Campus News

Department of Population and Public Health Sciences ranks #2 in NIH funding seven years running

Carolyn Barnes February 14, 2022
USC #2 NIH ranking

The Department of Population and Public Health Sciences at Keck School of Medicine of USC has once again ranked No. 2 nationally in terms of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Department has held this ranking for the past seven years, having ranked in the top three since 2006.

Headshot of Howard Hu
Howard Hu, MD, MPH, ScD, Flora L. Thornton Chair, Department of Population and Public Health Sciences (Photo: John Davis)

“We are proud to once again be recognized as one of the top research units of its kind in the country. It speaks to the dedication of our researchers and their drive to take action for meaningful progress in population and public health,” says Howard Hu, MD, MPH, ScD, Flora L. Thornton Chair of the Department.

This past year, faculty have secured grants on a wide variety of public health and population health topics, ranging from cancer to genomics, substance abuse, eating behaviors, air and chemical pollutants, sexually transmitted diseases and COVID-19.

Individual faculty recognized include Carrie Breton, ScD – who earned a No. 5 ranking – Christopher Haiman, ScD, Maryann Pentz, PhD, Paul Thomas, PhD and Jeffrey Klausner, MD, MPH, all listed in the top 30 nationally in terms of NIH funding for principal investigators.

A common theme among many of the Department’s researchers is addressing health disparities and health equity. “Central to our mission is an ethos of constantly striving to enhance health and quality of life for all people and all populations. It is at the heart of why we do what we do as professionals in this field,” says Hu.

He credits the Department’s success with the passion faculty have for making a real-world impact in health. “We strive to ensure that our research results in insights that can be implemented in the real world — including right here in Los Angeles County – to improve health and save lives,” notes Hu.

Indeed, the Department is poised to move into the future as a research and education powerhouse. Now home to 16 research centers, 3 institutes and 12 degree programs, Hu says this period of growth is just beginning.  “The COVID19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of population and public health to the entire world.  As we grow, we will continue to generate the evidence and train the professionals who will advance this agenda locally and globally.”

The rankings are based on data from the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.