UCLA Neuroscience

March 4, 2011
UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To: All Faculty 

UCLA’s research and teaching in neuroscience are important aspects of UCLA’s academic mission. Broadly spanning many disciplines, neuroscience is our largest area of study, with approximately 500 faculty members and 700 trainees. These faculty generate approximately $200 million of funded research per year.

The UCLA Neuroscience Task Force, chaired by Professor John Mazziotta, was asked to provide Chancellor Gene Block and me with recommendations for bringing the neurosciences at UCLA to an even higher level of national prominence and leadership. The Task Force’s report has been shared with administrators and faculty, and I have received a preponderance of enthusiastic feedback. It remains available for review at www.evc.ucla.edu. We are now ready to move towards implementation.

A major recommendation emerging from the Task Force was to better integrate and coordinate strategic decisions across campus for this discipline. In response, the Chancellor and I are establishing UCLA Neuroscience to unify non-clinical neuroscience research on campus including faculty recruitment, retention, and fund-raising. In addition, this governance structure will optimize graduate and undergraduate education, outreach, and communications. This organization will work to secure appropriate space, infrastructure, recognition, resources, philanthropy and other forms of support for the neurosciences at UCLA.

To initiate UCLA Neuroscience, I have appointed an Implementation Committee, chaired by Dr. John Mazziotta, Director of the UCLA Brain Mapping Center and Chair of the Department of Neurology. Other Committee members include Nelson Freimer, Mark Frye, Michael Fanselow, Chris Evans, Kelsey Martin, Thomas Otis, and Lawrence Zipursky. One of the first duties of this Committee will be to initiate an internal search for an Associate Vice Chancellor for Neuroscience.

As recommended in the report, internal and external boards and a planning committee will be established, the goals of which will be to maximize the quality of neuroscience research and training. The Committee also will work with External Affairs to develop a fund-raising strategy that will place UCLA Neuroscience as a high priority in our centennial fundraising campaign. In these and all other activities, I have asked the Committee to be open and responsive to the broader neuroscience community on campus.

UCLA Neuroscience will report to me through Vice Chancellor for Research James Economou. I look forward to the continued development of a critically important research area in the 21st century and one of our great strengths at UCLA.


Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost