Ian A. Cook, M.D.
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UCLA Depression Research Hotline

Translating Advances in Neuroscience to Improved Health Care
The brain is wider than the sky,
    For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
    With ease, and you beside.

            -- Emily Dickinson, Life CXXVI

The human brain has been described as the most complex object in the known Universe. Despite explosive growth in scientific understanding over the past century, many questions remain

  • What is the brain doing, when everything is fine, when a person is having a peak experience and is 'better than fine', or when there is a clinical problem?
  • How do successful treatments work for people with common brain disorders (e.g., depression, epilepsy, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD)?
  • What if you could choose to change how your brain functions?

Translating developments in neuroscience into better treatments for the millions of people experiencing brain disorders has been my professional passion. Over the past quarter century at UCLA, I've worked at improving diagnostic technologies and biomarkers to match patient to treatment more effectively, and have investigated medications and psychotherapy in clinical trials. More recently I've focused on new neuromodulation treatments -- therapies that use electric or magnetic signals to treat disorders. Now I'm working as well to move trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) out of the research lab and into widespread clinical use in the U.S. and worldwide at NeuroSigma, Inc. This is my professional activities website.

Dr. Cook is a Professor-in-Residence, on leave, in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Department of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and is a Research Scientist at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior (formerly known as the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute) and the UCLA Brain Research Institute. His work has largely focused on the treatment of mental illnesses and disorders of complex human behavior; this site describes his research, clinical, and teaching activities, as well as his application of information technology in health care and education.

In January 2007, Dr. Cook became the Founding Director of the UCLA Unipolar Depression Research and Clinic Program, a component of the Integrative Study Center for Mood Disorders at UCLA's Semel Institute. In May, 2008, he was named the inaugural holder of the Joanne and George Miller and Family Endowed Chair in Depression Research at the UCLA Brain Research Institute.

In March 2009, he treated the first patient in the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment Service at UCLA, bringing that FDA-approved device for treating depression to his program in Los Angeles. (video here). Dr. Cook had served as a member of the rTMS Task Group of the National Network of Depression Centers. In 2013, he became co-Chair of the Clinical Standards Committee for the Clinical TMS Societyi and was elected to the Society's Board of Directors.

He is also one of the inventors of a new experimental neuromodulation treatment, Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation, and is the first physician to administer this investigational treatment to adults with depression or with PTSD. TNS is now also being studied for use in ADHD, and other disorders.

He is an Attending Physician in the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital; over his years at UCLA, he has attended on the Adult Inpatient Service, in the General Outpatient and Mood Disorders Clinics, in the Adult Partial Hospital Program, and on the Geriatric Inpatient ward. Dr. Cook served as a psychiatric consultant to the new UCLA Hand Transplantation Service. At UCLA he is also Co-Director of the Laboratory of Brain, Behavior, and Pharmacology.

Dr. Cook was Chief of Staff of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital (2011-2013) and chaired its Professional Staff Executive Committee. In the Department of Psychiatry, he formerly was Chair of the Curriculum Committee, and continues to be Course Director for Psychiatry Grand Rounds, the PG3 Outpatient Psychopharmacology Course, the Professionalism and Ethics course, and the PG4 Clinical Neuroscience Course. At the David Geffen School of Medicine, he seved as Chair of the Faculty of the School and of the Faculty Executive Committee (2011-2013). For the broader UCLA community, he served as chair of the University Senate's Ad Hoc Committee on Instructional Technology.

From 1994 to 2008, Dr. Cook served on the Steering Committee on Practice Guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association, and was on the Executive Committee from 2002 to 2008. The Practice Guidelines project of the APA develops and disseminates evidence-based guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of a range of psychiatric disorders. In 2013, Dr. Cook joined the Board of Directors of the Clinical TMS Society and became co-chair of the Society's Clinical Standards Committee.

In June, 2014, Dr. Cook began a leave of absence from UCLA to serve as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of NeuroSigma, Inc., the life-sciences company that licensed his patents on trigeminal nerve stimulation from the Regents of the University of California.

Dr. Cook received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and went to medical school at the Yale School of Medicine, before coming to UCLA for his residency at the UCLA/NPI and West LA VAMC psychiatry residency program.

His professional affiliations include being a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the International Society for ECT and Neurostimulation, the Society of Biological Psychiatry, the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, the British Association for Psychopharmacology, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (corresponding member), the Clinical TMS Society, and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

In addition to his work in academia, Dr. Cook has also volunteered to support a number of professional societies and organizations and has served as a consultant to the health care and entertainment industries as well as to the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and the US Department of Defense about suicide prevention. He volunteers to support a number of charitable organizations by serving on advisory boards. He is a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association.

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UCLA office:   Ian A. Cook, M.D.
Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA
760 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1759 USA
tel +1 310-825-0304 :: fax +1 310-825-7642
icook [-AT-] ucla [-DoT-] edu     twitter: moodresearch
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