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Congratulations to the UCLA
2020 Friends Scholar Grant Recipients!

We are proud to announce the recipients of our 2020-2021 Friends of Semel Research Scholar Grants. Our Friends Scholars are at the forefront of new discoveries about the mind and brain in sickness and in health. The findings from their groundbreaking research will contribute to finding new treatments that improve and save the lives of people who live with mental illness. 

 

These outstanding early career scientists were chosen from a highly competitive pool of candidates. A panel of Semel Institute scientists rigorously reviewed their proposals for original research studies. The members of The Friends of Semel Board of Directors interviewed the finalists and chose the recipients.

Chloe Boyle, Ph.D.
“Social Phobia at the Nexus of Inflammation-Induced Reward Dysregulation”

A Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, Dr. Boyle's research aims to characterize psychobiological mechanisms underlying risk and resilience to onset and recurrence of depressive disorders.

Gil Hoftman, M.D., Ph.D.
“Imaging transcriptomics:  Markers of disrupted glutamate and GABA neurotransmission across phases of illness in early psychosis”

A senior psychiatry resident at UCLA, Dr. Hoftman's research aims to integrate genetic, molecular, and neuroimaging approaches to understand typical brain development and psychosis risk. Dr. Hoftman will use transcriptomics data imaging to define the relationship between MRi and molecular markers that characterize clinical high-risk youth who subsequently develop psychosis.

Cory Inman, Ph.D.
 “Cognitive Neuroscience of Navigation and Episodic Memory in the Wild”

A post-doctoral fellow in the lab of 2015 Friends of Semel Scholar recipient, Dr. Nanthia Suthana, Dr. Inman's proposed research project will use mobile recording and stimulation of deep brain activity in large-scale, real-world environments. This study will launch and accelerate an emerging and pivotal area of research that will provide therapeutic interventions for patients afflicted with life-debilitating cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's or dementia.

Marc J. Weintraub, Ph.D.
 “A Technology-Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents at Risk for Serious Mental Illness”

A post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Weintraub's research focuses on the course, risk factors, and psychosocial treatment of mood and psychotic disorders. He is particularly interested in the high risk stages of these disorders in youth, as this period provides a unique opportunity to intervene early and possibly affect the onset of these illnesses. Dr. Weintraub plans to develop an app using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques to remotely provide session by-session content, interactive skill practice, and symptom monitoring for patients. 

Thank you for partnering with us to fund our Friends of Semel Research Scholar Program. We could not have done it without the extraordinary philanthropy of our donors. Please visit our website www.friendsofthesemelinstitute.org for more information about this year’s scholars and our past scholar recipients. There you will also find information about our Open Mind Community Lecture and Film series that brings together thought leaders in science and culture to present programs about mental health issues as a free public service at UCLA.