11/16 – Announcing Dr. Carolyn C. Meltzer as Dean of Keck School of Medicine

November 16, 2021

Dear KSOM Community,

On behalf of President Folt, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Carolyn C. Meltzer has been named as the new dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC and will hold the May S. and John H. Hooval Dean’s Chair in Medicine. She is the ideal choice to join our leadership team, and will build on the Keck School of Medicine’s formidable achievements, and take the school’s research, education, clinical care, and community engagement efforts to the next level. Dr. Meltzer will join USC on March 1, 2022.

Dr. Meltzer comes to us from Emory University School of Medicine where she serves as chair of the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences; executive associate dean of faculty academic advancement, leadership, and inclusion; and chief diversity and inclusion officer. She is a visionary and principled leader known for expanding the tent of the medical professions, mentoring students and faculty, and breaking new ground in cancer imaging and brain structure-function relationships.

In her current role at Emory, she oversees an extensive clinical enterprise comprised of more than 1,200 providers and employees, conducting over 1.5 million procedures each year. Her dedication to student success – and to opening up new pathways for the next generation of medical professionals – is truly inspiring. She has mentored 70 graduate and undergraduate students, medical students, and postdoctoral research fellows during the course of her career – a testament to her passion for education.

After completing her undergraduate work with honors at Cornell University, Dr. Meltzer pursued her medical degree and radiology training at Johns Hopkins University, becoming board certified in both diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine with advanced training in positron emission tomography (PET).

Dr. Meltzer subsequently joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she rose to become professor of radiology, neurology, and psychiatry and chief of neuroradiology. Her brain imaging research focused on structural and functional changes during aging, dementia, and psychiatric disorders, as well as cancer imaging, and she led the clinical evaluation of the world’s first combined PET/CT scanner. During her time there, she participated in the prestigious Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program and became a fellow of the American College of Radiology and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

At Emory, Dr. Meltzer has held a number of prominent leadership positions, including associate dean for research, and served as president of the Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research and as a member of the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging. In each of these roles, she has passionately advocated for research investment at the institutional and federal levels.

Dr. Meltzer has also served with distinction on the Board of Chancellors of the American College of Radiology and on the Council of Faculty and Academic Societies at the Association of American Medical Colleges. She has received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Medical Association, the Gold Medal Award from the Association of University Radiologists, and the Outstanding Researcher Award and Gold Medal from the American Society of Neuroradiology. She is a member of the Academic Council of Distinguished Investigators in the Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research.

As dean of the Keck School of Medicine, Dr. Meltzer will lead Southern California’s oldest medical school. Founded in 1885, the Keck School now ranks among top research medical schools in the nation, with 26 basic and clinical departments and 16 major research institutes. The school’s research enterprise has seen significant growth, with six of the school’s departments now in the top 10 nationally in terms of NIH funding. Each year, Keck School faculty train nearly 800 medical students, approximately 1,400 graduate and professional (allied health) students, and 1,200 resident physicians, enrolled in more than 70 specialty and subspecialty programs at LAC+USC Medical Center, Keck Hospital of USC, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

As we prepare for Dr. Meltzer’s arrival, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the 16 faculty, staff, and students who joined us on the Dean Search Advisory Committee. The committee worked tirelessly with our Keck School of Medicine leadership team throughout our extensive nationwide search, involving more than 130 prospective candidates, and their efforts ultimately culminated in this truly exceptional new leader for our school.

Please join us – together with President Folt – in welcoming Dr. Meltzer to the Trojan Family. We look forward to working closely together as we embark on this exciting new chapter for the Keck School of Medicine of USC.


Charles F. Zukoski

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Steven D. Shapiro

Senior Vice President for Health Affairs