Eye Institute names professor as new director

On Wednesday, Mark Humayun, who has served as the interim chair of the USC Department of Opthamology in the Keck School of Medicine since Sept. 16, was named the inaugural director of the USC Eye Institute.

Humayun is currently a professor of ophthalmology, biomedical engineering and cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine and the Viterbi School of Engineering. He also holds the inaugural Cornelius J. Pings Chair in Biomedical Sciences.

Humayun is known for his research and development of the Argus II artificial retina implant, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in February 2013 as a way of restoring sight in people blinded as a result of retinal degeneration. As director, Humayun said he plans to make continued and innovative research a priority as he oversees the 36 faculty members in the department.

“The groundbreaking work at the USC Eye Institute will lead to transformative new solutions for preserving and restoring sight and the USC Department of Ophthalmology will be the conduit that provides these treatments safely and effectively to patients with vision problems,” Humayun said in a press release.

USC’s ophthalmology program was ranked No. 9 in the country in this year’s U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” rankings.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Garrett, Carmen Puliafito, dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Tom Jackiewicz, senior vice president and CEO for USC Health, issued a statement about their excitement about Humayun’s ascension to the position.

“We look forward to his continued commitment to the highest levels of basic and translational research through his leadership of the USC Eye Institute,” the statement read, adding that the three “are confident that USC’s tradition of strong leadership will be maintained.”

Humayun emphasized the prioritization to improve all practices of medical research.

“We plan to achieve our new goals through continued emphasis on clinical, research and educational missions,” Humayan said.


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