Keck School of Medicine News and Notes
For faculty and staff of the Keck School of Medicine of USC

August 27, 2014


USC Eye Institute ophthalmologists implant first FDA-approved Argus II retinal prosthesis in western United States
Lisa Kulik saw fireworks for the first time in nearly 30 years this July 4 holiday, thanks to a groundbreaking retinal implant co-invented by Mark Humayun, MD, PhD, an internationally renowned clinician-researcher at the USC Eye Institute. Kulik received the implant during a four-hour surgery on June 2 at Keck Medicine of USC performed by Lisa Olmos de Koo, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Keck School, with Humayun, the Cornelius J. Pings Chair in Biomedical Sciences and professor of ophthalmology, biomedical engineering, cell and neurobiology, assisting.

Congressman Xavier Becerra to speak on campus Sept. 3
Congressman Xavier Becerra will be on campus as part of the Keck School of Medicine Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer Series on Sept. 3 to discuss “Perspectives on Health Care.” The lecture will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Aresty Auditorium, followed by a reception in LG 503-504. Becerra will talk about crucial issues related to health care and his representation of California’s 34th District (including the Health Sciences Campus and its surrounding neighborhoods). RSVP online at (code: becerra).

USC launches Digital Scholar Initiative to help researchers better utilize the web
The Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the USC Office of Research have launched a new initiative to help researchers improve their ability to use the internet to secure funding, expand their teams through networking, increase the reach and impact of their research and inform their work through digital data. The workshop consists of four sessions between Sept. 23 and Nov. 4. Read more about how to apply and participate. The application deadline is Sept. 8.

Improved online tool to boost interdisciplinary research and collaboration
The Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute recently upgraded USC Health Sciences Profiles — an online searchable database that makes it easy to find USC experts and research in the health sciences. It currently represents more than 2,500 faculty. The tool automatically generates profile pages for new USC faculty and displays their PubMed publications to promote interdisciplinary research and collaboration. While the profiles are updated automatically, users can customize their own profile by adding a research description, web links, videos, social media activity. Learn more online or try the tool now.


Friday, Aug. 29

11 a.m. Hematology Grand Rounds. “Targeting Chemotherapy-Resistant Leukemias,” "Fatih Uckun, USC. LAC+USC Medical Center Inpatient Tower Conference Room D. Info: Carolyn Castellanos, (323) 865-3913,

Wednesday, Sept. 3

7:30 a.m. Institute for Integrative Health Seminar. “It's All About Community: The Critical Role of Behavioral Medicine in Creating a Successful and Effective Integrative Health Center,” P. Tobi Fishel, Vanderbilt University. Harkness Auditorium. Info and RSVP: Quintilia Avila, (323) 442-2638,,

11:30 a.m. Eric Cohen Student Health Center Seminar. “Mindfulness,” Allen Weiss, USC. Aresty Auditorium. Info: Jessica Cerda, (323) 442-6816,, RSVP: (323) 442-5631

Noon. The Saban Research Institute Seminar. “Analyzing Brain Development and Disease with Neuroimaging and Genomes from 29,000 People Worldwide: The ENIGMA Project,” Paul Thompson, USC. Saban Research Building, First Floor Auditorium, CHLA. Info: Laura Rabin, (323) 361-8715,,

4:30 p.m. Keck School of Medicine Dean’s Distinguished Lecture. “Perspectives on Health Care,” Xavier Becerra, State Congressman, 34th District. Aresty Auditorium. RSVP: (code: becerra).

Wednesday, Sept. 10

12:30 p.m. Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Discussion. "Research Ethics Forum: The Havasupai People vs. Arizona State University: Genetics, Consent and Communities,” Donna Spruijt-Metz, USC. Aresty LG503. Info and RSVP: Ray De Mesa, (323) 442-8281,,

Thursday, Sept. 11

2 – 4 p.m. Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Workshop. “Mentoring Workshop,” Emil Bogenmann, USC. Aresty LG503. Info and RSVP: Ray De Mesa, (323) 442-8281,,

Saturday, Sept. 13

7 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. USC Pulmonary Symposium. “2014 State of the Art,” Kamyar Afshar, USC. 191 N. Robles Avenue, Pasadena. Info: Teresa Ball, (323) 442-2555,,

Monday, Sept. 15

Noon. Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute, KSOM Office of Research Advancement's Research Seminar Series and NIH T32 Training Program. “Innovative Thinking Lecture and Interactive Workshop,” Roberta Ness, University of Texas. Aresty LG503. Info and RSVP: Ray De Mesa, (323) 442-8281,,

Thursday, Sept. 18

7 a.m. – 5 p.m. 18th Annual Max R. Gaspar Symposium. “Peripheral Arterial Disease in 2014.” Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Info: Lisa Delgado, (323) 442-2555,, RSVP:,

Noon. GI and Liver Seminar. “Mechanisms of Autophagy in Protecting Against Drug-Induced Liver Injury,” "Wen-Xing Ding, University of Kansas Medical Center. Hastings Auditorium. Info: Dolores Mendoza, (323) 442-1283,

6 p.m. Orthopaedic Surgery Grand Rounds. “Rotator Cuff Disease: Advances in Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment,” "Brian T. Feeley, University of California, San Francisco. Aresty Auditorium. Info and RSVP: sylvia suarez, (323) 226-7204,

Thursday, Sept.25

Noon. USC Research Center for Liver Diseases Seminar. “Role of Mixed-Lineage Kinase 3 in Cellular Stress Responses,” Anja Jaeschke, USC. Hastings Auditorium. Info: Dolores Mendoza, (323) 442-1283,

Saturday, Sept. 27

7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 2014 Annual Cerebrovascular Disease Symposium “Medical Versus Surgical Management of Cerebrovascular Disease,” Arun Amar and Gene Sung, USC. Aresty Auditorium. Info: Teresa Ball, (323) 442-2555,,

Media Mentions

An Aug. 23 story on KABC TV cited research by Rohit Varma, MD, director of the USC Eye Institute, demonstrating that Latinos with more than 50 percent Native American ancestry had an 87 percent higher risk of diabetic retinopathy.

An Aug. 25 story in the Wall Street Journal quoted David Skaggs, MD, professor of orthopedic surgery at Keck Medicine of USC-affiliated Children's Hospital Los Angeles, as co-author of a study showing that adolescent athletes who got less than an average of eight hours of sleep a night had a 70 percent higher chance of sports-related injuries.

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