Appointment of Rohit Varma as Dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC

A Message to the Faculty, Staff, and Students at the Keck School of Medicine of USC

On behalf of President Nikias, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Rohit Varma, M.D., M.P.H., as dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, effective immediately. Dr. Varma will also hold the May S. and John Hooval Dean’s Chair in Medicine.

Dr. Varma was appointed interim dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC on March 25, 2016. He is the holder of the Grace and Emery Beardsley Chair in Ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and is a professor of Ophthalmology and Preventive Medicine. His most recent service to USC includes serving as the chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, director of the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute, and President of USC Care Medical Group.

An accomplished physician and scientist, Dr. Varma is recognized worldwide as a visionary leader in the epidemiology of eye diseases. He is an expert on changes in the optic nerve in glaucoma, and is also studying new imaging techniques in the early diagnosis of glaucomatous optic nerve damage. His primary research focuses on epidemiologic studies of eye disease in children and aging populations. He is the principal investigator of the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES), the Chinese American Eye Study (CHES), the Multi-Ethnic Pediatric Eye Diseases (MEPEDS) Study, and the African American Eye Disease Study (AFEDS). More recently, Dr. Varma has been involved in the development of novel implantable IOP sensors and drainage devices. He has over 247 publications in various peer reviewed ophthalmic journals, and co-authored 2 ophthalmic books.

Dr. Varma obtained his M.D. at the University of Delhi, India. He completed his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as earning an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University. He completed two glaucoma fellowships, one at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia and the other at USC.

I would like to thank the dean search committee for their outstanding work. I was grateful to have assisting me as co-chair Avishai Sadan, dean of the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. We were joined by Paula Cannon, Helena Chui, Donna Elliott, Steven Giannotta, Steve Gruber, Sofia Gruskin, Thomas Jackiewicz, Jae Jung, Andrew McMahon, Laura Mosqueda, Vaughn Starnes, James Staten, Arthur Toga, and Paul Viviano. Their insight and wisdom were extremely valuable throughout the search process.

Please join President Nikias and me in warmly congratulating Dr. Varma on his appointment.