Scott Fraser is director of USC’s Translational Imaging Center. (Photo: Noé Montes.)

USC professor Scott Fraser appointed to leadership role at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Fraser’s appointment recognizes USC’s leadership in convergent science and advances CZI’s work in science to cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of this century.
ByDarrin S. Joy

Scott Fraser, an eminent USC scientist, was recently named the vice president of science grant programs at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a philanthropy founded by Priscilla Chan and her husband, Mark Zuckerberg, in 2015.

In addition to his new role at CZI, Fraser will continue his research at USC as the director of the Translational Imaging Center and remain the Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Convergent Bioscience. Fraser will step down from his leadership positions, including as the director of science initiatives for USC campus and the director of the Bridge Institute at the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience.

At CZI, Fraser now oversees science funding programs and helps advance the organization’s strategy to support promising research, technology platforms, organizations, and scientific networks.

“This impressive appointment reflects Scott’s exceptional talents and contributions to the scientific community,” said Andrew T. Guzman, USC provost and vice president of academic affairs. “We look forward to the exciting advancements his leadership will bring to the global scientific community.”

Fraser, who holds joint appointments at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and USC Viterbi School of Engineering, says USC’s history of building successful, innovative and diverse scientific programs aligns with his new role.

Fraser’s role at CZI includes helping to identify and eliminate barriers that limit or slow research. “That’s what makes this position fun; it’s an opportunity to find what is limiting progress in basic and clinical research and to help resolve those roadblocks,” he said.

Fraser has an extensive background in quantitative biology, applying the tools of chemistry, engineering and physics to problems in fields ranging from developmental biology to medicine. His research explores the early development of organisms, organogenesis (the process by which internal organs emerge and develop) and medical diagnostics.

In a project backed by CZI, the Fraser lab explored “Multiplex Strategies for Fluorescence and Imaging Mass Cytometry for Image-Based Analyses,” aiming to create new, more efficient ways to image the huge numbers of genes and proteins within cells in a measurable way.

“Scott Fraser’s appointment at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative aligns with USC Dornsife’s goals of exchanging ideas and expertise between the university and civic, business and nonprofit partners,” said USC Dornsife Dean Amber D. Miller. “Bringing the best academic minds to work with these kinds of organizations can produce new ways of thinking about complex problems and streamline pathways toward solutions.”

Fraser joined USC in 2012 as Provost Professor at USC Dornsife and USC Viterbi, with cross-appointments at Keck School of Medicine of USC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Among numerous achievements, he spearheaded the development of a new translational imaging capability on the University Park Campus, and he was instrumental in working with philanthropist Gary Michelson to create the USC Michelson Center.

Fraser has more than 240 peer-reviewed articles and over 75 issued patents to his credit. He is the recipient of numerous honors and has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the European Academy of Science.

Featured USC Dornsife faculty:

Scott Fraser, Provost Professor of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Physiology and Biophysics, Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Pediatrics, Radiology and Ophthalmology