The Keck School of Medicine of USC greeted the 21st century with ambitious determination backed by a multi-million dollar naming gift from the W.M. Keck Foundation, along with a 10-year strategic plan designed to position the School as a world-class academic medical center. In the decade since, much of that strategic plan successfully migrated from the printed page to campus reality. In fact, the Keck School of Medicine (KSOM) is today ranked among the top biomedical enterprises nationwide and is home to premier research teams membered by leading clinicians and scientists from across the globe. And—with the recent acquisition of USC University Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Hospital, as well as the opening of the new LAC+USC Medical Center—the KSOM unquestionably has achieved leading academic medical center status.
While the KSOM has made monumental strides, the School's ambitious determination has not been quelled, as reflected by its vision for the future that sets its sights on groundbreaking discoveries in basic science, clinical research and patient care—discoveries that together will dramatically decrease human suffering and immeasurably improve the practice of medicine. To shepherd this vision, a new 10-year strategic plan was developed. As part of the plan’s implementation process, the School's Faculty Research Leadership Committee identified key research development priorities that simultaneously served as a bridge to both available resources and external funding opportunities. Specifically, a set of Signature Programs was designated. In the coming years, these Programs will play a pivotal role in helping the KSOM to fulfill its vision. These Signature Programs—which will be the focus of the School's development efforts—form a matrix, with overlap among disease or systems-focused and crosscutting areas. Although each Signature Program stands as a unique initiative, they share several unifying characteristics. Specifically, these programs:
- Leverage existing KSOM strengths and provide a strong foundation on which to build;
- Have an interdisciplinary focus that facilitates University-wide collaboration;
- Have great potential to tap into key external funding opportunities;
- Distinguish the KSOM from other medical schools and move us forward toward higher levels of achievement;
- Possess tremendous potential to yield discoveries that translate into improved health and better health care.
While some Signature Programs already are deeply developed, others are start-up ventures. All, however, will contribute significantly to solidifying the KSOM's position as a world-class biomedical standard-setter. An over-arching strategy is to establish new and/or strengthen existing cross-disciplinary core resources that support the spectrum of signature programs and position KSOM and USC competitively.
Disease or Systems-Focused Programs