Detail

USC Academic Medical Center Receives Transformative Gift

Photo: USC President C. L. Max Nikias and Keck Foundation President and Chairman Robert Day sign the official documents in front of the model of the 1952 Drilling Barge of W.M. Keck Sr.
Photo by Ziva Santop/Steve Cohn Photography

The University of Southern California has received a $150 million naming gift from the W. M. Keck Foundation to accelerate groundbreaking medical, clinical and translational research and education.  This is the second transformative gift the Keck Foundation has made in recent years to USC’s medical enterprise, following its historic $110 million gift in 1999 to the Keck School of Medicine of USC.  

“This $150 million gift from the Keck Foundation will have a profound impact on our community and our world, today and for generations to come. It will be a catalyst for dramatic discoveries and developments in medical research, teaching and patient care,” President C. L. Max Nikias said. “As we enter an era that demands nothing less than a global revolution in the medical sciences, the Keck Foundation has invested powerfully in such a revolution, helping USC’s academic medical center take a momentous leap forward in its efforts to improve and advance the human condition.”

In recognition of this transformative gift, USC’s academic medical enterprise will be named Keck Medicine of USC in perpetuity. It will comprise the Keck Medical Center of USC and Keck School of Medicine. The Keck Medical Center will include the university hospital (formerly USC University Hospital), which will be renamed the Keck Hospital of USC, and USC’s faculty practice, which will be renamed the Keck Doctors of USC, as well as USC Norris Cancer Hospital. USC Norris Cancer Hospital will not be renamed.

The Keck Foundation’s gift carries a unifying purpose. By designating the medical enterprise, the academic medical center, USC University Hospital and the Doctors of USC with the Keck name, USC brands its medical enterprise as a cohesive whole.

“We believe that this partnership with USC will fund outstanding research to expand the boundaries of medical knowledge and improve quality of life for vast numbers of people,” said Robert Day, Chairman and CEO of the W.M. Keck Foundation. “This gift reflects our commitment to bringing cutting-edge science, medicine and engineering together to find new and better ways forward.”

“The Keck Foundation’s directors and officers have demonstrated exceptional foresight and generosity in making such strategic gifts, adding to an already unsurpassed legacy of leadership in benefiting countless millions, here in Southern California and, indeed, around the nation and the world,” Nikias said.

With this gift, the Keck Foundation and members of the extended Keck family have donated nearly $300 million to USC, placing them among the most generous benefactors to the university. 

Keck Medicine of USC includes pioneering research centers such as: the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC, the Institute for Genetic Medicine, the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center devoted to Biomimetic Microelectronic Systems, the USC Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Research and the USC Institute for Global Health.

The gift will promote further progress in medicine through more effective interplay between a rising private medical school and a top-flight private academic medical center, capitalizing on a research culture that encourages collaboration among medical faculty and their colleagues in engineering and the physical, life and social sciences. Researchers at the intersection of these disciplines foster innovation that spurs critical breakthroughs in medicine.

Such a culture was a major competitive reason behind the 2010 decision by the National Institutes of Health to award $57 million to USC to fund the only Clinical and Translational Science Institute in Los Angeles. The CTSI addresses an array of health needs of the area’s diverse population.

Other recent research grants include NIH awards of $16 million for a physical science oncology center and $9 million to create an atlas for genes. In addition, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine awarded $16 million to fund the development of a stem cell-based treatment for age-related macular degeneration.

About USC and Keck Medicine of USC

Founded in 1880, USC is one of the nation’s most selective private research universities. USC’s academic medical center comprises a medical school, many research centers and institutes, two university-owned hospitals with more than 400 private beds, renowned physicians and clinical care satellites in the community. USC physicians serve over one million patients annually, and Keck Medicine’s state-of-the-art facilities on USC’s Health Sciences Campus attract patients from around the world. In addition, USC physicians provide services on a contract basis to Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, which reflects the public-service aspect of USC’s healthcare efforts.

The Keck School of Medicine of USC, the oldest medical school in Southern California, enrolls 670 medical students, 292 Ph.D. students and 300 master's students in more than 25 research and clinical programs, and trains 900 medical residents in 52 specialty or subspecialty programs. The Keck School of Medicine receives more than $275 million in annual sponsored program awards.

More than 500 Keck School of Medicine physicians are members of the Keck Doctors of USC, a private faculty clinical practice offering everything from complex therapies to primary care for the entire family. The Keck Doctors of USC are internationally known for their expertise in clinical areas, including: urology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, transplant surgery, gynecology, and ophthalmology. 

About the W. M. Keck Foundation

The W. M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 in Los Angeles by William Myron Keck, founder of The Superior Oil Company. One of the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations, with assets of more than $1.2 billion, the W.M. Keck Foundation supports outstanding science, engineering and medical research and undergraduate education. The Foundation also maintains a program within Southern California to support arts and culture, education, health and community service projects and programs. For more information, please visit: www.wmkeck.org.

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