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Faculty departures reflect well on Keck School’s reputation

Unknownby Josh Grossberg
The excellence of an institution such as the Keck School of Medicine of USC can be measured by its personnel. (Photo/Chris Shinn)
The excellence of an institution such as the Keck School of Medicine of USC can be measured by its personnel. (Photo/Chris Shinn)

Showing that the reputation of the Keck School of Medicine of USC is well regarded in the national medical community, three top doctors in their fields have been recruited for prestigious chairmanships at other institutions.

On July 1, Anthony Senagore will be leaving his position as professor in the Keck School and chief of colorectal surgery at Keck Medical Center of USC to accept a tenured position as chair of surgical disciplines at Central Michigan University School of Medicine.

Rohit Varma left his position as associate professor of ophthalmology and has accepted the chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

And Eila Skinner has left her post as associate professor of clinical urology to become chair of the Department of Urology at the Stanford School of Medicine.

Colleagues said all three will be missed. Vaughn Starnes, chair of the Department of Surgery and surgeon-in-chief at the USC hospitals, said that while he wished Senagore had stayed, he knows that his new colleagues in Michigan will be in good hands.

“Dr. Senagore has demonstrated a skillful balance of leadership, administration, educational and research roles during his time at USC and has been a role model for all,” Starnes wrote in a memo to the surgery faculty.

Ronald Smith, chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, praised Varma’s research.

“He was a particularly productive clinician and scientist,” Smith said. “He’s one of the world’s leading ophthalmic epidemiologists today.”

Skinner had been a member of the Department of Urology for more than 20 years.

“She was a leader in our bladder cancer team and also on the national scene,” said Inderbir Gill, chairman and professor of the Catherine and Joseph Aresty Department of Urology and founding executive director of the USC Institute of Urology. “Her selection as chair of urology at Stanford is definitely a feather in her cap and also ours.”

Smith said the appointments reflect well on the Keck School. He noted that among graduates from the ophthalmology department training programs, there are 10 sitting chairs in the United States and another 26 outside the country.

“One of the measures of excellence of any academic medical center is the success of their graduates and alumni,” he said.