Laura Mosqueda named new Keck school dean

USC administration appointed Laura Mosqueda to be the dean of the Keck School of Medicine as of May 1, Provost Michael Quick said in a memorandum sent to faculty, staff and Keck students. She is the first woman to be named dean of Keck since the school was established in 1885.

Photo courtesy of Keck School of Medicine of USC

Since October last year, Mosqueda has served as the interim dean of Keck. She will hold the May S. and John H. Hooval Dean’s Chair.

According to the memo, Mosqueda was chosen for her leadership over the past six months as interim dean.

“We sought input from members of the Keck School community, including department heads, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and administrators, who responded with overwhelming support for Dr. Mosqueda’s efforts in the last six months,” Quick said in the memo. “They praised the stability and continuity she managed and the positive tone she set for the future.”

Mosqueda obtained her medical degree from USC and serves as a professor of family medicine and geriatrics.

Prior to becoming interim dean, she served as the associate dean of primary care, and the chair of the department of family medicine at Keck, according to the memo.

Mosqueda is widely known as an expert in elder abuse and family medicine.

She founded the first Elder Abuse Forensic Center in 2003, and now directs the National Center on Elder Abuse. 

“We know that Dr. Mosqueda will continue working with the entire Keck community and the community at large to build an inclusive and diverse environment … and to advance the educational mission of the School as our students seek to improve local and global health in the 21st century,” Quick said in the memo.

Mosqueda is the third dean to head USC’s school of medicine in as many years.

Former Keck dean Carmen Puliafito resigned in 2016. His resignation was followed by a Los Angeles Times report in 2017 that Puliafito engaged in drug-related misconduct during his term as dean.

His successor, former Keck dean Rohit Varma, resigned in October, less than a year after he was officially named dean.

Varma’s resignation came shortly after the Los Angeles Times reported that USC disciplined Varma in 2003 for allegedly sexually harassing a researcher while he was a junior professor.