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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.
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 14 states and in Canada and Thailand; 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.