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Brain Storms

Award-winning journalist, documentarian, journalism professor, and author, Dr. Jon Palfreman, discussed his latest book, Brain Storms: The Race to Unlock the Mysteries of Parkinson’s Disease. The book is a long-overdue, riveting detective story of the race to stop or reverse neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It is a passionate, insightful account into the lives of those affected.


Dr. Daniel Siegel explored the nature of the changes in the teenage brain and how they set the stage for changes in adolescent mental, physical, and interpersonal well-being. He discussed the increased risk-taking and statistically heightened chances of harm during this period of life.


The growing problem of bullying and peer harassment in schools has become a front and center issue in our society. This important topic was discussed by Dr. Jaana Juvonen, Bob Riddle, Robert Jacobson, Bonnie Raskin and Dr. Peter Whybrow.

Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison

Renowned author of An Unquiet Mind and Touched with Fire, Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, gave an elegant and informative presentation about her recent biography on the American poet, Robert Lowell. Setting the River on Fire : A Study of Genius, Mania is a view of Mr. Lowell’s life through the lens of his bipolar disorder and examines our beliefs about art and madness. Dr. Jamison was joined in discussion by Dr. Michael Gitlin, Professor of Psychiatry end Director of the Mood Disorders Program at UCLA.

Dr. Michael S. Gazzaniga

Dr. Michael S. Gazzaniga, one of the most important neuroscientists of the twentieth century, spoke about his book, Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience. One of the founders of the field of cognitive neuroscience, Dr. Gazzaniga recounted his decade long journey to understand how the separate spheres of our brains communicate and miscommunicate with their separate agendas. Dr. Gazzaniga is a Professor of Psychology at UC Santa Barbara and the Director of UCSB's SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind. He serves as the president of the Cognitive Neuroscience Institute and is also the founding director of the MacArthur Foundation's Law and Neuroscience Project. Dr. Gazzaniga has written numerous books for the lay public including The Social Brain, Mind Matters, Nature's Mind, Who’s In Charge, and What Makes Us Human.

Food and Friends at Vibiana

UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors and The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA hosted an elegant, “healthy for the mind and brain” luncheon prepared by Iron Chef winner and owner of Redbird Restaurant, Neal Fraser, in collaboration with Dr. Wendy Slusser, Associate Vice-Provost for the Healthy Campus Initiative.
Proceeds from Food and Friends at Vibiana benefit the Nexus Scholarship Award that supports UCLA's Psychiatry Research Residency Program, which trains the nation's most elite young neuroscientists.

In Another Kind of Madness

Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley and Vice Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF, explores the burden of living in a family “loaded” with mental illness and debunks the stigma behind it. He explains that in today’s society, mental health problems still receive utter castigation—too often resulting in the loss of fundamental rights, including the inability to vote or run for office or automatic relinquishment of child custody. Through a poignant and moving family narrative, interlaced with shocking facts about how America and the world still view mental health conditions well into in the 21st century, Another Kind of Madness is a passionate call to arms regarding the importance of destigmatizing mental illness.

Inside Out

The Friends special screening of the Golden Globe nominee for Best Animated Feature Film, Inside Out. Following the screening, Oscar-winning director, Pete Docter discussed the research that went into making the film in a moderated Q&A with Dr. Andrew Leuchter, Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA and Dr. Catherine Mogil, Co-Director at UCLA Child and Family Trauma Clinic.


Greg Mullaney discussed his book The Unforgiving Minute...a Soldiers Education about his experiences in combat and with post traumatic stress disorder.

Coping with an Illness

Speaker: Dr. David Wellisch, Professor of Medical Psychology Chief Psychologist, Adult Division,Department of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA.

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