Irvine, Calif., Jan. 31, 2023 — Sustained support from philanthropists Joan and Don Beall to the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders will allow for the continuation of an educational outreach program in Orange County high schools and the creation of a new research award for an early career researcher.
“We are grateful for the Beall’s leadership, involvement and increased support of $100,000 a year for our educational and research programs,” said Joshua Grill, director of UCI MIND. “Support like theirs is critical to the institute’s mission and demonstrates the trust and commitment of the local community in the organization and its work.”
One of the Beall-assisted efforts is the UCI MIND Beall Scholar Program to Inspire Future STEM Leaders, a high school education outreach effort launched in 2021 to enhance the training mission of the institute.
The program gives outstanding students at local high schools in Orange County an opportunity to receive unique instruction and inspiration from UCI MIND faculty and trainees in a week-long workshop. It is involved at some of the most diverse schools in the county, with the explicit goal of inspiring groups of students from diverse backgrounds to choose careers in science – particularly geriatric neuroscience and medicine – and to give them tools to be successful.
With the Beall’s aid, the program is free for students to participate. Since its launch, 32 students have participated – more than 90 percent being from underserved groups and 41 percent being the first in their family to attend college. Most were female.
The new commitment of support will also launch the UCI MIND Joan and Don Beall Scholar Award. It will provide a critical investment into the research program of an assistant or associate professor. Faculty members from any school are eligible, provided that their research focuses on Alzheimer’s disease or another neurodegenerative condition that results in dementia.
The award will provide $50,000 a year for five years, and it is renewable one time. It is intended to help early-career investigators ensure the development of a robust and successful research program that will make an impact on UCI MIND’s mission to discover solutions for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
About UCI MIND
For more than 30 years, UCI MIND has been at the forefront of Alzheimer’s disease research. The mission of UCI MIND is to enhance the quality of life for older adults by researching genetic, clinical, and lifestyle factors that promote successful brain aging. Toward this end, UCI MIND engages in a variety of activities, including:
- Conduct longitudinal research that follows individuals with and without cognitive impairment to evaluate their clinical, neuropsychological, and biological changes over time
- Perform clinical trials of promising investigational medicines, lifestyle interventions, and other treatment modalities
- Share biological resources such as human brain tissue, serum, DNA, and cerebrospinal fluid from well-characterized clinical subjects with researchers worldwide
- Deliver community outreach with the goal of public education and increased participation in research
- Train and educate the next generation of clinicians and scientists in the fields of brain aging and neurodegeneration
- Stimulate research through individual and collaborative grants and philanthropy
- Sponsor seminars and meetings to promote scholarship and information exchange
- Partner with community-based organizations serving individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias to provide scientific and clinical expertise
About the UCI’s Brilliant Future campaign: Publicly launched on Oct. 4, 2019, the Brilliant Future campaign aims to raise awareness and support for UCI. By engaging 75,000 alumni and garnering $2 billion in philanthropic investment, UCI seeks to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research and more. UCI MIND plays a vital role in the success of the campaign. Learn more by visiting: https://brilliantfuture.uci.edu/uci-mind/
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit news.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.