University of Southern California

Center for Religion & Civic Culture

New USC Institute Explores Integrative Medicine

Image of New USC Institute Explores Integrative Medicine

After more than five years of activity among Keck School of Medicine faculty and students, we are pleased to announce that our dream of a USC Institute for Integrative Health (USC IIH) has become a reality!  An increasingly large number of leading universities and medical schools, including Duke, Harvard, Stanford, and UCLA, now offers complementary and alternative or integrative medicine within the medical student curriculum and have established centers for integrative medicine on their campuses. USC, with over 20 faculty now involved in the USC IIH,  now enters the ranks of other prominent universities with established centers as an official member of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine. The USC IIH will help to coordinate efforts across the university in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) education, research and treatment.

The institute’s mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals and society by promoting the health and wellness of the whole human being—body, mind, and spirit.  We aim to make USC a national leader in the field of integrative health and wellness through excellence in research, education, and clinical care.

The USC IIH’s four major goals are:

  1. creating a university-wide, trans-school, trans-disciplinary, collaborative institute based on a model of promotion of whole health and well-being
  2. providing quality clinical care in integrative health to patients of the USC, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, LAC + USC medical systems, and surrounding communities
  3. developing a center of translational research excellence in integrative health, and
  4. providing education in the principals and practices of integrative health and wholeness to students, house staff, faculty, the broader USC and general community.

In the coming year, we will conduct monthly breakfast seminars from 7.30 a.m. to 9.00 a.m. with presentations on topics in integrative medicine.  Dr. Marc Weigensberg spoke at the kickoff breakfast on November 7, 2012 to a crowd of more than 50 attendees.

Future speakers include Marc Weigensberg, Marisa Perdomo, Marientina Gotsis, Jeffrey I. Gold, Varun Soni, Debu Tripathy, George Salem, and Donna Spruijt-Metz.





Marc J. Weigensberg

Pediatrics/LA County

Wed. 11/07/2012

HSC, CSC Harkness Auditorium

Marisa Perdomo

Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy

Tues. 12/11/2012

HSC, CHP 102

Marientina Gotsis

School of Cinematic Arts

Thurs. 01/17/2013


Jeffrey I. Gold

Anesthesiology & Pediatrics/CHLA

Wed. 02/06/2013

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA)

Varun Soni

Office of Religious Life

Wed. 03/06/2013

UPC, University Religious Center

Debu Tripathy


Tues. 04/02/2013

HSC , Norris LG 503/504

George Salem

Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy

Thurs. 05/09/2013


Donna Spruijt-Metz

Preventive Medicine

Tues. 06/04/2013

HSC, Soto Building

More USC IIH events are in the works, including the launch of our new website in the coming month. One of our first inter-institution events will be held in collaboration with Hebrew Union College, the Kalsman Institute, Cedars Sinai, and the USC Office of Religious Life. This event, which is part of the Jewish Wisdom and Wellness Week of Learning, includes a visit by Dr. David Rosmarin from the Harvard Department of Psychiatry on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. He will speak on the personal, spiritual, moral, and creative dimensions of the healing arts. Register for the event.

The USC IIH is directed by Dr. Marc Weigensberg (Pediatrics/LA County). Steering Committee members include Dr. Debu Tripathy (Oncology), Dr. Agustin Garcia (Oncology), Dr. Donna Spruijt-Metz (Preventive Medicine), Dr. Jeffrey I. Gold (Anesthesiology and Pediatrics/CHLA), Dr. Marisa Perdomo (Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy), Rev. James Burklo (Office of Religious Life), and Dr. Yogi Matharu (Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy). Send e-mail to Quintilia Avila, center administrator ( for additional information.