UCLA has received a $5 million grant and together with Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science is matching the funding to create a multidisciplinary research center that aims to maximize the potential of neuroscience for public good.

With funding from the Dana Foundation, UCLA and Drew University will convene scholars from neuroscience, social sciences, education, policy and the humanities to work with local clinician-scholars, community partners and organizations in South Los Angeles.

Read the Dana Foundation’s press release.

The objective is to reimagine the relationship between neuroscience and the public in part by deepening community engagement, facilitating research collaborations and training multidisciplinary neuro-society experts.

Led by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, numerous campus units and Drew University are together contributing about $4.8 million to match the grant amount. They include the Brain Research Institute; the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior; the UCLA College divisions of life sciences, social sciences and humanities; the School of Education & Information Studies; and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Creative Activities.

“We are proud to participate in this game-changing effort to make neuroscience more responsive to societal needs by placing a premium on public involvement and leveraging the expertise of many disciplines to enhance brain science,” said Dr. Steven Dubinett, dean of the Geffen School of Medicine.

The grant launches the Dana Center Initiative for Neuroscience and Society, which is intended as a sustained, long-term effort.

The new center will be led by five co-principal investigators:

  • Dr. Denese Shervington, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science and health sciences clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
  • Ashley Feinsinger, assistant professor and chair of ethics (education theme) in the department of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
  • Gina Poe, professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College Division of Life Sciences and chair of the UCLA Chuck Lorre Scholars Program
  • Dr. Amy Woods, assistant professor and program director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science