USC Appoints New Dean of Keck School of Medicine

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Dr. Laura Mosqueda will become dean of USC'S Keck School of Medicine Tuesday after serving in the position on an interim basis since October.

Mosqueda succeeds Dr. Rohit Varma. USC announced in October that Varma was no longer dean as the Los Angeles Times was preparing to publish a story disclosing that he had been formally disciplined by USC in 2003 following allegations that he sexually harassed a young researcher while he was a junior professor supervising her work.

Mosqueda was the school's associate dean of primary care and chair of the Department of Family Medicine before becoming interim dean. The Keck School alumna joined the school's faculty in 2014.

``Being a second-generation Keck School of Medicine of USC graduate, my connection to the school runs deep,'' Mosqueda said Wednesday after her appointment was announced. ``You could even say that USC and the Keck School are in my DNA. It is a great honor to have the opportunity to serve such a talented community of students, healers, researchers, teachers and thinkers.''

Mosqueda said her goals as dean include expanding research capabilities on USC's Health Sciences Campus

Mosqueda is the first woman to be dean of the school, which opened in 1885.

``Laura Mosqueda brings extraordinary leadership and an unwavering commitment to excellence to our Keck School of Medicine,'' USC President C. L. Max Nikias said. ``As the school's interim dean, she fostered an environment that promotes the highest standards of quality.

``Her exceptional foresight, coupled with her decades of expertise, will surely elevate the meaningful work of our Keck School community as it continues to advance innovation in medical education, patient care and research.''

Mosqueda directs the National Center on Elder Abuse, a federally funded initiative that focuses on improving response to elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Mosqueda also co-founded the first Elder Abuse Forensics Center in the U.S., which unites legal, medical, social services and law enforcement experts to evaluate and intervene in complicated cases of suspected elder abuse.

Mosqueda has been invited to the White House to discuss elder justice initiatives and testified in front of Congress as an advocate for the elderly.

Photo: Getty Images

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