Keith Norris, M.D.
Executive Vice President for Research and Health Affairs
Dr. Keith C. Norris is an internationally recognized research investigator and health policy leader who has been instrumental in shaping national health policy and practice guidelines. From 2007-2011 he has ranked among the top 50 most highly funded NIH investigators in the nation, and among the top three most cited scientists in the world in the area of chronic kidney disease and health disparities. Dr. Norris has a long and distinguished career at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU), where he has served since 2006 as executive vice president for research and health affairs. He is also an assistant dean for clinical and translational science at the Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA. From 2009-2010 he served as interim president at CDU where he was instrumental in leading the university from probation to full accreditation.
After leaving Cornell in 1976 at the age of 19 he attended Howard University School of Medicine. Upon graduation in 1980 he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. He then completed his residency training and chief residency in internal medicine. From 1983-86 he trained in nephrology at the combined West Los Angeles Veterans Administration-UCLA program before joining the faculty at UCLA. In addition to being board certified in internal medicine and
nephrology he is an American Society of Hypertension, Specialist in Clinical Hypertension. In 1995 he was selected to join the inaugural National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative, where he worked for a decade helping to transform practice guidelines and national health policy for patients with chronic kidney disease. He presently serves as a member of the NKF Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) executive committee and the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) Medical Advisory Board.
Dr. Norris is the Principal Investigator for numerous NIH grants and has been directly responsible for over $175 million in research funding at CDU over the last 15 years. His research interests focus on hypertension and chronic kidney disease (CKD) in African Americans. Other areas include the role of Vitamin D and oxidative stress in health disparities, and enhancing community-academic partnerships. He has extensive experience in patient recruitment and retention and communitypartnered research within the South Central Los Angeles community. He was the CDU Principal Investigator for the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK) and the AASK Cohort Study, an extension of a multi-site NIH-randomized clinical trial. To date, AASK is the largest comparative drug intervention trial focusing on renal outcomes conducted in African Americans.
Dr. Norris has received numerous honors and awards from students, peers, community, and professional organizations: In addition to being an Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society inductee, a few include, the 1996 National Kidney Foundation Special Recognition Award, the 2000 American Association of Kidney Patient’s A. Peter Lundin, M.D. award for significant personal contributions to the care and well-being of kidney patients, and the 2000 King/Drew Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine Best Teacher of the Year Award. In 2003 he was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame (Science) for his research advances in hypertension and kidney disease. From 2008-2010 he served as an ambassador for the Research!America Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research. In 2011 he received the National Medical Association’s Meritorious Achievement Award. In 2012 he was the Diversity Council of the Department of Medicine and the Office of Diversity and Cultural Competence of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 9th annual Visiting Professor.
Dr. Norris has co-authored over 245 articles in peer-reviewed journals and textbook chapters, and over 200 scientific abstracts. He currently serves as the editor of the international journal Ethnicity and Disease, a multidisciplinary journal focusing on minority ethnic population differences in health promotion and disease prevention, including research in the areas of epidemiology, genetics, health services, social biology, and medical anthropology..