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UCLA Campus Report: UCLA Launches Centennial Campaign, More

A look at some of the non-sports stories making headlines around campus


An occasional report from around campus that recognizes that UCLA is a school with a world-class reputation for research and innovation and whose people make real impact on the real world:

This week’s news focuses the launch of the new Centennial Campaign for UCLA, how the brain’s response to sexual images is linked to one’s number of sexual partners and new ways to free doctors from paperwork to focus on medicine.

UCLA Headlines

Campus launches The Centennial Campaign for UCLA

Boosting support for students and faculty, increasing endowment are key objectives of $4.2 billion fundraising drive

UCLA has kicked off the $4.2 billion Centennial Campaign for UCLA, the largest fundraising effort ever undertaken by a public university.

Launched as UCLA counts down to 2019, the 100th anniversary of its founding, the campaign celebrates a century of growth and achievement as a top-tier university and seeks to secure the institution's future as a center for higher education where innovative teaching, groundbreaking research and dedicated service advance the public good.

The campaign's slogan, "Let There Be" — inspired by the University of California motto "Let There Be Light" — invites partnerships that enhance UCLA's strengths and forge new paths.

Chancellor Gene Block said The Centennial Campaign for UCLA asks supporters to dream, imagine and invest as UCLA poises to take on the challenges of its second century.

"The history of UCLA is very much the history of Los Angeles," Block said. "As the city and region have developed, so has UCLA. During the past century, our campus has generated discoveries and programs that have helped change our city, state and world for the better. The Centennial Campaign for UCLA will help prepare us for our second century, creating new knowledge and embracing opportunities to transform lives and create a brighter future for all of us."

Brain's response to sexual images linked to number of sexual partners

UCLA researchers say finding could lead to strategies to reduce risky sex

Like most things, sex requires motivation. An attractive face, a pleasant fragrance, perhaps a sexy image. Yet people differ in their response to sex cues, some react strongly; some don't. A greater responsiveness to sexual cues might provide greater motivation for a person to act sexually, and risky sexual behaviors typically occur when a person is motivated by particularly potent, sexual reward cues.

Now researchers at UCLA have, for the first time, directly linked brain responses  and real-world sexual behaviors. Specifically, the researchers found that how strongly the brain responded to viewing such images was related to the number of sex partners a person had in the previous year.

Led by Nicole Prause, a research scientist in the department of psychiatry in the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, the study was published in the current online edition of the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Prause and her colleagues used electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure a particular type of electrical activity in the brains of people as they were viewing a variety of images — some romantic, some pornographic, and some having nothing at all to do with sex.

Understanding how the brain responds to sexual images could help scientists create a brain stimulation intervention to reduce sensitivity to sexual reward and thus reduce some people's proclivity to engage in risky sexual activities.

'Physician partners' free doctors to focus on patients, not paperwork

Primary care physicians already have enough administrative duties on their plates, and the implementation of electronic medical records has only added to their burden. As a result, they have less time to spend with their patients.

But a new UCLA study suggests a simple way to lighten their load: a "physician partner" whose role would be to work on those administrative tasks, such as entering information into patient records, that take up so much of doctors' time. A physician partner allows doctors to focus more of their attention on their patients and leads to greater patient satisfaction with their care, the UCLA researchers say.

The study is published online in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Internal Medicine.