Samet named Distinguished Professor

USC names Jonathan Samet USC President C. L. Max Nikias has named Jonathan Samet, MD, MS, the Flora L. Thornton Distinguished Chair of Preventive Medicine and chair and professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Read More »

January 24th, 2014|Announcements|

CIRM awards USC scientists $19 million to seek macular degeneration cure

By Leslie Ridgeway

New research to slow vision loss for macular degeneration patients has been funded at Keck Medicine of USC as part of the third round of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine’s (CIRM) Disease Team awards.

The nearly $19 Read More »

January 24th, 2014|Announcements|

Occupational therapy students help ramp up peer’s home modification project

By Jen Waters

Occupational therapy student Donna Ozawa runs a circular saw to construct a wheelchair ramp for a classmate. Photo/Photo/Courtesy Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Occupational therapy student Donna Ozawa runs a circular saw to construct a wheelchair ramp for a classmate.
Photo/Photo/Courtesy Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

To many, do-it-yourself renovation projects can be a costly headache waiting to happen. But for occupational therapy student Donna Ozawa, it’s a real passion.

Ozawa has two decades of experience in disciplines including sculpture, design and wheelchair engineering. She received an executive certificate in home modification from the USC Davis School of Gerontology in 2012, and has worked with several professional and volunteer organizations to adapt home spaces to better fit residents’ needs.

Now a student in USC’s occupational therapy master’s class of 2015, Ozawa is pursuing a career that will allow her to seamlessly combine her experiences and interests to help people lead healthier, happier lives in their residences.

The purpose of home modification projects — such as placing non-slip backing under floor rugs, installing grab bars for easy shower entry and exit, or retrofitting entire houses to be wheelchair accessible — is to make tasks easier, reduce in-home accidents and support independent living. Read More »

January 24th, 2014|Announcements|

Valter Longo seeks clues to a long and healthy life

By Cristy Lytal

Valter Longo Valter Longo

Valter Longo, PhD, is out to prove that gerontology is a young man’s game. The 46-year-old USC professor of gerontology and biological sciences has dedicated his career to slowing the implacable process of aging.

Growing up in Genoa, Italy, Longo spent countless hours emulating the guitar stylings of rock legends Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits. At age 16, he moved to Chicago to take jazz guitar lessons before heading to the University of North Texas to continue his studies.

During his second year of college as a music major, Longo was tapped to direct the marching band. As his music sensibilities were deeply rooted in rock, he refused, and the music department told him to find a different major. “Without hesitation, I said, ‘I want to learn about aging,’” he said.

After receiving his PhD in biochemistry at UCLA, Longo decided to take a molecular approach to aging, so he joined the UCLA labs of chemist Joan S. Valentine, PhD, and geneticist Edith B. Gralla, PhD. Read More »

January 24th, 2014|Announcements|

Keck Medicine of USC performs world’s 1st epilepsy treatment implant

By Alison Trinidad

On Dec. 18, 2013, Keck Medicine of USC became the world’s first medical center to surgically implant a responsive brain device newly approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat epilepsy, with the potential to help millions of people worldwide.

The device, manufactured by NeuroPace Inc., detects and then directly responds to abnormal brain activity to prevent seizures before they occur. In a three-hour surgery, USC faculty physicians implanted the device in a 28-year-old Lakewood, Calif., woman who was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2004.

Kathleen Rivas, an aspiring journalist who sought care from the university’s student health center in 2009 while earning her master’s degree elected to have the implant because medication had not fully controlled her seizures. Over the next few months, her doctors will program the device to detect specific brain activity indicative of a seizure’s onset. Read More »

January 14th, 2014|Announcements|