Specialty Care: Education/Research

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UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative

The UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative (CRI) is one of the first multidisciplinary academic programs dedicated to the study of cannabis and cannabinoids, the chemical constituents of the cannabis plant. CRI's mission is to advance scientific understanding of the impact of cannabis on the body, brain, mind, and society. To achieve this mission, we engage in research on cannabis and cannabinoids, educational initiatives, and outreach to inform the public of the potential therapeutic effects of the plant and risks associated with its use.

Email: [email protected]
Website: uclahealth.org/cannabis


Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC)

The Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) is a partner of the Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology within the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. MARC's mission is to foster mindful awareness across the lifespan through education and research to promote well-being and a more compassionate society. MARC aspires to further the accessibility of basic mindfulness practices, making them available without exception to human beings across all walks of life. Mindful awareness (mindfulness) can be defined as paying attention to present-moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is. Mindfulness is an excellent antidote to the stresses of modern times. A person is invited to stop, breathe, observe, and connect with one’s inner experience. There are many ways to bring mindfulness into one's life, such as meditation, yoga, art, or time in nature. Mindfulness can be trained systematically, and it can be implemented more fully in daily life by people of any age, profession, or background.

Email: [email protected]

health lifestyle

UCLA Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology / Mindful Awareness Research Center

The Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, together with the Mindful Awareness Research Center (Cousins-MARC), investigates the interactions between the mind, brain, and body in health. The shared mission of Cousins-MARC is to understand the role of psychological well-being for health and recovery from illness, and the translation of such knowledge into effective mind-body practices (e.g., mindful awareness, meditation, tai chi) that prevent disease and promote healing. Through its community and global educational platforms, Cousins-MARC fosters mindful awareness across a person's lifespan to promote well-being and a more compassionate society.

Websites: Semel Institute: Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology

mood stress

UCLA Late-Life Mood, Stress, and Wellness Research Program


The UCLA Late-life Mood, Stress, and Wellness Research Program provides state-of-the-art stress, mood, cognitive, genetic, and brainscanning assessments, as well as opportunities to volunteer for clinical studies, including antidepressant and mind-body interventions, such as tai chi, yoga, and meditation.

Email: [email protected] Helen Lavretsky, MD, MS
Website: Semel Institute: Late-life depression, stress and wellness research program