Funding Opportunities

For more information, contact Jillian Flannery at (310) 825-1546 or jflannery@support.ucla.edu 

Healthy Longevity Clinic                                                                      

This funding will provide essential resources to renovate 2,100 square feet of space in the Wendy and Leonard Goldberg Medical Building at UCLA to house the UCLA Longevity Center and Geriatric Psychiatry Division’s Healthy Longevity Clinic. Philanthropic support of this project would have a major impact on the Center’s and the Division’s ability to accomplish the goal of improving quality of life as people age through outstanding research, education, and clinical care.  Currently, a plan has been created to renovate the existing space in order to unify, and thereby transform, many of the most distinguished programs in human neuropsychiatric research in the world. The faculty and staff have offices and research space in areas on several floors in the current building, as well as in two other campus buildings. The renovated space would bring many of the key faculty members together, which would increase their daily interaction, provide an economy of effort, and improve overall clinical care and efficiency. The space available for renovation is ideal for an older population since it is on the ground level right next to the main entrance of the building.  This location will make it easier for frail older adults with gait instability to access the clinic. The funding will enable the clinic to build on its success by accelerating the faculty’s translational research and clinical activities and stimulate applications for future grants from the National Institutes of Health and private foundations.  It will also allow expansion of the clinic to incorporate other professionals and staff from neurology, psychology, and geriatric medicine and recruit health-educator coaches and nurse practitioners to create a patient-centered approach to healthcare and wellness.

Endowed Professorship in Integrative Mental Health                                

The Chair will support the development of the unique program to promote mental health via the use of complementary and integrative therapies.  Payout from the endowment will support teaching and research activities of a faculty member whose expertise, research, and teaching focus will be in integrative mental health and who will provide leadership in innovative programs in the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human and Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The Chair will expand innovative research to further scientific evidence of the effects of the integrative therapies, such as stress-reduction with mind-body spirituality-based approaches, meditation, acupuncture, naturopathy, biofeedback and relaxation therapies, expressive art therapies, and virtual reality.  The Chair will promote interdisciplinary research, education, and training opportunities across psychology, neuroscience, psychiatry, medicine, and applied therapies, and lead to the translation of such knowledge into promotion of well-being across the life span. 

Endowed Postdoctoral Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry                         

Postdoctoral fellowship endowments help to fund post-graduate scholars’ research and living expenses, enabling UCLA to attract promising academics and indirectly bear on the University's ability to recruit and retain top faculty and graduate students. In response to the growing need for quality geriatric healthcare associated with the "graying of America," UCLA has emerged as a leader in education and training in geriatric psychiatry and medicine. The Geriatric Psychiatry Training Program is a major component of the UCLA's nationally acclaimed geriatrics program.

With increased longevity, risk for many neuropsychiatric illnesses increases, generating a growing need for specialists with expertise in diagnosis and treatment of geriatric mental illness. The fellows are exposed to the full range of geriatric psychiatric disorders in a variety of clinical settings and receive close supervision from experienced faculty. Advances in research on aging and geriatric mental health by our renowned faculty informs clinical care and equips fellows with the most innovative approaches to depression, psychosis, age-related memory loss, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and other geriatric mental health issues. Training at UCLA includes instruction in the most recent technologies, treatments, legal and ethical issues, and psychosocial aspects of geriatric psychopathology.

Endowment for Pilot Grants for Innovative Research                                

This endowment provides seed grants for research that has the potential to serve as a “wedge” to open up new areas or novel approaches to answer important neuroscience questions. Pilot grants of this type supply critically needed initial funding to jump-start new investigations. Government agencies and foundations typically do not fund research at the earliest stages, despite the crucial nature of this type of work, but will later consider proposals based on results obtained from a pilot project. Therefore, such a seed-grant program generates resources and future programs that reach far beyond the original pilot project, as investigators go forward to the next stage. Each year, proposals would be solicited through the Pilot Research Grant Program in order to award “seed grants” to launch new projects on age-related memory loss, enabling future support from outside agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health.

Memory Study of Superagers                                                                   

Some older people remain mentally sharp throughout their long lives and understanding what contributes to their cognitive vitality would provide insights into strategies for preserving memory and forestalling symptoms of dementia. “Superagers” have been defined as older adults with memory performance abilities equal to or better than those of people 20 to 30 years younger. In this exploratory study, we will recruit a group of superagers, enroll them in the UCLA Longevity Center’s memory training courses, and compare their abilities to improve memory to those of a control group of normal agers. Differences in genetic risks for Alzheimer’s disease, personality traits, lifestyle behaviors, and other variables will be explored, and study results will be used to confirm the effectiveness of the memory training curricula and to pursue NIH funding for a multi-site, longitudinal study of superaging. Funds can be dispersed over the two-year study duration.

Integrative Medicine and Mental Health Program Development                       

The Integrative Mental Health Program has been developing innovative pilot projects and public and professional conferences for the past two years with great success.  It is seeking assistance to expand the program both locally and nationally.  This gift would be used for development of annual public and professional conferences on the subject of integrative medicine and mental health, and the creation of informative web-based lecture series, and community events. It will also be used for series of innovative pilot projects furthering our knowledge of mind, spirituality, and consciousness using mind-body techniques, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Memory Training Program for Diverse Communities                                

The UCLA Longevity Center’s Memory Training Program presents effective memory-enhancing techniques to individuals and organizations within the Los Angeles area, throughout the nation, and internationally. The course combines trainer presentations with group discussions, memory checks, and skill-building exercises and provides an innovative educational program for people with mild memory concerns.  Currently, the program is licensed in 13 states and in Canada; however, it is offered only in English.  Funding would allow the Memory Training program to be translated into Spanish, Farsi, and Chinese, and provide the resources needed to implement the program within these communities.  The Center would train community liaisons to assist with delivering the program while building networks of local organizations and partners to expand the program’s impact.