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Dr. John Peters, USC professor who led health study of Southern California children, dies at 75

May 10, 2010 |  4:54 pm

PetersDr. John M. Peters, longtime professor at USC's Keck School of Medicine and the principal investigator of a study that examined the health of Southern California children, died Thursday at his home in San Marino of pancreatic cancer, the university announced. He was 75.

Peters was Hastings professor and director of the Division of Environmental Health in the school's Department of Preventive Medicine.

He was born April 24, 1935, in Brigham City, Utah, and received his bachelor's in biology in 1957 and his medical degree in 1960 from the University of Utah. After a surgical residency at Johns Hopkins University and two years in the Army, he earned master of public health and doctor of science degrees from Harvard. He taught at Harvard until 1980, when he came to USC.

Since 1992, the Children's Health Study followed 11,000 children in Southern California, taking a critical look at the ongoing risks of air pollution.

Peters established national research centers at USC on environmental health sciences and children's environmental health. He published more than 150 research papers during his career.

-- Keith Thursby

Photo: Dr. John M. Peters