USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

Message from the Director

As a USC Trojan, it was a thrill for me to return to USC in March 2019 as the Director of USC Norris and the H. Leslie and Elaine S. Hoffman Chair in Cancer Research in the Keck School of Medicine.  My time at USC shaped my career and it’s an incredible honor to give back to our community as the leader of one of the very best cancer centers in the country and the world.

When I walk through the doors of USC Norris and see our patients and families, I’m reminded of how critical every day—and every moment—is.  Through the groundbreaking work performed in our laboratories and clinics, we have given so many people more days and more moments to share and to cherish with their friends and families. This commitment to innovation in cancer treatment and personalized cancer care is what drives me, and what drives our faculty, staff, nurses, and physicians who have dedicated their careers to combatting cancer. 

USC Norris’ great achievements have been made possible in large part because of the philanthropic leadership of Eileen and Kenneth Norris, Harlyne and Kenneth Norris Jr., and the whole Norris family, as well as many grateful friends of USC Norris. Today, more than at any other time in the USC Norris’s nearly 40-year history, we have the opportunity to achieve the simple yet powerful vision of Kenneth T. Norris Jr. to “make cancer a disease of the past.”

Building upon the incredible USC Norris legacy, we will change the way cancer is prevented, diagnosed and treated. Traditionally, most treatments for cancer have been drug-centric – meaning that a specific type of cancer is treated with a specific drug.  If that drug is not effective, another is tried, and then another.  In contrast, at USC Norris, the patient not the disease is at the center of our personalized care. We are leveraging all of our talent, our data, and resources to create the model of next generation precision oncology in which the treatment is targeted not only the type of cancer, but also to the specific features of the tumor and its microenvironment.  At USC Norris,  we will make faster and more accurate diagnoses and select the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.

With your help, we will reduce human suffering by changing the course of cancer care.  The war on cancer has not yet been won.  

Together we will Fight On!

Caryn Lerman, Ph.D.
Director, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
Associate Dean for Cancer Programs
H. Leslie and Elaine S. Hoffman Chair in Cancer Research