The Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA will hold its biannual Open Mind Gala on March 22nd at the Beverly Hilton in support of mental health research, education, and clinical care programs at UCLA.

The Open Mind Gala, which is sponsored by both The Friends of the Semel Institute and the UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Directors, will honor three leaders in business, education, and entertainment, for their work in advancing the fields of neuroscience and mental health. This year’s honorees are Demi Lovato, Julia S. Gouw, and Dr. Kelsey Martin. The event will be hosted by actress Lisa Kudrow, and will feature a performance by singer-songwriter Chord Overstreet.

Demi Lovato will receive the Artistic Award of Courage for her inspirational leadership, passion, and advocacy in using her platform to heroically speak out about mental health in order to reduce stigma, raise awareness, and help others. Lovato is a Grammy nominated and multi-platinum singer, songwriter, actress, advocate, philanthropist, and businesswoman. In addition, she’s one of the biggest names on social media, with an engaged social media following of over 120 million. Beyond the stage and the screen, in 2013, her book Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year, became a New York Times best-seller. In April, she will appear as the voice of Smurfette in the upcoming Sony animated film, ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village.’

Julia S. Gouw will accept the Humanitarian Award, in memory of Dr. Lori Altshuler, for her deep commitment to improving the lives of those with mental illness through humanitarian efforts and philanthropy. A native of Indonesia, Gouw served as president and chief operating officer of East West Bancorp from 2009 through 2016. Ranked five times by American Banker magazine as one of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking,” Gouw has also twice received the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Women Making a Difference” award. Among other honors, she has been named one of “L.A.’s Top Women in Finance” by the Los Angeles Business Journal and Philanthropist of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners in Los Angeles. She is also the founding chair of the Executive Women’s Advisory Board for the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women’s Health Center. The late Dr. Lori Altshuler, whom this award is in memory of, was a psychiatrist who advanced the understanding of fundamental mechanisms of mood dysregulation.

Dr. Kelsey Martin will be honored with the Visionary Award for heroutstanding visionary work in the fields of mental health and neuroscience. Dr. Martin, dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, is a neuroscientist who specializes in understanding how the brain stores memories. Martin has championed UCLA’s Depression Grand Challenge, which aims to reduce the health and economic impacts of depression by half by the year 2050. Martin, who was inspired to pursue a medical career by her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer, joined the medical school’s faculty in 1999, and has been a leader in UCLA’s drive to promote cross-disciplinary cooperation among scientists in neuroscience and other brain-related research.

For the latest news and information on the Open Mind Gala and The Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, be sure to follow on social, and join the conversation using #OMGala:

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Twitter: @UCLASemelFriends

Tickets to the biannual Open Mind Gala start at $600 and tables start at $10,000. To purchase tickets for the event, please contact wkelman@mednet.ucla.edu.

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