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USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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News and Events

Latest Chan Division News

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Celebrating Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month ⟩
October 12, 2023

Diversity, Access, Equity Faculty Students

To celebrate National Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month, observed every Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, USC Chan students and faculty members explain what the month personally means, about occupations that are influenced by or represent their heritage, and how their identity influences their everyday participation at USC Chan. ¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Latinx/Hispana!

Tossho Alba Tossho Alba This month holds great significance to me, as it’s a time to celebrate and honor our rich culture, especially considering my diverse heritage. My mother is from El Salvador and my father is from Mexico, so it’s a moment to appreciate the unique blend of traditions and…

Eight faculty members, alums presenting at adult rehabilitation specialty conference ⟩
September 14, 2023

Alumni Associations and Bodies Clinical Conferences Faculty

The American Occupational Therapy Association’s Adult Rehabilitation Specialty Conference to be held in mid-October.

Eight USC Chan faculty members and alumni will be sharing their expertise at the upcoming adult rehabilitation specialty conference hosted by the American Occupational Therapy Association. The conference will be held Oct. 20-21 in Baltimore, Maryland. “The AOTA adult rehab conference offers…

Eight faculty authors feature in new primary care textbook ⟩
July 3, 2023

Clinical Faculty Lifestyle Redesign

New text is a definitive resource for all primary care occupational therapy practitioners and those delivering lifestyle-based interventions.

Eight USC Chan faculty members co-authored chapters in Primary Care Occupational Therapy: A Quick Reference Guide, recently published by Springer. The book is a definitive resource for all primary care occupational therapy practitioners and others interested in lifestyle-based interventions for…

Erna Blanche to keynote division’s 2023 commencement ⟩
April 10, 2023

Alumni Events Faculty Lectures and Talks

USC alumna and current faculty member is a renowned expert in pediatric occupational therapy and therapeutic interventions based on occupational science.

Clinical Professor Erna Blanche Clinical Professor Erna Imperatore Blanche MA ’88, PhD ’98 has been selected as the keynote speaker for the USC Chan Division's 2023 commencement ceremony to be held on Friday, May 12, at the USC University Park Campus. Blanche is an expert in pediatric…

International study shows link between brain age and stroke outcomes ⟩
April 7, 2023

Faculty Research

A USC-led team of researchers find that brain age, a neuroimaging-based assessment of global brain health, may play a role in post-stroke outcomes and could potentially help identify people at risk for poorer outcomes.

A new study lead by a team of researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC shows that younger “brain age,” a neuroimaging-based assessment of global brain health, is associated with better post-stroke outcomes. The findings could lead to better ways to predict post-stroke outcomes and…

Mitigating on-the-job stress: Stress mapping with artificial intelligence ⟩
March 29, 2023

Faculty Health and Wellness Research

USC Chan’s Shawn Roll leading interdisciplinary team on $1.1M National Science Foundation grant for managing, mitigating on-the-job stress.

By Mike McNulty for The Explorer Journal 2023 (Illustration by master1305/Adobe Stock) The World Health Organization has called stress the “health epidemic of the 21st century” — and that was before the Covid-19 pandemic. While a highly personalized phenomenon, job-related stress is…

Four new, early-stage projects selected for internal research funding ⟩
February 3, 2023

Autism Community and Partners Faculty Pandemic Research

Aims of projects include increasing social connections in mental health clubhouses, improving return-to-work, developing trauma-informed framework for minoritized families of autistic girls and better understanding autistic sensory strengths

Three projects have been selected for the upcoming funding cycle of the Responding to Society’s Post-pandemic Occupational Needs (ReSPONs) Initiative, the USC Chan Division’s seed grant mechanism for early-stage projects that address the intersecting pandemics — COVID-19, systemic racial…

Study finds 3 percent of children have elevated sensory issues that seemingly worsen throughout early childhood, a pattern strongly linked to autism ⟩
December 29, 2022

Autism Faculty Research

By following more than 1,500 children over six years, USC-led study helps confirm sensory features are an early behavioral marker of autism.

By Mike McNulty Figure 1 from the article showing identified Class types and their respective trajectories. (Figure courtesy of Chen et al.) New results from a USC-led study reveal that 3 percent of all children have elevated sensory traits which seemingly worsen as they grow from infants/toddlers…

Study pinpoints three brain regions displaying telltale patterns in autistic individuals ⟩
November 14, 2022

Autism Faculty Research

USC scientists are first to identify patterns of white matter connectivity exclusive to core autistic symptoms, pointing out potential flaw in previous autism neuroscience research.

By Mike McNulty Correlational tractography analysis by Aziz-Zadeh and colleagues revealed group differences in multiple tracts throughout the brain. (Courtesy of Lisa Aziz-Zadeh) New study results from an international research team led by USC scientists have identified a signature pattern of white…

Gelya Frank, faculty fixture for 40 years, announces retirement ⟩
September 16, 2022


For four decades, Frank offered anthropological perspectives that enhanced occupational therapy and occupational science at USC and beyond.

By Mike McNulty Professor Emeritus Gelya Frank Professor Emeritus Gelya Frank, a member of the USC Chan faculty since 1982 with a joint appointment in the Department of Anthropology at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, has retired. She retains the academic rank of professor…

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