Rohit Varma has been named dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, effective immediately. Varma will also hold the May S. and John Hooval Dean’s Chair in Medicine.
USC Provost Michael Quick announced the appointment Nov. 9 on behalf of USC President C. L. Max Nikias. Varma was appointed interim dean of the Keck School in March.
“I am truly honored and privileged to serve as the dean of the Keck School of Medicine, particularly at such an exciting and transformational period for USC and the field of medicine in general,” Varma said. “I look forward to partnering with our outstanding leadership team, world-renowned faculty and dedicated staff to build upon the school’s legacy and advance President Nikias’ vision for our university.”
Added Quick: “While we interviewed a number of top candidates for this position, the standout to lead the Keck School of Medicine of USC was Rohit Varma. We are lucky to have had him here, leading the way as interim dean. We are proud of the outstanding quality and talent of the Keck faculty and staff, current students and graduates. We know that [the school] will continue to soar in the future under the leadership of Dean Varma.”
Varma is the holder of the Grace and Emery Beardsley Chair in Ophthalmology at the school 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 the USC Care Medical Group.
An accomplished physician and scientist, 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, the Chinese American Eye Study, the Multi-Ethnic Pediatric Eye Diseases Study and the African American Eye Disease Study. More recently, Varma has been involved in the development of novel implantable intraocular pressure sensors and drainage devices. He has over 247 publications in various peer reviewed ophthalmic journals, and has co-authored two ophthalmic books.
Varma obtained his medical degree at the University of Delhi, India. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and earned a master of public health from Johns Hopkins University. He completed two glaucoma fellowships, one at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia and the other at USC.