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The UCLA Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoids (UCAN) is one of the first academic programs dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of cannabis. More than half a century of research restrictions and limited funding have contributed to a lack of scientific knowledge about cannabis, particularly regarding therapeutic use. As an increasing number of patients turn to cannabis, UCLA is committed to discovering how to maximize its therapeutic potential while minimizing potential health risks. UCAN’s mission is to advance scientific understanding of the impact of cannabis on the body, brain, mind, and society. To achieve this mission, UCAN engages in research on cannabis, education, and discourse across disciplines. UCAN’s work impacts healthcare providers and policymakers, as well as the general public.
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.
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.
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.