Dr. Robert Lemelson and The Foundation for Psychocultural Research (FPR) have expanded the funding of the FPR-UCLA Center for Culture, Brain, and Development (CBD) to include a new program for Culture, Brain, Development, and Mental Health (CBDMH).
The new program is under the direction of Prof. Douglas Hollan of UCLA and Prof. Steven R. Lopez of USC (Co-Directors).
The primary goal is to establish a strong program in cultural psychiatry, with an emphasis on integrating neuroscience and social science perspectives. The overall program is based around ongoing, sustainable research sites and programs. In particular, the training component is embedded within these ongoing research projects.
❖ The Research Sites:
The purpose of developing research “sites” is to encourage sustained research that is truly interdisciplinary and ecologically valid. These sites or projects will develop over time, as students and faculty become attached to them, and will encourage long-term research partnerships among neuroscientists, brain imagers, developmental psychologists, etc., and clinical researchers and ethnographers knowledgeable in the cultures, social relations, and psychiatric disorders of the target populations or settings.
“Culture, Neuroscience, and the Course of Psychosis”
Research Sites: Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in San Fernando, California and Puebla, Mexico
Co-PI’s: Steven R. Lopez, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, USC
Alex Kopelowicz, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA
William A. Vega, Ph.D., Professor of Social Work, USC
“Culture & Disability: Autism Spectrum Disorder in India & the United States”
Research Sites: UCLA and New Delhi
PI: Thomas S. Weisner, Prof. of Anthropology, Departments of Psychiatry (NPI Semel Institute, Center for Culture and Health) and Anthropology at UCLA.
Co-PI: Dr. Tamara Daley, Senior Research Analyst, Westat, Inc.
❖ The Training Program:
The CBDMH training program is embedded in ongoing research projects. Students gain credit and research experience by apprenticing directly with one of the FPR affiliated research sites.
Under this new program, only students expressing an interest in apprenticing with (or recruited by) one or more of the proposed sites will be admitted, though of course admitted students will be encouraged to develop their own expertise and research interests at and within those sites.
The CBDMH will also administer the FPR postdoctoral fellowships, so that they can directly strengthen and develop the research sites and training program.
The CBDMH seminar and fora will be integrated with a bimonthly, yearlong research seminar in which faculty, students, and post-docs from each research site will present ongoing research and discuss conceptual and methodological issues of direct relevance to this research. The goal is to integrate formal course work and research as seamlessly as possible while at the same time providing opportunities for professional networking and cross-project communication and learning.
❖ Other CBDMH Activities:
Beyond these basic research and training activities, the CBDMH will initiate and institutionalize other activities long proposed by the FPR Board, such as an annual summer conference or workshop to encourage networking among the new CBDMH participants, current and former CBD students and postdocs. All such activities will directly support and publicize the research and interdisciplinary goals of the CBDMH and FPR.
Leanna Hernandez, CBD Administrator
Click here to download text about the CBDMH program