William Vega appointed director of USC’s Roybal Institute

William Vega, a leading researcher on health disparities among aging populations, has been appointed executive director of the USC School of Social Work’s Edward R. Roybal Institute of Aging.

The Roybal Institute primarily conducts research and advocates policy geared toward improving the health of seniors, particularly those from multiethnic and low-income backgrounds.

Previously, Vega has served as director of UCLA’s Luskin Center on Innovation, where he received the Society for Prevention Research’s Community, Culture and Prevention Science Award and the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse’s National Award of Excellence in Research by a Senior Scientist.

He also holds professorship in USC’s Keck School of Medicine, and has performed research on health and substance abuse in both the United States and Latin America.

“[Vega] is widely considered one of the visionaries in this increasingly important field,” USC Executive Vice President C.L. Max Nikias said in a press release. “Ethnic minority groups comprise the fastest-growing segment within the U.S. aging population — and there is increasing need for research, education and outreach to address the particular needs of these groups.”