Brain, Mind and Wellness Summer Institute

UCLA’s Summer Institute in Brain, Mind and Wellness includes three unique courses from the David Geffen School of Medicine: 
 (1) Mindfulness Practice and Theory (Marvin Belzer);
 (2) Personal Brain Management (Robert Bilder); and
 (3) Integrative East West Medicine for Health and Wellness (Ka-Kit Hui).

Students of the summer institute can earn 12 credits in 6 weeks from June 25 to August 3 2012. While the three courses can be taken separately (4 credits each), there are strong aspects of integration and synergy of content across these courses that will endow students who participate in the entire BMW Summer Institute with a rich experience and training that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Enrollment is limited. Registration is open for UCLA undergraduates, graduates and non-UCLA students now!  To register, and for more information visit:

Questions can be directed to UCLA Summer Programs at 310.825.4101.

The Brain-Mind-Wellness (BMW) Summer Institute brings together experts from UCLA’s world-renowned Center for East-West Medicine and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior (including leaders from both the Mindful Awareness Research Center, and the Tennenbaum Family Center for the Biology of Creativity), to provide this unique integrative program under the aegis of the David Geffen School of Medicine. The BMW Summer Institute aims to engage students in a series of courses and experiences focused on bridging multiple disciplines to understand the links among brain, mind and wellness.  The courses emphasize both the scientific foundations and practical applications of methods that aim to enhance health, well-being, and creativity.  Explicitly trans disciplinary, the curriculum draws from practices that span the globe, and considers ancient traditions, current practices, and projected future developments.

Mindfulness practice is one of the best-validated and practical methods by which the brain can modify its own functioning in a positive way. BMW Summer Institute students will learn not only the practices but also the theoretical background behind mindfulness practices in the Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences 175: Mindfulness Practice and Theory (MPT) course. Then the neuroscientific bases of these exciting practices will be examined further in the course Personal Brain Management (PBM); the PBM course will also survey research on mindfulness and how it effects brain structure, functions and neuroplasticity.  The core mindfulness practices are taught in a secular way in the MPT course, yet these practices derive from ancient methods that were cultivated and refined in Asian religious, philosophical, and medical systems. The core principles of traditional Chinese medicine that are linked to mindfulness practices will be reviewed in the companion course Integrative East/West Medicine (IEWM).

The Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences 182: Personal Brain Management (PBM) curriculum and experiential training exercises consider a range of methods (including mindfulness practices and traditional Chinese medicine practices) for managing brain functions, and systematically review evidence about the brain mechanisms through which these practices are currently thought to exert their effects.  A key element of this is appreciating the links of the brain with other bodily (visceral and autonomic) functions, and the burgeoning empirical research literature identifies clear links to a host of neuroendocrine and psychoneuroimmunolgical processes that may mediate these links, forging a link between traditional Chinese medicine and Western biomedical and neurosciences.

Medicine 180: Integrative East-West Medicine for Health and Wellness (IEWM) is designed to provide an overarching introduction to integrative medicine, of which Mind-Body medicine is an important component.  Students will learn the theoretical underpinnings, scientific studies, and clinical applications of integrative medicine, particularly the diagnostic and therapeutic modalities originated from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Special emphasis will be placed on the role of integrative East-West medicine in prevention and health cultivation; herbs and nutritional supplements; maintaining a healthy immune system and reducing inflammation and stress; pain management using acupuncture, acupressure, massage and other self-help techniques.  Hands-on practice and clinical site visits will be incorporated.

The three courses that make up this Summer Institute, can be taken collectively or separately. For each course, students will be able to earn 4 quarter units of credit. Students can earn up 12 quarter units of UC credit for entire Summer Institute.

For Non-UCLA Students:

  1. March 1, 2012 registration is open to visiting students for summer 2012.
  2. Students will view the Schedule of Classes for course availability during the summer
  3. Students will visit the Summer Sessions website to begin the registration process at
  4. With payment of a non-refundable deposit ($150.00), students will receive a nine-digit UCLA University Identification Number (UID) via e-mail
  5. Students will use the UID for access to University Records System Access (URSA), UCLA’s online records system at
  6. Students will enroll in the course(s) via URSA
  7. Students can confirm enrollment in the course(s) via URSA
  8. Students will need to make full payment by the deadlines available to avoid being dropped for nonpayment.

For UCLA Students:

  1. February 1, 2012 registration is open only to UCLA students for summer 2012.
  2. Students will view the Schedule of Classes for course availability during the summer
  3. Students will go directly to University Records System Access (URSA), UCLA’s online records system at
  4. Students will enroll in the course(s) via URSA
  5. Students can confirm enrollment in the course(s) via URSA
  6. Students will need to make full payment by the deadlines available at to avoid being dropped for nonpayment.

This entry was posted in Center for East-West Medicine, Education, Mindful Awareness Research Center.
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