UCI Forward

UCI Forward is our commitment to the well-being of our community as we ramp up campus operations. Working together, each of us doing our part, we can move UCI Forward.

July 13 - Study promises Alzheimer’s treatment breakthrough; initiative aims to revolutionize healthcare

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Prickly pears in a field at the UCI Ecological Preserve.

Prickly pears in a field of gold; UCI Ecological Preserve. Photo by Ian Parker


UCI-led study makes breakthrough in early detection of Alzheimer’s disease 

UCI scientists are part of a team of researchers who have discovered that brain inflammation may link Alzheimer’s disease risk with sleep disturbance, which may aid early detection and prevention efforts by identifying novel treatment targets at preclinical stages. Along with sleep disturbance and disrupted brain waves, brain inflammation has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but the interactions among them have not been investigated until now. The study’s lead author is Dr. Bryce Mander, UCI assistant professor of psychiatry & human behavior. Along with co-authors at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Wake Forest University, he published the findings online today in the journal Sleep.

Leslie Thompson

Leslie Thompson. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI

Institute for Precision Health aims to revolutionize healthcare

Leslie Thompson, a Donald Bren and Chancellor’s Professor in psychiatry & human behavior and neurobiology & behavior, is the co-director of UCI’s Institute for Precision Health, which launched in February. The campuswide, interdisciplinary endeavor merges UCI’s health sciences, engineering, machine learning, artificial intelligence, clinical genomics and data science capabilities with the goal of delivering the most effective health and wellness strategy for each individual. Under Thompson’s co-direction, IPH also pushes for increased understanding of the mechanisms for neurodegenerative and other diseases which currently have no treatments available.


Omicron subvariant infections continue steep rise in California

Coronavirus-related infection and hospital numbers continue to spike statewide thanks to the highly contagious BA.5 subvariant of omicron, which as we reported yesterday is now spreading across the country. Although California’s Department of Public Health reported last week an 11% decline in infections from one week earlier, that was because of a drop in testing volume, with residents tending toward at-home rapid tests whose results usually go unreported to the state, as well as the July 4 holiday. As of now, the state’s test positivity rate has ascended to 16.1%, approaching the winter 2020 peak of 17.1%.

White House urges older Americans to get boosters against BA.5

With the omicron BA.5 subvariant quickly spreading nationwide, the White House yesterday urged all citizens over age 50 to get vaccination boosters to protect against the virus. The White House added that receiving a shot now would not necessarily preclude the effectiveness of getting another injection this fall. According to the CDC, BA.5 is estimated to account for 65% of the coronavirus variants circulating in the United States as of last week.


Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Orange County Register and The Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.

Gen Z students want better mental health care access on campus

Los Angeles Times, July 13
Cited: Frances Diaz, director of the Counseling Center

Self-powered smartwatch replaces battery with ‘wonder material’

The Independent, July 13
Cited: Rahim Esfandyar-Pour, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science

Gene Therapy for Hearing Loss on the Horizon

The Hearing Journal, July 13
Cited: Fan-Gang Zeng, director of the Center of Hearing Research


Peman Montazemi, EMBA ’22

Ascending to the C-suite

There’s a difference between being a maverick and a leader. And in corporate culture, there’s a temptation to be a maverick, or rockstar, hoping to impress the boss. Over his long career as a biomedical engineer specializing in R&D and the commercialization of medical devices and in-vitro diagnostic instruments, Peman Montazemi, EMBA ’22, says he learned what it takes to become a valuable changemaker within a company—by knowing the difference between a rockstar and a true leader.

#UCIconnected spotlights student, alumni, faculty and staff photos, essays, shoutouts, hobbies, artwork, unusual office decorations, activities and more. Send submissions via email or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.


6 new campus cases

On Tuesday, UCI recorded six new cases of COVID-19: four students and two employees. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.

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