WOW2023 logo

WOW2023, The Mental Health Summit, is hosted by UCLA’s Friends of the Semel Institute and the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA Board of Advisors. The WOW event has sold out every year and in 2021 the virtual event was viewed worldwide, including in the United Kingdom, Spain, and France. Designed to nurture the body, mind, and spirit, while supporting mental health research, education, and patient care programs at UCLA, WOW has been an overwhelming success.

The highly anticipated WOW2023 summit, honoring Andrea and Peter Roth and hosted by beloved actress and Resnick Hospital Board member Lisa Kudrow, is scheduled for Thursday, May 4, 2023 at UCLA’s iconic Royce Hall. The Mental Health Summit will feature very special guest Oprah Winfrey in inspirational conversations with thought leaders at the intersection of science, health, and culture.

Event Chairs

Cece Feiler, MFT* | Nancy Glaser, MD* | Terry Hyman Hamermesh* | Stephanie Lushing

Board Chairs

Vicky Goodman*

Friends of the Semel Institute

Laurie Gordon

Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital

*WOW Founding Chairs


The UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital (NPI) was founded in 1961 as a research, education, and treatment center with the mission to serve those who suffer chronic psychiatric, neurological disease and behavioral disorders. Initially supported entirely by state funds, NPI was transferred to the University and became part of UCLA Health Sciences in 1973.

In 2004 with the endowment of the Institute and Hospital, the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior was established and the Neuropsychiatric Hospital was renamed the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital. The Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior is under the interim directorship of Helena Hansen, MD, PhD, Interim Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences.


The Friends of the Semel Institute supports the Semel Institute by educating the public on state-of-the-art treatments for illnesses of the mind and brain in order to help reduce their stigma. The Friends hosts the Open Mind series, a free public service lecture series that pairs the best and brightest creative minds in the cultural landscape with preeminent UCLA scientists to discuss mental health topics. Noted speakers have included: astronaut Buzz Aldrin; Senator George McGovern; singer/songwriter Judy Collins; Nobel Prize winner, Eric Kandel; Dr. Temple Grandin; National Book Critics Circle Award winner, Andrew Solomon; and Pulitzer Prize winning authors, Ron Suskind and Dr. Jared Diamond.

The Friends also support the next generation of scientists through The Friends Scholar Program that provides grants to outstanding young researchers working to develop innovative treatments that lead to advances in treatments for brain disorders. In 2021, The Friends launched the Open Mind Film Festival for high school students to create short films that share their unique perspective on mental health. By engaging a younger audience, The Friends seeks to reduce the stigma of mental illness in this vulnerable population. 

Proceeds from WOW have helped fund starter grants for the Friends Research Scholar Program, focused primarily on research funding for early career investigators in neuroscience and human behavior within the Semel Institute. Funds have also contributed to the establishment of the Friends of the Semel Institute Endowed Term Chair, the inaugural holder of which is Shulamite Green, PhD. 

Dr. Michael Irwin serves as the Faculty Advisor to The Friends. Dr. April Thames serves as Associate Faculty Advisor.

Friends of the Semel Institute Board Members

Joannie Burstein

Margot Calabrese

Barbara Eskowitz

Teri Fournier

Adrienne J. Gary

Nancy Glaser, MD

Carol Halperin

Jaega Haralambus, Esq.

Mary Ridings Herman

Felica Jones

Kai Lauren Kolodziejski

Nancy Klopper

Susan Lerner

Stephanie Lushing

Robyn Goodman Mandelberg, PhD

AJ Mendez

Jun Oh, Esq.

Judy Richman

Mia Silverman

Shelley Singer

Mary Burgoyne Snyder

Joni Steier

Meera Varma

Friends of the Semel Institute Advisory Board

Kary Antholis

Jim Berk

Joe Calabrese

Terri Cheney

Nanci Lynn Christopher

Sam Cullman

Paul Dalio

Alex Gansa

Donald S. Goodman

Howard Gordon

Julia Gouw

Rabbi Sherre Hirsch

Nancy Klopper, Chair

Gail Kamer Lieberfarb

Debra Matsumoto

Robert M. McCann, PhD

Terry Mosqueda

Ambassador Nancy Rubin

Elyn Saks, JD, PhD

Susan Solomon

Ross Szabo


The RNPH Board of Advisors brings together prominent members of the Los Angeles Community in support of the increasingly rare inpatient psychiatric hospital. The Board established the Community Conversations series, educational symposia that provide a forum for experts to provide information on important mental health topics such as common brain disorders. Operating under the TEDxUCLA license, the Board has hosted two TEDx salon events, Empowered Aging in October 2017 and Tackling Depression in January 2019.

In 2022, the Board funded the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors Term Chair in Hospital Psychiatry, the inaugural holder of which is Artha Gillis, MD, PhD. In addition, the Board funded a psychiatrist for the UCLA Homeless Healthcare Collaborative.

Dr. Erick Cheung is Interim Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Helena Hansen is Interim Physician-in-Chief of the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA. Dr. Thomas Strouse serves as Faculty Advisor to the UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors.

Board of Advisors

Robin Berman, MD

Mary Blodgett

Carlton Calvin

Alexandra Dwek

Cece Feiler, MFT

Nancy Glaser, MD,

Founding Chair

Vicky Goodman

Jenna Grosfeld

Terry Hyman Hamermesh

Dana Katz

Todd Katz

Lisa Kudrow

Huey Merchant, MD

David Lebowitz

Irwin Lehrhoff, PhD

Dana Pachulski

Sophia Penske

Paul Puri, MD

William J. Resnick, MD

Andrea Roth

Metta Sandiford-Artest

Kelly Styne