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Food and Friends at Vibiana
April 12, 2016

The Friends of Semel Institute and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Advisory Board event.

Over 400 guests of UCLA’s Friends of the Semel Institute and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Board of Advisors gathered at the majestic event space, Vibiana, in support of psychiatric research and clinical care at UCLA. The event raised over $400,000 for the Nexus Scholarship Award that supports elite clinician/research neuroscientists in UCLA’s M.D., Ph.D. Psychiatry Residency Research training program.

Lisa Kudrow, the emcee for the festivities, set the tone for the day with her marvelous humor and charismatic charm. Guests enjoyed a delicious “healthy for the mind and brain” lunch prepared by Iron Chef winner and owner of Redbird Restaurant and Vibiana, Neal Fraser. Everyone had the opportunity to bid on fantastic silent auction items, including lunches with some prominent members of the Semel Institute faculty.

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, honorees and recipients of the Artistic Award of Courage for their long-time advocacy to end child abuse, stunned the audience when they revealed that their daughter, who had battled anorexia, was successfully treated at UCLA. Award

presenter, Rick Springfield also spoke of his battle with depression when he introduced his friends, Pat and Neil.

Guests enjoyed a performance of some of the rock duo’s iconic songs by young stars, Ashley Argota and Corbin Bleu, who stepped in at very last minute when the scheduled performer took ill. UCLA’s ScatterTones, a student run a capella group, also entertained and sang a “Hamilton” rap about nutrition, written by Dr. Wendelin Slusser, the Associate Vice Provost for UCLA’s Healthy Campus Initiative.

The Nexus Scholarship Award will insure that UCLA remains at the forefront of discoveries in neuroscience research, and even more importantly, will insure that critically needed advancements in research will be discovered and translated into new clinical treatments to improve the lives of millions of people in this country and their caring families and friends who live with an illness of the mind and brain.

This was the first collaboration between The Friends of Semel and The Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board and the success of this partnership proved that when we join forces around a common goal, the impact for good is simply astounding.

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