Newswise — LOS ANGELES — The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, the highest-ranked cancer care provider in Southern California, announces the appointment of Caryn Lerman, PhD, as the center’s new director, effective March 15, 2019. She also will hold the position of professor of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC

Lerman comes from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where she currently serves as the John H. Glick Professor for Cancer Research and vice dean for strategic initiatives.

“I’m honored to return to USC and the Trojan family to lead such an outstanding cancer center with the mission of reducing the burden of cancer in Los Angeles and beyond,” says Lerman, who received a master’s degree in psychology and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, both from USC. “We are at a pivotal moment in cancer research where remarkable scientific and clinical breakthroughs are changing the course of how we prevent, detect and treat this disease. With the exceptional talent, dedicated clinicians, entrepreneurial mindset and culture of inclusion throughout USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, there is no limit to what we can accomplish together.”

In announcing the appointment, Laura Mosqueda, MD, dean of the Keck School, noted Lerman’s extensive experience leading cancer centers and programs, as well as her nationally recognized cancer prevention research that has spanned the fields of neuroscience, pharmacology, genetics and behavioral science. 

Lerman was among the first to publish evidence for the genetic basis of cancer risk behaviors, including pioneering work on the genetic influences on tobacco use that helped shape tobacco dependence treatment. 

“Building upon the strong talent from USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Lerman will work to accelerate the center’s impact on cancer research and care,” Mosqueda says. “She will work to enhance interdisciplinary team science, enable infrastructure to support the discovery and development of innovative therapies, and develop new models for cancer risk assessment, prevention and community outreach.”

Reflecting on her new responsibilities, Lerman adds, “I am passionate about serving our patients through the delivery of innovative, high-quality, evidence-based cancer care, from prevention to treatment to survivorship. Training and mentoring the next generation of cancer scientists and practitioners has always been a calling for me, and will remain so at USC.”

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About the Keck School of Medicine of USC

Founded in 1885, the Keck School of Medicine of USC is among the nation’s leaders in innovative patient care, scientific discovery, education and community service. The school has more than 1,850 full-time faculty members and voluntary faculty of more than 2,400 physicians. These faculty direct the education of approximately 800 medical students and 1,000 students pursuing graduate and postgraduate degrees. The school trains more than 900 resident physicians in more than 50 specialty or subspecialty programs and is the largest educator of physicians practicing in Southern California. Keck School faculty also conduct research and teach at several research centers and institutes, including the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC, USC CardioVascular Thoracic Institute, USC Institute of Urology, USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, USC Roski Eye Institute and Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute.

 In 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Keck School among the top 35 medical schools in the country.

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About Keck Medicine of USC

Keck Medicine of USC is one of only two university-based medical systems in the Los Angeles area. Its internationally renowned physicians and scientists provide world-class patient care at Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and more than 40 outpatient clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Tulare and Ventura counties.

In 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked Keck Medical Center of USC, which consists of Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital, among the top three hospitals in Los Angeles and top seven in California. The medical center also ranked in the top 10 in urology; top 20 in ophthalmology, geriatrics and cancer care; top 25 in orthopaedics; and top 50 in neurology and neurosurgery, gynecology, nephrology and cardiology and heart surgery.

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