Clinical Research

Clinical Research

The Department of Medicine faculty members are principal investigators on 110 new and 344 continuing research grants in the last year.

Many of these programs have taken advantage of the unique and diverse patient populations served by our teaching hospitals and clinics, as well as the leadership talents of our faculty.

Large-Scale Clinical Trial Centers

Atherosclerosis Research Unit

Under the leadership of Howard N. Hodis, MD, the Atherosclerosis Research Unit focuses on in vivo assessment of atherosclerosis. Using cutting-edge noninvasive technology to assess changes in intimal thickness in major arterial vessels, this Unit is conducting studies designed to assess the benefits of a wide variety of therapeutic interventions for prevention and reversal of atherosclerosis.

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AIDS Clinical Trials Group

Under the direction of Fred R. Sattler, MD, the adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) has become one of the nation’s leading centers in carrying out NIH-sponsored AIDS clinical trials in adult populations.

Keck Diabetes Prevention Initiative

The Keck Diabetes Prevention Initiative, directed by Anne Peters, MD, is a program designed to develop treatment programs for the epidemic of obesity and type II diabetes occurring in the medically underserved populations of Los Angeles. As part of this program, the NIH-sponsored LookAHEAD Study focuses on the benefits of weight loss and exercise in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease in a select type 2 diabetes population located in East Los Angeles.

Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI)

In recognition of the importance of translational research to the improvement of medical care and health, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) established the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program, which provides grants to leading universities to provide resources to support clinical and translational research and training. Dr. Thomas Buchanan led a team of Keck School of Medicine of USC faculty members who competed successfully for a CTSA in 2010 and renewed funding in 2016, for a total of $98 million. The funds support the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI), based at the Keck School and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which has partnerde with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and more than 60 health-oriented community organizations. The SC CTSI provides a broad range of services and support to promote clinical and community trials, develop new methods to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical research, provide training in clinical and translational research, and disseminate research findings to improve clinical care and community health.

USC Gestational Diabetes (USC GDM) Study Group

The USC Gestational Diabetes (USC GDM) Study Group, which has been operating for nearly 30 years, has been the home of one of the world’s leading programs on the causes, treatment and prevention of gestational diabetes mellitus and type 2 diabetes mellitus in Hispanic Americans. In a series of four large studies involving more than 1,500 individuals who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy, the USC GDM Study Group worked out the risk factors and mechanisms for development of gestational and type 2 diabetes, as well as effective approaches to diabetes prevention. In related studies, the group identified a novel approach to the clinical care of women with gestational diabetes, using measurements of fetal growth by ultrasound to complement and in many cases supplant difficult and labor-intensive glucose self-monitoring as the primary approach to guide treatment. Today, the work of the USC GDM Study Group forms the basis for many components of clinical care of women with gestational diabetes.