with joint appointments in the Psychology department, Neurosciences and the Study of Women and Men in Society (SWMS) programs.

Dr. Zelinski is the principal investigator of the Long Beach Longitudinal Study. This study evaluates cognition, memory and language comprehension in older adults, as well as the relationship between peoples' perceptions of their memory ability and their actual performance, and how these change as people grow old.  She is on the editorial boards of major journals in aging, is a member of the Biobehavioral Processes (BBBP-4) study section of the National Institutes of Health, participates in special review panels for the National Institutes of Health, and reviews grant applications for the National Science Foundation.  Dr. Zelinski graduated summa cum laude from Pace University and received her graduate degree in psychology, with a specialization in aging, from USC. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Claremont Graduate School.

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