The Department of Medicine’s mission is to train the next generation of leaders through world-class patient care, comprehensive career development and transformative research. We strive for diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Hugo R. Rosen, MD Kenneth T. Norris, Jr. Chair of Medicine Professor of Medicine, Immunology, and Molecular Microbiology
Comments from the Chair
I would like to acknowledge Edward Crandall for 23 years of stewardship of the Department of Medicine and express my sincere enthusiasm for the opportunity to help lead this department composed of so many outstanding people. I am excited to return to one of the greatest cities in the world and to help carry out a new vision for the Department of Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. This is a pivotal and opportune juncture in the history of the Keck School, Keck Medicine of USC and LAC+USC Medical Center.
Building outreach is a critical activity for successful academic growth, and the Keck School is committed to expansion of patient care services throughout Southern California. One of our goals is to recruit interdisciplinary faculty from outside institutions to catalyze new collaborations in order to bridge scientific/clinical disciplines within the Department of Medicine and broader USC research community, accelerating discovery in a variety of fields of interest. Although the Keck School is already a leader in medical education, with an integrated, hands-on curriculum, among the first to adopt real-world experience in patient care from the start of medical school, we will continue to challenge ourselves in order to implement improvements in chronic disease outcomes.
There are so many more possibilities and challenges in medicine than when I went to medical school, and we need to empower the physician workforce to meet this evolution, including electronic medical records, ever-increasing amounts of molecular information, the business and policy of medicine and effective mentorship that mitigates against physician burnout, just to name a few. The Department strives to become a top option to train graduate students interested in the basic sciences or health-based research in order to strengthen the pipeline of physician-scientists who can incorporate investigation and discoveries that improve patient outcomes.
The shared vision is that the Keck School Department of Medicine will be the source of superior healthcare through innovative research and education. We are grateful for the dedication of our outstanding faculty, trainees, students and staff. Together, we look to the future as we strive to fulfill our unrelenting commitment to the Department of Medicine’s tripartite mission of research, education and patient care.
Hugo R. Rosen, MD, is the Norris Chair of Medicine and a professor of medicine, immunology and molecular microbiology.
Dr. Rosen is a prolific physician-scientist with more than 180 original peer-reviewed manuscripts investigating the cellular and molecular underpinnings of a wide spectrum of innate and adaptive immune responses, as well as on developing novel paradigms in liver diseases. He has been the principal investigator of multiple National Institutes of Health grants (including two active RO1 grants), Center grants, three T32 training grants and five VA Merit grants. He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (elected in 2008) and the American Association of Physicians. He has also received research funding from the American Society of Transplantation and American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, having been named a fellow in the inaugural class of both societies. He currently serves as deputy editor of the journal Hepatology.
From 2005 to April 2018, he served as the division head of gastroenterology and hepatology at the University of Colorado, recruiting 50 faculty members, developing outstanding programs and enhancing quality across the medical campus. Unranked when he was recruited, the division is now considered one of the best in the country.
He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, followed by a fellowship in gastroenterology and transplant hepatology at UCLA. He manages patients with acute and chronic liver disease at the Keck Medical Center of USC and LAC+USC Medical Center.
Dr. Rosen enjoys management of patients with complex liver diseases, including viral hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, autoimmune diseases, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and post-liver transplantation care. He is uniquely qualified to provide translational insights into these common conditions.
Dr. Rosen’s federally funded research program has provided novel and significant insights into the roles of multicellular immunity in liver disease, particularly to the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and, more recently, in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. His has been one of the most comprehensive labs in the world to work on HCV in the past 20 years, characterizing the diverse roles of multiple cell types (T cells, dendritic cells, macrophages, NK cells, liver sinusoidal endothelial cells and trophoblasts) in mediating protection/recovery, persistence and treatment-induced cure.
Exemplary advances that have shaped the field include:
HCV-specific CD4+ T cells prevent viral escape in acute human infection, and their absence leads to persistence
Identification of multiple coinhibitory receptors (and their ligands) that mediate T cell exhaustion and chronicity that could be targeted
The liver allograft primes novel CD8+ T cells across HLA mismatch that are HCV-specific and demonstrate high avidity
Identifying roles for natural killer cells in multiple stages of HCV infection
the first recognition that Kupffer cell-derived galectin-9 induces apoptosis of HCV-specific CD8+ T cells and expansion of regulatory T cells, now confirmed to be central to hepatic inflammation in other liver diseases
FXR signaling reverses innate immune dysfunction in NAFLD
Remarkable in their originality, scope and impact, these studies have advanced scientific thought by identifying diverse aspects of the division of labor, composed of multiple innate and adaptive immune cells in liver diseases.
Early in his career, Dr. Rosen also developed the first mathematical model to provide a quantitative risk assessment for patients undergoing repeat liver transplantation, predating the current MELD (currently used for allocation) that includes two of the variables identified in his original model.