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UCLA Confers Mani Bhaumik Award to Arizona Scientist for Insights into Mind-Body Connection
Date: 11/26/2007
Contact: Mark Wheeler ()
Phone: 310-794-2265

Richard Lane studies emotional awareness and its relation to health

The Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA has named University of Arizona's Richard Lane as the second recipient of its annual Mani Bhaumik Award. The award was established last year to support scientists in the international community who advance the understanding of the brain and the conscious mind in healing through visionary research, books and education.

Lane, a professor of psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience at the University of Arizona, will receive his award beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, in the Semel Institute Auditorium on the UCLA campus. His keynote lecture is titled "The Clinical Importance of Knowing What You're Feeling: Insights from Brain Science." Lane's talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception. The event is free and open to the public; parking on campus is $8.

Lane's lecture will provide an integrated summary of his research on emotion and emotional awareness over the past two decades. As both a psychiatrist and psychologist he created a new model and measure of how people differ from one another in their ability to be aware of their own feelings. He will discuss research evidence showing that people who are more emotionally aware tend to have better physical and mental health. As a neuroscientist, he was one of the early pioneers of functional brain imaging of emotional states and has made important contributions to our understanding of how different brain areas are activated when people are consciously aware of their feelings, and how bodily changes result from such awareness that are health-promoting. As a clinician, he will discuss some of the therapeutic techniques available to promote emotional awareness and their clinical applications.

Bhaumik, co-inventor of the laser technology that made LASIK surgery possible, has funded the annual $15,000 award. His interest in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) - the investigation of the interactions between the brain and the immune system - springs from the pioneering work of Norman Cousins. Cousins came to UCLA in 1978 as an adjunct professor of medical humanities to harness the energies of top scientists dedicated to the emerging field of PNI. He was particularly interested in the impact of positive emotions and attitudes, such as purpose determination, love, hope, faith, will to live and festivity. His efforts resulted in the creation of the UCLA Program in Psychoneuroimmunology, which now carries his name. He died in 1990.

"It is an honor for me to be associated with the Cousins Center, as I was privileged to know Norman Cousins, whose insights continue to inspire me. With this award, my goal is to educate the public on the important benefits of the research and understanding of psychoneuroimmunology," said Bhaumik.

Bhaumik earned a Ph.D. in physics from the India Institute of Technology and a Sloan Foundation Fellowship for postdoctoral work at UCLA. His contributions to laser technology earned him election as a fellow to the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Bhaumik received the Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award from the Indian American Heritage Foundation for his outstanding contributions to science and humanity and for his bestselling book, "Code Name God." He is also the creator and one of the executive producers of the new animated series, "Cosmic Quantum Ray," airing on DISH Network's Animania HD. The series is geared towards inspiring children's interest in science.

The Cousins Center encompasses an interdisciplinary network of scientists working to advance the understanding of psychoneuroimmunology by linking basic and clinical research programs and by translating findings into clinical practice. Led by Dr. Michael Irwin, the center is affiliated with the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.