Institute History

Founding Director: Dr. Carl W. Cotman

UCI MIND was established as an Organized Research Unit (ORU) in 1995.  Originally called the Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia (IBAD), it was led by founding Director, Dr. Carl W. Cotman.  In January 2009, Dr. Cotman transitioned the directorship to Dr. Frank LaFerla, who had served as IBAD’s Co-Director during the previous five years. Dr. LaFerla, now Dean of the Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences, is a Chancellor’s Professor and former Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior.

Following this transition, in the Spring of 2009, a proposal was submitted and subsequently approved by Chancellor Michael Drake to change the name of the ORU to the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND), more accurately  reflecting the breadth and depth of the evolving research program and clinical enterprise.  Since Dr. LaFerla’s transition to Dean, Dr. Andrea Tenner has served as Director for UCI MIND.  Dr. Tenner is an esteemed Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and Neurobiology and Behavior in the School of Biological Sciences and Professor of Pathology in the School of Medicine.

UCI MIND has grown into an internationally acclaimed site for excellence in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and is particularly recognized for its research accomplishments in the following areas: amyloid biochemistry, animal models, calcium signaling, epidemiology, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, protein aggregation, and successful aging.  UCI MIND is also widely recognized for conducting clinical trials and clinical research in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, Down syndrome, and the oldest old (The 90+ Study).

UCI MIND is one of 29 Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (ADC) supported by the National Institute on Aging, a branch of the National Institutes of Health.  As an Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC), one of our main functions is to recruit and longitudinally follow a cohort of individuals who have Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), mild Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, or are cognitively normal, and engage these research volunteers in a variety of studies investigating memory and aging. Another major goal of the ADRC is to educate the public about Alzheimer’s disease while integrating the latest clinical and scientific findings.

Finally, UCI MIND is also proud to be one of ten California Alzheimer Disease Centers (CADC) funded by the California Department of Public Health.  As a CADC, UCI MIND provides expert diagnostic services to Orange County.