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UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center

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Faculty and Staff

Michael Irwin, M.D., Director, MARC
Professor, UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Director, Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, UCLA Semel Institute Neuroscience and Human Behavior
Vice Chair Elect, UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine
President-Elect, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research
Associate Editor, Brain, Behavior and Immunity, Journal of the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society
E-mail: mirwin1@ucla.edu 
Website: www.semel.ucla.edu/cousins

Dr. Irwin's principal research interests focus on the mechanisms of neuroimmune interactions and the impact of PNI processes on disease. Dr. Irwin's program of research involves several ongoing collaborative projects including 1) evaluating the effects of depression on immunity with testing of specific immune responses to varicella zoster virus and assessment of herpes zoster risk in older adults; 2) determining the bi-directional interaction between disordered sleep and cytokines with an emphasis on alcohol abusing populations; 3) testing the impact of stress on neuroimmune mechanisms and progression of rheumatoid arthritis; 4) examining the ability of a behavioral intervention (Tai Chi Chih) to improve psychological adaptation, health functioning and augment baseline and vaccine-stimulated varicella zoster specific immunity in aging; and 5) characterizing the effects of sympathetic mechanisms on pro-inflammatory and cellular adhesion molecule expression in cardiovascular disease patients.

Susan L. Smalley, Ph.D., Founder & Founding Director, MARC
Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA Semel Institute
Email: sue@suesmalley.com
Website:  www.suesmalley.com

Dr. Smalley's scientific career as a behavior geneticist included seminal studies on the genetics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity, Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and the cognitive and emotional impact of mindfulness meditation on health and wellbeing.  She authored over 100 scientific publications and lectured globally on the genetics of human behavior and the science of mindfulness. In 2004, she founded MARC at UCLA to investigate and spread self-awareness practices, like mindfulness meditation, to the general public through education and research.  She shares her commitment to equality of all human beings  through global work for women and girls in education, advocacy, and the law.  She serves on the board of Equality Now, an international human rights organization focused on women and girls, and Gordon and Sarah Brown's High Level Panel on Education. In 2010 she co-founded an organization to bring basic literacy to adults in underserved populations using mobile phones.  She writes for online communities at the Huffingtonpost and Psychologytoday on a range of topics including gender equality, mindfulness, kindness, and well-being.  She and co-author, Diana Winston, published Fully Present: The Science, Art and Practice of Mindfulness (2009) to elucidate both the scientific support for mindfulness and how to practice its cultivation.

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Founding Co-Director, MARC
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine
Editor-in-Chief, Norton Professional Series in Interpersonal Neurobiology
Co-Investigator, UCLA Center for Culture, Brain & Development
Email: info@DrDanSiegel.com
Website: www.DrDanSiegel.com

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. is an internationally acclaimed author, award winning educator, and renowned child psychiatrist. He is the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational center devoted to promoting insight, compassion, and empathy in individuals, families, institutions, and communities. Dr. Siegel's books include Mindsight, Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, The Developing Mind, Second Edition, The Mindful Therapist, The Whole-Brain Child and his latest book, Brainstorm.

Marvin G. Belzer, Ph.D, Associate Director, MARC
Email: mbelzer@mednet.ucla.edu

Marvin G. Belzer, PhD, has taught mindfulness meditation for over fifteen years and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.  For many years he taught a semester-long meditation course in the Department of Philosophy at Bowling Green St. University, where he was a Professor of Philosophy. He and Diana Winston were instrumental in developing week-long mindfulness retreats for teens in the mid-1990s.

Diana Winston, Director of Mindfulness Education
Email: diwinston@mednet.ucla.edu

Diana Winston is the Director of Mindfulness Education at MARC and has been teaching mindfulness since 1993. She is the co-author (with Susan Smalley, Ph.D.) of Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness (2010). She has brought mindful awareness into schools, hospitals, and nonprofits, as well as to adolescents, seniors, leaders, teachers, activists, and health professionals in the US and Asia. She is also the author of Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide for Teens (2003) and the CD, "Mindful Meditations." Diana is also a member of the teacher's council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. She spent a year as a Buddhist nun in Burma and has been practicing mindfulness meditation since 1989.

Rani Breslow, Program Coordinator
Email: rbreslow@mednet.ucla.edu

Rani has spent most of her professional career in the creative arts. She is an experienced yoga and meditation practitioner and hopes her enthusiam for MARC's vision will help to expand its community outreach and education programs.

Cleve Wong, Program Representative
Email: ccwong@mednet.ucla.edu

Cleve is the Program Representative at the center. As a UCLA graduate in Sociology and Psychology, he is passionate about creating sustainable personal growth and organizational development with mindfulness and compassion. Cleve supports the center by administering research-based training programs and managing multiple digital and e-learning platforms. He is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese and has facilitated cross-cultural collaboration with key partners in the United States and in China.

Gloria Kamler, MA, Instructor

Gloria Kamler, MA, is a holistic educator and stress relief expert, who has taught mindfulness meditation for the past 20 years. She facilitates all levels of the Mindful Awareness Practices or MAP classes at UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC). In addition to teaching at UCLA, Gloria leads mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) classes and retreats in Los Angeles as well as other U.S. cities and internationally. Over the course of her career, Gloria has trained with mindfulness leaders such as Jon Kabat-Zinn PhD, founder of the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction program (MBSR), teachers at Spirit Rock Meditation Center as well as Shinzen Young, PhD., founder of  Vipassana Support International. Gloria earned her B.S. in education from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in guidance and counseling from Eastern Michigan University.  She has maintained a personal meditation practice for more than three decades and her dedication to living mindfully is an integral part of her life.

For more information on our instructors, please visit»

MARC programs are co-sponsored by the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology.

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