Among the nation's leaders in population and public health
Since its founding in 1977, the Department has consistently ranked among the top 10 Schools of Public Health in terms of competitively-awarded funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
To improve population and public health locally and globally through the pursuit of high-impact, transdisiplinary research; the translation and communication of knowledge; and the training of outstanding students, professionals and future researchers, educators and leaders.
The Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program, the first population-based cancer registry in LA, was envisioned by cancer epidemiologist Brian Henderson
1st Chair 1978-1988Brian Henderson, MD
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine was formed and chaired by Dr. Brian Henderson
The Department of Community & Family Medicine was founded in 1978, with Brian Henderson appointed the inaugural chair by then-Dean Allen W. Mathies, Jr. Henderson would later become dean of the USC medical school 2004 to 2007 and Kenneth T Norris Jr Chair in Cancer Prevention.
Division of Occupational and Environmental Health was established
John M. Peters founded the Department of Community & Family Medicine Division of Environmental Health and the Children’s Health Study in 1980.
The Dept incorporated the faculty of the Institute for Prevention Research (IPR) and formed the Division of Health Behavior Research
The Dept became the Department of Preventive Medicine when the independent Department of Family Medicine was formed.
2nd Chair 1989 - 1999Malcolm Pike, PhD
Malcolm Pike, recruited by Brian Henderson, took the helm of the Department of Preventive Medicine in 1989.
The Cancer Surveillance Program and the Divisions of Biostatistics, Occupational & Environmental Health, and Health Behavior Research moved into the Center for Health Profession (CHP) building.
The Division of Epidemiology moved into the Norman Topping Tower of the Norris Cancer Center.
3rd Chair 1999-2006Ronald Ross, MD
Interim Chair 2006-2008Malcolm Pike, PhD
4th Chair 2008-2017Jonathan Samet, MD, MS
The Division of Bioinformatics created, with Paul Thomas as Division Chief
Consolidated most of the department in the new Soto Street Building (SSB)
The Division of Disease Prevention & Global Health formed
Interim Chair 2017-2020Thomas Valente, PhD
The Division of Disease Prevention & Global Health changed to the Division of Disease Prevention Policy & Global Health Institute of Global Health changed to Institute of Inequalities on Global Health
5th Chair 2020 --Howard Hu, MD, MPH, ScD
Department of Preventive Medicine became Department of Population and Public Health Sciences
On July 1st, 2021, the Department of Preventive Medicine became the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences
A new phase of growth
We are embarking on a new phase of growth, building on our current strengths and leveraging greater international awareness of the role of public health, to expand research and education in new and exciting directions.
Translating evidence into action
We pursue innovations in transdisciplinary collaborations by leveraging unique investments in world-class research among the residents of Southern California and beyond. We help translate evidence into actionable policies, so that Los Angeles and other urban communities around the world can become more sustainable, equitable, and healthy.
Applying an integrated, transdisciplinary approach
Transformation and novel team-science approaches are needed to address today’s many pressing population health issues – current and future pandemics, tobacco and substance abuse, pollution and climate change, health disparities with attention to race, sex, age, socio-economic status and other relevant factors, unsustainable healthcare systems, and understanding the risk factors that continue to drive obesity, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, dementia and cognitive impairments, and other chronic diseases. These challenges are over-lapping and inter-connected in ways that demand coordinated and integrated evidence-based solutions that utilize ‘big data’ and state of the art analysis methods to identify novel risk factors and associated “precision public health and medicine” approaches to improve human health.
Building on established strengths
With 110 full-time faculty, an average of 800 trainees per year, and deep partnership across USC and beyond, Population and Public Health Sciences is positioned to address these wide-ranging population health issues with a broad research and education agenda that leverages one of the largest and most diverse populations in the urban U.S.– Los Angeles County, as well as other communities. Ready access to these populations positions Population and Public Health Sciences researchers to evaluate and generate the evidence needed to rectify multiple health disparities and transition populations toward health equity and wellness.