Department of Preventive Medicine

Office of Adminstration

The Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC has been a leader in its field since its founding in 1977 and has made many noteworthy contributions to the understanding of public health and disease etiology, treatment, and prevention. These include pioneering research on the relationship between hormones and cancer, the ability of exercise to reduce breast cancer risk, demonstration of the impact of air pollution on childhood lung function development, advances in the etiology, treatment and prevention of pediatric obesity, as well as novel methodological research focusing on the interaction between genes and the environment. The foundation for many of these advances stems from a highly collaborative faculty implementing a transdisciplinary approach to research – an approach hallmarked by the integration of biologically and behaviorally motivated hypotheses, advanced technology, and extensive study populations.  Such examples include one of the first research groups to exploit the Cancer Surveillance Program to enhance population-based studies of disease, the use of multiple ethnic groups within the Multiethnic Cohort Study to localize genetic findings, and the integration of Geographic Information Systems in the Children's Health Study to create a detailed history of the pollution within the Los Angeles basin to investigate its potential influence on patterns of childhood diseases.

The Department of Preventive Medicine has a blend of expertise, research, and teaching that makes it unique among departments in the University. Between its five diverse divisions, Preventive Medicine is home to worldwide authorities on prevention research in biostatistics, environmental health, health behavior, epidemiology, and bioinformatics. The department's faculty members are widely sought for peer review and advisory activities and participate in diverse committees of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Our research is at the very core of our goals to promote the public health of diverse populations in the California and Pacific Rim region. This is also reflected in our training programs with undergraduate degrees in Health Promotion and Global Health and advanced degrees in Public Health, Global Medicine, Biostatistics, Applied Biostatistics & Epidemiology, Epidemiology, Molecular Epidemiology, and Statistical Genetics & Genetic Epidemiology.  Our strong history, coupled with our talented faculty and the ability to utilize new technologies, places USC in a position to be a leader in many future discoveries and in the training of the next generation of prevention/public health researchers.


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Featured News

Samet delivers key lecture at American Epidemiologic Society annual meeting

Jon Samet, the Flora L. Thornton Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School, recently attended the American Epidemiologic Society annual meeting at Michigan State University and delivered a lecture as the society's 2013 Langmuir Awardee, an honor that recognized his work in epidemiology.

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Introduction to Clinical and Translational Research, Session 5

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Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, Herklotz Seminar Room

Van Der Meulen Symposium: Neurorestoration

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More News

  • The butts stop here - Keck Medicine of USC tobacco prevention expert promotes a smoke-free future for America

    Jonathan Samet, professor and chair of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine and one of the nation’s most widely respected experts on the health risks of active smoking and second-hand smoke, tobacco control, and air pollution, comments on his role as senior scientific editor of the 2014 Surgeon General's Report on smoking and recent developments in tobacco prevention.

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  • USC partners with advocacy organization to improve heart health among Latinos

    A public education program that trained and fielded a cadre of health mentors in California significantly boosted Latino residents’ knowledge of everything from cholesterol and diabetes to the importance of nutrition and exercise, a USC study showed.

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  • Samet named Distinguished Professor

    USC President C. L. Max Nikias has named Jonathan Samet, MD, MS, the Flora L. Thornton Distinguished Chair of Preventive Medicine and chair and professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and director of the USC Institute for Global Health, as Distinguished Professor.

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  • USC researchers discover genetic clues that increase understanding of mechanisms involved in prostate cancer predisposition

    With concerns about the effectiveness of prostate cancer diagnosis still in question, newly published research led by Keck School of Medicine scientists reveals clues that could lead to more precise understanding of the disease and ultimately may lead to fewer false diagnoses of the disease.

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  • Keck School of Medicine scientists contribute to research revealing new genetic risk factor for type 2 diabetes

    Keck School of Medicine scientists were part of an international team of researchers in Mexico and the United States that has uncovered a new genetic clue that contributes to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly the elevated risk among Mexican and other Latin American populations.

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  • Air pollution and genetics combine to increase risk for autism

    Exposure to air pollution appears to increase the risk for autism among people who carry a genetic disposition for the neurodevelopmental disorder, according to newly published research led by scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

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  • $4 million grant received to study maternal stress/childhood obesity links

    The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has awarded a five-year, $4 million grant to a USC research team to discover whether stress in the lives of working mothers influences risk of childhood obesity in their children.

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