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 Dr. Carl W. Cotman,  founding director.  In January 2009, Dr. Cotman transitioned the directorship to Dr. Frank LaFerla, who had served as the Institute’s co-director during the previous 5 years. Dr. LaFerla is a Chancellor’s Professor and Chair of Neurobiology and Behavior in the School of Biological Sciences.

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 its inception, 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.  The Institute is also widely recognized for clinical research in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, Down syndrome, and the oldest old (The 90+ Study), as well as for conducting clinical trials.

The Institute is one of 29 Alzheimer’s disease centers (ADC) supported by the National Institute for 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, the Institute is also proud to be one of 10 California Alzheimer Disease Clinical Centers (CADC) funded by the California Department of Public Health.  Through its CADC, UCI MIND provide expert diagnostic services to Orange County.