Post: New University Professor and Distinguished Professors- Thomas Buchanan, MD; Pinchas Cohen, MD, and Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati

February 9, 2023

Dear USC Community,

We are pleased to honor exceptional members of our faculty with University and Distinguished professorships, USC’s highest academic honors. We present these annually to faculty who have brought great distinction to our university through their work, which enlightens collective understandings and contributes to the advancement of society.

It is my pleasure to announce that this year we have appointed Thomas Buchanan, Akira Mizuta Lippit, and Mark E. Thompson as University Professors, and Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Pinchas Cohen, Genevieve Giuliano, Peter C. Mancall, and Jong-Shi Pang as Distinguished Professors.

Please join President Folt and me in congratulating these extraordinary faculty on this well-deserved recognition. We look forward to celebrating their achievements at the annual Academic Honors Convocation in April.

As we do every year, we will seek nominations from the USC community for next year’s honorees at the start of the Fall semester. For an updated list of all USC University and Distinguished Professors, please visit:

Elizabeth Graddy's signature
Elizabeth A. Graddy
Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
University Professors

Thomas Buchanan
Thomas Buchanan is Professor of Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Physiology and Biophysics; Vice Dean for Research; and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes in the Department of Medicine in the Keck School of Medicine at USC. He is also the founding director of the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI).

Dr. Buchanan conducts research into the etiology, pathogenesis, genetics, and prevention of gestational and type 2 diabetes. He leads an interdisciplinary translational team whose groundbreaking research has helped define mechanisms and clinical approaches for prevention and treatment of gestational and type 2 diabetes in Latinos. As a champion for the development of clinical and translational research at USC, he first directed the General Clinical Research Center from 1996 to 2010 and, since then, he has been director and principal investigator at the SC CTSI. During his career, Dr. Buchanan has brought more than $180 million in extramural research funding to USC and the Keck School. He has been ranked as highly as 1st at USC and 50th worldwide in annual NIH funding. Select honors include the Norbert Freinkel Award and a Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the American Diabetes Association, as well as election to the Association of American Physicians.
Distinguished Professors
Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati
Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati is Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences; Associate Dean for Community Initiatives; and Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement for the Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Dr. Baezconde-Garbanati is a public health scholar whose focus is on social determinants and health disparities, particularly the role of culture in Hispanic/Latino community health. At USC since 1997, she has over 200 peer-reviewed publications and has mentored hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. She is also a member of the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center where she is co-Director and Project Leader of the Patient Education and Community Outreach Center. She serves as co-director of the NIH-funded Southern California Center for Chronic Health Disparities in Latino Children and Families, a multi-institutional center for the entire southern California region.

Among many other awards and recognitions, Dr. Baezconde-Garbanati has received the NIH 10 Year Common Fund Award and the American Public Health Association Health Education and Health Promotion Award. She continues to develop and test creative and effective interventions and communication methods via outreach activities, community engagement, and partnership development to enhance public health.
Pinchas Cohen
Pinchas Cohen, MD, is an internationally recognized expert on healthy aging and longevity. He has been the Dean of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology since 2012. As dean at USC, Dr. Cohen is driving several new initiatives focusing on: Technology and Innovation for Longevity; Precision Aging; Alternative approaches to Mental Health in Aging; and the establishment of a Southern California Aging Research Consortium.

Dr. Cohen pioneered the field of mitochondrial microproteins, that are newly discovered therapeutic targets for diseases of aging. Dr. Cohen graduated in 1986 with highest honors from the Technion Medical School in Israel and trained at Stanford University. He held faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania, and UCLA where he led the Diabetes Research Center. He received numerous awards through his career, including a National Institute of Aging “EUREKA”-Award and the NIH-Director-Transformative RO1-Grant. He also received the Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging and the American Federation for Aging Research Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction. Dr. Cohen published over 350 papers in top scientific journals focusing on aging, dementia, cancer, diabetes, and the emerging science of microproteins with an h-index is 101. His most recent discoveries include the microproteins MOTS-c, SHLP2, SHMOOSE, and MENTSH; that are novel drug development targets for frailty, Parkinson, Alzheimer, and diabetes, which represent precision medicine approaches in unique populations including Hispanics, Asians and African Americans.
cc: Office of the President Academic Deans President’s Senior Leadership Team Provost’s Leadership Team Academic Senate Staff Assembly GSG President USG President


More Posts

ADA Pathway Award opportunities RFA

Please see below for two ADA Pathway Award opportunities RFA Process for Limited Submissions: PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Research Initiatives and Infrastructure Application Portal: