Three decades of success

Message from the Director

The CNLM at UC Irvine has devoted the last thirty-five years to a singular scientific pursuit - the quest to understand how the brain can acquire, store, and retrieve memories. Now, more than three decades after the CNLM’s inception, we know more about the brain and the fundamental processes underlying learning and memory than we ever thought possible. But behind each problem tackled lay several more awaiting solutions to be discovered. Behind each mystery elucidated were even more compelling mysteries - mysteries unified by fundamentally asking what it is that makes us... human. While our fervor for discovery is unwavering and our dedication to shedding light on the most fundamental questions about learning and memory is as steadfast as ever, our mission and vision have expanded over the past few years. Our successes have paved the way to solving real-world problems and improving human life.

How can we build better technology inspired by what we understand about the brain? How can we create intelligent machines and human-computer interfaces that improve the world? How can we optimize learning strategies in the classroom and other educational settings? How can we improve memory when it fails? How can we protect our aging brains from memory loss and stave off Alzheimer’s and other dementias? How can we develop effective therapeutics for brain diseases?

More than thirty-five years of excellence in research on learning and memory has positioned UCI’s CNLM as one of the world’s most renowned institutes for the study of the brain across all levels. It is only fitting that our mission and vision evolve to tackle humanity’s most significant challenges and strive to improve lives locally, regionally, and worldwide.

To echo a common sentiment at all of UCI in the wake of celebrating our 50th anniversary, we are proud of our bright past, and we look forward to forging our brilliant future. We invite you to embark on this new chapter with us.

Michael A. Yassa, Ph.D.
Director, Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory