Keck School of Medicine announces new dean

Emory University’s Dr. Carolyn Meltzer to fill dean position left vacant for more than a year.

The Office of the Provost announced on Tuesday that Emory University’s Dr. Carolyn C. Meltzer will be the Keck School of Medicine’s new dean after more than a year since Laura Mosqueda, the former dean, stepped down from the position.

Meltzer, who currently holds multiple positions at Emory, including chair of the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences and chief diversity and inclusion officer, will join USC on March 1, 2022 and hold the May S. and John H. Hooval Dean’s Chair in Medicine.

The provost’s email described Dr. Meltzer as “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.”

The email thanked a committee of 16 faculty, staff, and students for their work—in tandem with leadership at Keck—in reviewing more than 130 potential candidates from across the country.

“I am thrilled to be joining USC and the Keck School of Medicine,” Meltzer said in a USC News article.

Carolyn C. Meltzer smiles at the camera.

Meltzer said she will spend the beginning of her USC career building a strategic plan to improve learning and encourage collaboration between USC’s schools. “I have a lot to learn,” she said. “I’m going to spend the beginning listening a lot and learning what’s important to folks. I will not approach a strategic plan without having it be broadly informed.”

Meltzer graduated with honors from Cornell University and went on to complete her medical degree and radiology training at Johns Hopkins University. Her professional career began at the University of Pittsburgh, where she served as professor of radiology, neurology and psychiatry and chief of neuroradiology.

Diversity and equity were crucial components of her work at Emory, where Meltzer says “we probably have the most diverse radiology department in the country and it’s become a magnet for people who want to be part of an inclusive culture where everybody’s valued and everybody has the opportunity to excel.”

Looking forward to some of her goals at USC, Meltzer points to investing in translational research as an area of focus and working with physician scientists and education leaders to improve the learning experience.

When asked about the controversies surrounding the university and the medical community specifically, Meltzer said she is aware of the issues and hopes to learn and grow with the community.

“Empathetic leadership is going to be important in trauma informed leadership. But I also hope to move the community beyond that,” Meltzer said. “We’ve done a lot of work here to make sure that there is the opportunity for folks to come forward in many different ways and have a voice. I’m committed to that and trying to prevent any future issues. I don’t tolerate misbehavior.”

President Carol L. Folt said Dr. Meltzer is “a principled leader, innovative researcher and compassionate mentor.”

“Her inclusive leadership style—and vision for the future of medical education—aligns perfectly with the Keck School of Medicine’s core mission to improve quality of life for everyone,” Folt said in a USC News article.

Meltzer will replace interim dean Steve Shapiro, who has served in the position since July 1 of this year.

Correction: A previous version of this story said Narsing Rao was the former interim dean but Steve Shapiro took over the position in July. Rao served as interim dean from Sept. 16, 2020 to July 1, 2021.