USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

Caryn Lerman, PhD

USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center Director 

Dr. Lerman is the Director of USC Norris and the H. Leslie and Elaine S. Hoffman Professor in Cancer Research. Previously, she served as the John H. Glick Professor for Cancer Research and Vice Dean for Strategic Initiatives in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her Vice Dean appointment, she served as Senior Deputy Director of the Abramson Cancer Center for 10 years.

Dr. Lerman is nationally recognized for her cancer prevention research that bridges the fields of neuroscience, pharmacology, genetics, and behavioral science. She produced the first empirical data on the outcomes of genetic testing for cancer susceptibility and was among the first to publish evidence for the genetic basis of cancer risk behaviors. Her pioneering work identifying genetic influences on tobacco use culminated in the first prospective stratified pharmacogenomic trial in the field of tobacco dependence, which has had a considerable impact on the application of precision medicine for tobacco dependence treatment.

Supported by her National Cancer Institute (NCI) Outstanding Investigator Award (R35), Dr. Lerman now also leads a highly novel research program that harnesses advances in cognitive neuroscience to promote cancer risk behavior change. She has published over 380 peer reviewed publications, which have been cited over >20,000 times.  Dr. Lerman is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and President-Elect of the American Association of Cancer Institutes (AACI).  She has served as a member of the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors, the National Human Genome Research Institute Advisory Council, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse Advisory Council.  Currently, she serves as a standing member of the National Cancer Institute Subcommittee A for Cancer Center Reviews.