The Keck School of Medicine of USC has appointed Narsing Rao, MD, professor of ophthalmology, as the chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, effective March 26. Rao, who joined the Keck School faculty in 1983, is a leading expert on uveitis and ophthalmic pathology, including ophthalmic inflammatory and infectious diseases, ocular autoimmunity and mitochondrial oxidative stress. He specializes in the treatment of inflammatory ocular diseases that affect the uveal tract, vitreous, retina and sclera.

“Dr. Rao’s research achievements have placed him at the top of his specialty,” said Laura Mosqueda, MD, interim dean of the Keck School. “He has received continuous grant funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1979 and has authored nearly 500 peer-reviewed publications and six books on ophthalmic diseases. He has been a valued faculty member for more than three decades, and I have no doubt that the Department of Ophthalmology will flourish under his leadership.”

Rao has received a number of awards for his research and contributions to ophthalmology, including honors from the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, American Academy of Ophthalmology and International Council of Ophthalmology. He has also served as president of the American Uveitis Society, International Society for Ophthalmic Pathology and International Ocular Inflammation Society, among other professional societies.

“It is a great pleasure to lead the Department of Ophthalmology and continue its important mission of ending vision loss and blindness,” Rao said. “I’m looking forward to working with the department’s exceptionally talented physicians, scientists, staff and students to make that goal a reality.”

The founder and first editor-in-chief of the Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infections, Rao earned a medical degree from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, completed residencies in pathology and ophthalmology at Georgetown University and completed a fellowship in ophthalmic pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

— Erica Rheinschild