Mission & History


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.

We are among the nation’s leaders in population and public health

Although a department and not a school, since its founding in 1977, Preventive Medicine 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.

We are beginning a new phase of growth

With the continued support of Keck/USC, new leadership, and greater public health awareness motivated by the global SARS/COVID-19 pandemic, Preventive Medicine is embarking on a trajectory of additional growth, building on current strengths and expanding in new and exciting research and educational directions.

We apply 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.

We build on our established strengths

With 113 full-time faculty, an average of 800 trainees per year, and deep partnership across USC and beyond, Preventive Medicine 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 Preventive Medicine researchers to evaluate and generate the evidence needed to rectify multiple health disparities and transition populations toward health equity and wellness.

We capitalize on our unique opportunities and invite you to join us in this effort

Preventive Medicine will meet these challenges by pursuing innovations in transdisciplinary collaborations, by leveraging its unique investments in world-class research among the residents of Southern California and beyond, and by translating the evidence generated into actionable policies that contribute towards the evolution of the Los Angeles metropolitan area and similar communities around the world to models of sustainable, equitable, and healthy urban living.