The Keck School of Medicine Appoints Chair of Department of Ophthalmology

Narsing Rao, MD, a world-renowned expert on uveitis and ophthalmic pathology, will lead the department

Contact: Cynthia Smith at (323) 442-3811 or

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LOS ANGELES – The Keck School of Medicine of USC has appointed Narsing Rao, MD, professor of ophthalmology, as the chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, effective March 26. Rao, who joined the Keck School faculty in 1983, is a leading expert on uveitis and ophthalmic pathology, including ophthalmic inflammatory and infectious diseases, ocular autoimmunity and mitochondrial oxidative stress. He specializes in the treatment of inflammatory ocular diseases that affect the uveal tract, vitreous, retina and sclera.

“Dr. Rao’s research achievements have placed him at the top of his specialty,” says Laura Mosqueda, MD, interim dean of the Keck School and professor of family medicine. “He has received continuous grant funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1979 and has authored nearly 500 peer-reviewed publications and six books on ophthalmic diseases. He has been a valued faculty member for more than three decades, and I have no doubt that the Department of Ophthalmology will flourish under his leadership.”

Rao has received a number of awards for his research and contributions to ophthalmology, including honors from the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, American Academy of Ophthalmology and International Council of Ophthalmology. He has also served as president of the American Uveitis Society, International Society for Ophthalmic Pathology and International Ocular Inflammation Society, among other professional societies.

“It is a great pleasure to lead the Department of Ophthalmology and continue its important mission of ending vision loss and blindness,” Rao says. “I’m looking forward to working with the department’s exceptionally talented physicians, scientists, staff and students to make that goal a reality.”

The founder and first editor-in-chief of the Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infections, Rao earned an MD degree from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, completed residencies in pathology and ophthalmology at Georgetown University and completed a fellowship in ophthalmic pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

About the Keck School of Medicine of USC

Founded in 1885, the Keck School of Medicine of USC is among the nation’s leaders in innovative patient care, scientific discovery, education and community service. It is part of Keck Medicine of USC, the University of Southern California’s medical enterprise, one of only two university-owned academic medical centers in the Los Angeles area. This includes Keck Medical Center of USC, composed of Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital. The two world-class, USC-owned hospitals are staffed by more than 500 physicians who are faculty at the Keck School. The school has more than 1,750 full-time faculty members and voluntary faculty of more than 2,400 physicians. These faculty direct the education of approximately 800 medical students and 1,000 students pursuing graduate and postgraduate degrees. The school trains more than 900 resident physicians in more than 50 specialty or subspecialty programs and is the largest educator of physicians practicing in Southern California. Together, the school’s faculty and residents serve more than 1.5 million patients each year at Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital, as well as USC-affiliated hospitals, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. Keck School faculty also conduct research and teach at several research centers and institutes, including the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine at USC, USC Cardiovascular Thoracic Institute, USC Institute of Urology, USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, USC Roski Eye Institute and Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute.

In 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Keck School among the top 35 medical schools in the country.

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