The Team

Emeran A. Mayer, MD

Emeran A. Mayer, MD

Founder

Emeran Mayer was born in a small town in Bavaria where his family ran a Confectionery business since 1873. After an agonizing decision against taking over the family business, he finished Medical School at the Ludwig Maximilian’s University in Munich, completed his residency training at the Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, Canada before moving to Los Angeles. There he worked under the late John H. Walsh to study the role of gut brain interactions and with James Meyer on the role of stomach emptying at the prestigious Center for Ulcer Research and Education and completed his specialty training in Gastroenterology at UCLA. Mayer has had a passion for adventures, moutaineering and documentary film making throughout his life starting in high school. During his college years, he participated in several professional film expeditions, including stays with the Yanomamis in Venezuela, and the Asmat and Dani people in Irian Jaya, Indonesia. He climbed some of the highest mountains in the US (Denali), South America (Aconcagua in Argentina, Cimborazzo in Ecuador, Pico de Orizaba in Mexico), and Mont Blanc in Europe. In 2015, he was an associated producer in a documentary film about a new ecological view of health and disease, In Search of Balance. Throughout his career – both in his research and clinical practice, Mayer has pursued a Buddhist philosophy of interconnectedness, balance and compassion. He has explored ancient healing practices of primal people around the world, of Native Americans and those in the Traditional Chinese and Aryuvedic tradition and has always strived to integrate the wisdom of these traditions with the discoveries of modern science.

Research

Mayer is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Executive Director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, and Co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center at UCLA. He is a world renowned gastroenterologist and neuroscientist with 35 years of experience in the study of clinical and neurobiological aspects of how the digestive system and the nervous system interact in health and disease and has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Mentor Award from the American Gastroenterological Association and the Ismar Boas medal from the German Society for Gastroenterology and Metabolic Disease. Some of the questions he has addressed in his research include:
  • What are the brain mechanisms that regulate the subjective sensitivity to visceral, somatic, auditory, gustatory and chemical stimuli?
  • How does chronic intestinal inflammation alter the structure and function of the brain, in particular sensory and emotion regulating regions?
  • How do adverse events experienced early in life alter the brain?
  • How does the male and female brain differ in chronic pain?
  • How do mind-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy affect the brain?
His current research focus on the role of the gut microbiota brain interactions has expanded to emotion regulation, chronic visceral pain, food addiction and obesity, cognitive decline and autism spectrum disorders. His research has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has published over 353 peer reviewed scientific articles, including 100 chapters and reviews, co-edited four books, and organized several interdisciplinary symposia in the area of mind body interactions and chronic visceral pain. He has published the Mind Gut Connection book in 2016 which became a bestseller in Gastroenterology and which has been translated into14 languages. He has recently signed a contract for a second book, which links the health of the soil and plant microbiome to gut and brain health. Complete List of Publications scholar.google.com/mayerea G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience at UCLA UCLA Microbiome Center

E. Dylan Mayer

E. Dylan Mayer

Video Production, Social Media Coordinator, Content Developer

I am a graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, with a major in Neuroscience and a minor in Business. I am fascinated by the connections between the health of the planet, the soil, the food that we eat, and our own health. I am excited to be part of a movement towards greater awareness of these connections leading to a more sustainable world.

Juliette Frank

Juliette Frank

Content Developer

I am currently a UCLA student studying Public Affairs with a minor in Food Studies. My interests include the interrelation between food systems, digestive health, and the environmental impacts of food production. I am also interested in diet and gut health and its relationship to overall well being including brain function, weight, chronic diseases, and emotional regulation.

Jill Horn

Jill Horn

Content Developer

I am an international student from Switzerland on a pre-med track, currently majoring in Neuroscience at UCLA. I am deeply interested in the impacts of nutrition and lifestyle factors such as sleep and exercise on both mental and physical health. I am eager to always learn more about the effect that daily habits can have on our health, especially regarding the interconnectedness of body and mind. My core interests include circadian rhythms, the brain gut microbiome connection, mindfulness, meditation, nutrition, exercise, and social health.

Cathy Liu

Cathy Liu

Web Developer
Elisabetta Ciardullo

Elisabetta Ciardullo

Recipe Contributor

Elisabetta Ciardullo is the founder of Think Italian! Events. As Personal Chef she is an ambassador of the Italian cuisine and culture, bringing it into the private homes of Americans, as well as to many corporate clients in Los Angeles. Enthusiastic about Italian style and culinary traditions, she has realized her dream of transforming her passion into a successful career. With a Degree in Law from the University of Rome and a background as interpreter, translator and university teacher of the Italian language, she has found her ideal city in Los Angeles, after having resided several years in Rome, Brussels, Milan, Tel Aviv, and Washington DC. With her husband Geert they have two beautiful multicultural daughters. Like us on Facebook! Among many prestigious corporate clients: FERRARI of Beverly Hills - Showroom FERRARI of Los Angeles - Showroom FREY WILLE JEWELERY on Rodeo Drive VHERNIER JEWELERY of Beverly Hills BULTHAUP Showroom – Santa Monica SONY PLAY STATION PACIFIC WESTERN BANK MERRIL LYNCH of Pasadena CASTLE ROCK WINERY PIRELLI P ZERO LAMBORGHINI La Jolla BENTLEY Beverly Hills BEATRICE COINTREAU WINERY - Malibu HENNESSY UCLA CORNELL UNIVERSITY – Los Angeles Alumni Chapter BABSON COLLEGE – Los Angeles Alumni Chapter ETC THEATRE FOUNDATION DAM CANCER FOUNDATION MICUCCI SHOWROOM – Beverly Hills MINOTTI SHOWROOM – Beverly Hills LACO – Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra HONDA CERRITOS – HONDA CLARITY HONDA TORRANCE – HONDA CLARITY CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE KINGDOM OF BELGIUM CONSULATE GENERAL of AUSTRIA CONSULATE GENERAL of CHILE PIONEER FILM INSTITUTE ELMA – European Film Institute ITALIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE of Los Angeles ITALIAN TRADE COMMISSION of Los Angeles ITALIAN CONSULATE GENERAL of Los Angeles IACCW – Italian American Chamber of Commerce West LIPSTICK SISTERS SOCIETY GENUINE PEARLS SOCIETY PENCILS of PROMISE BERDAKIN Family Foundation PROJECT AVANTI – Moving kids cancer research forward ENIT of Los Angeles FRENCH ALLIANCE – French Cultural Institute KABBAZ THEATRE – Los Angeles 137 VENTURES APEX EVENTS OASIS CONSULTING KATOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN ABSOLUTE EXHIBITS MEDICI 1492 LLC ITALIAN AMERICAN MUSEUM of LOS ANGELES McKINSEY & Co. Los Angeles ALUMNI ASSOCIATION AMICI LOVANIENSES FIT BELGIUM DELAGE LAMBORGHINI Newport Beach O’GARA COACH Beverly Hills Mc LAREN Beverly HIlls PIRELLI ZERO KU LEUVEN ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ITALIAN AMERICAN MUSEUM OF Los Angeles McKINSEY & Co. CONSUL GENERAL OF AUSTRIA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION AMICI LOVANIENSES FIT BELGIUM DELAGE PASADENA PRIVATE WEALTH BLANKROME BIOSMILE DENTAL CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC IN LOS ANGELES

Marta Díaz Megías

Marta Díaz Megías

Recipe Contributor

Marta Díaz Megías was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. She is a Graduate in Modern Languages as well as an official Translator/Interpreter from the Catholic University of Paris. While living in different countries, her exposure to different dishes and styles of cooking, combined to teach her an appreciation of the cultural traditions of many local dishes. Marta has always had a personal passion for cooking and started her own catering company in Madrid, and taught cooking courses for several years as well. Married and a mother of four children, Marta now lives in Southern California and loves promoting Spanish cuisine.

Jamisen Cook

Jamisen Cook

Guest Contributor

Jamisen Cook is a writer with a specific interest in health. She holds a degree in Communications and a minor in English from the University of California Los Angeles and is in the process of completing her master’s of Science Writing at Johns Hopkins University. Jamisen enjoys researching new subjects and interviewing experts with the hope of sharing their knowledge with the world. She spends her spare moments reading, traveling, and continuing a lifelong process of learning how to live up to her namesake in the kitchen.

Guest Contributors

Suzanne Smith, MSN, NP, CMT-P

Suzanne Smith, MSN, NP, CMT-P

Guest Contributor

Suzanne is a nurse practitioner in the UCLA G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience where she coordinates research studies on the brain-gut-microbiome axis. In addition, she provides patient care in the UCLA Melvin and Bren Simon Digestive Diseases Center through the Integrative Digestive Health and Wellness Program teaching mind-body based skills and promoting healthy living for gastrointestinal conditions. She is a certified mindfulness teacher and also teaches mindfulness for research studies. Suzanne’s background in patient care, research and mindfulness drives her passion to empower patients, to move beyond coping and to thrive.

Grant Bartlett, PhD

Grant Bartlett, PhD

Guest Contributor

Grant A. Bartlett is an Executive in Residence at WaterNext, a Western Canada water business accelerator; a member of the Advisory Board of Epoch Energy Development Inc., a geothermal energy company; a member of the Advisory Board of CruxOCM, an advanced physics based predictive control company; and a member of the Advisory Board of Wildhorse Capital, a Venture Capital Company. Dr. Bartlett is the past Managing Director, LYFE Ventures Inc.; the Past President & CEO of TerraMer Inc., a Clean Water, Clean Sand, and Clean Oil Technology Company; Chairman, Proven Technologies, LLC; President, Stampede Oil Sands; and former Managing Director of Maken Capital Corp.; Principal of MCC Energy Fund L.P.; President, IDAZ Inc. President, Layk Capital Corp.; President, LYFE Ventures Inc.; and President & CEO, KYAL Energy Inc. Dr. Bartlett is a former owner of the Calgary Flames Hockey Club. He was the founder, President, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Archer Resources Ltd. (the top IPO of 1993) a natural gas and oil company listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange prior to its acquisition by Dominion Energy, Inc. of Virginia, USA, in April 1998. Dr. Bartlett has more than 40 years of diversified national and international experience and stewardship in industry, government, and academia; all associated with petroleum producing basins and the oil and gas industry worldwide. He has mapped the Rocky Mountains and explored the Ocean depths. He was originally employed by the Federal Government of Canada in the Department of Energy, Mines, and Resources and the Marine Sciences Branch, where he managed a scientific research team that evaluated modern and ancient sedimentary environments worldwide. From 1970 to 1980, Dr. Bartlett was a Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences, Queen’s University, where he lectured and conducted research in Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Environmental Geology, and Oceanography. During this period, he consulted extensively to national and international Senior Integrated Energy Companies, the Federal Government of Canada, and Provincial Governments in Atlantic Canada. He has held various Senior Executive positions with Cities Service Co., Canterra Energy Ltd., Jarrett Resources Ltd. and Archer Resources Ltd. from 1980 to 1998, and has financed and served on the Board of Directors of several successful Private Energy companies such as Addison Energy Inc., Exodus Energy Ltd., Ledge Resources Limited, Warwick Energy Ltd., Sudoxe Resources Ltd., Magellan Energy Ltd., Scollard Energy Inc., and Darian Resources Ltd. during the 1998 – 2016 period. Dr Bartlett served as “Entrepreneur in Residence” in the School of Business, Queen’s University during the 2007 – 2008 academic term. He was formerly a Presenter, Judge and Patron of the internationally acclaimed Queen’s Entrepreneurial Competition (QEC) held annually in the School of Business, Queen’s University. Dr. Bartlett graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree (Geology) from Mount Allison University, and received a Master of Science Degree (Geology) from Carleton University and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (with Distinction) in Sedimentology and Marine Science from New York University. He is a member of several Professional Scientific and Technical Associations. Dr. Bartlett has been active in community affairs throughout his career and has held several key Board and Committee positions in education, politics, health and athletics. He was the Chairman of the 50th Oilmen’s Golf Classic (The Risk Takers) for the year 2000 and is a founding member of the Nor’easter Golf Classic (2001), organized for the promotion of the Petroleum Industry in Atlantic Canada. An avid golfer, Dr. Bartlett has played the game globally. He has played with former British and U.S. dignitaries, Canadian politicians, Business leaders, and International athletes. Other than playing globally on renowned International courses, the highlight of his golfing career has been a round with Tiger Woods, when he was ranked#1 in the World, on Ron Joyce’s Private Course at Fox Harb’r, Nova Scotia. Ron Joyce, a long-time Friend was the Founder of Tim Horton’s of Canadian Fame Dr. Bartlett continues to lecture internationally on “Creativity and Innovation” and most recently has traveled extensively to present “Lessons for Living”, on the Life lessons he has learned to diversified business, charity and academic audiences. He also spends several hours each week teaching and learning with a varied group of Professional Millennial Mentees. Among other not for profit organizations, Dr. Bartlett served on the National Advisory Council for the Mazankowski Heart Institute, the Board of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Public Art Committee of the Calgary Stampede, and is a former Patron of The Alberta Ballet and the Alberta College of Art and Design. He is listed among “The New Titans” in Peter C. Newman’s book entitled “Titans – How The New Canadian Establishment Seized Power” and is recognized as an ”Oilpatch Warrior” in Gordon Pitts recent book entitled “The Codfathers – Lessons from the Atlantic Business Elite.”

Nicole Winhoffer

Nicole Winhoffer

Guest Contributor

Nicole Winhoffer is a world-renowned fitness artist, First Brand Ambassador for Adidas x Stella McCartney, and creator of her own workout brand, The NW Method. Winhoffer’s unique approach to fitness and magnetic energy has garnered her an impressive roster of clients including Madonna, Kate Hudson, Stella McCartney, and Molly Sims. Winhoffer mixes her love for music, dance, sports science and eastern practices for a total body and mind workout. NW Method’s vision is to inspire a world of total well-being that enhances the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual life of every body, anywhere, anytime. Website: www.nicolewinhoffer.com

Amanda Gilbert

Amanda Gilbert

Guest Contributor

Amanda is a meditation teacher, speaker, lecturer of mindfulness at the University of Southern California and author. She has been a meditator for over seventeen years and now leads meditation for top companies like NBC, Paramount Pictures, W Hotels, Merrill Lynch, Macy’s, and YouTube. Before dedicating herself to teaching full-time, Amanda was the center director for the Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Center at the University of California, San Francisco, a world-renowned health psychology laboratory conducting scientific research and publishing investigations on the biological and psychological effects of mindfulness, meditation, and stress resilience.

Goli Gabbay

Goli Gabbay

Guest Contributor

Goli has been at the forefront of combining the healing benefits of yoga, mindfulness, meditation, yoga nidra and plant-based nutrition with neuroscience — in a groundbreaking movement for mental health. With over 22-years teaching combined with clinical experience in mental health and wellness, Goli has earned the trust of: universities, corporations, Los Angeles’ prominent psychological recovery centers, MD's, celebrities, and royalty. She is dedicated to uplifting humanity from the stresses of the fast-paced world by teaching people how to attain the deepest experience of peace, well-being and connection to our highest selves.

Paul Bell

Paul Bell

Guest Contributor

Paul Bell lives a life of both physical and mental adventures. He is passionate about education and has enjoyed teaching and challenging children in the outdoors, and helping large project and company teams raise their performance levels. He currently lives and adventures in the Canadian Rockies, sails the Pacific coast and finds life very exciting.

Ariel Suazo-Maler

Ariel Suazo-Maler

Guest Contributor

Ariel Suazo-Maler holds a master’s in nutrition from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s in cognitive neuroscience from Wellesley College. With years spent studying the genetic and neuroanatomical underpinnings of schizophrenia, the neurophysiology of taste perception, and the role of nutrition in depression and anxiety, Ariel founded elated Inc. (www.getelated.com) as an accessible way of making mental health maintenance friendly, interactive, and intuitive.

Selin Bilgin

Selin Bilgin

Guest Contributor

Selin Bilgin, B.A, C.H.N, is a speaker, podcast host, author, and the founder of Luscious Living: Where Personal Growth Meets Wellness. She believes that the more people we have on the planet that feel truly confident, healthy, and radiant from the inside out, the better world we will live in. Selin’s work intricately connects the mind (thoughts and emotions) and the body (nutrition and lifestyle), for lasting and sustainable wellness. She consults women primarily around hormone balance and weight release, and delivers workshops to companies such as Lindt, RBC, CIBC, and more, about wellness, productivity, and healthy habits. Her book, The Painless Period Guide, teaches women on how to improve PMS symptoms through lifestyle and nutrition, as well as learning to live in tune with our four feminine cycles. You can also find Selin snowshoeing out in the mountains, improv acting, drumming, or curled up on the couch with a book. Connect with Selin at www.selinbilgin.com, on the Luscious Living Podcast, or on Instagram.

Jeffrey Lackner, PsyD

Jeffrey Lackner, PsyD

Guest Contributor

Dr Jeffrey Lackner received his PsyD in 1992 from Rutgers University after graduate degrees from the London School of Economics and the College of William and Mary. He received his B.A. from Emory University. He is currently Professor of Medicine at the Jacobs School of Medicine of the University at Buffalo where he is Chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine. He is a pioneer in the development and testing of cognitive behavioral therapy for painful medical disorders including IBS. Dr Lackner’s award-winning research has been funded by major grants from the National Institutes of Health beginning in 1999. He has published extensively in international medical and behavioral science journals. He is an active clinician in the clinical arm of the division’s Behavioral Medicine Clinic and teaches principles of behavioral science to medical students, fellows, and undergraduates.

Anthony Lembo, MD

Anthony Lembo, MD

Guest Contributor

Anthony J. Lembo, MD, is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He also serves as the Director of the GI Motility Laboratory at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Division of Gastroenterology in Boston, MA. Dr. Lembo earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics at Amherst College in Amherst, MA and then received his MD from Tufts Medical School in Boston, MA. He subsequently completed his internal medicine internship/residency as well as gastroenterology fellowship at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Lembo subsequently became a Clinical Instructor of Medicine at UCLA in 1996 and served as the co-Director of the Functional Bowel Disorder (FBD) and Gastrointestinal (GI) Motility Center at UCLA Medical Center. While at UCLA he conducted research in FBDs. In 1997 he joined the faculty at BIDMC in Boston MA. Dr. Lembo is currently the Director of the GI Motility and Functional Bowel Disorder Center at the BIDMC and Co-Director of the GI Motility Laboratory. He is an Associate Editor of Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Digestive Diseases and Science. His research has focused on the developed of novel treatments for FBDs including chronic idiopathic constipation. Dr. Lembo’s research interest has also explored the role of placebo and methods of enhancing the placebo response.

Orsha Magyar

Orsha Magyar

Guest Contributor

Orsha Magyar is a neuroscientist certified in holistic nutrition who believes in going beyond the Band-Aid for brain and mental health. As Founder and CEO of NeuroTrition Inc., she and her team of neuroscientists, nutritionists and chefs bring neuroscience and nutrition to the table. Together. In the name of better brain and mental health for everyone.

Sarah Abedi, MD

Sarah Abedi, MD

Guest Contributor

Sarah Abedi MD is an emergency medicine doctor practicing in Southern California. She completed her medical school at UC Irvine and finished her emergency medicine residency at UCLA’s county hospital, Harbor UCLA. Her medical interests lie in the science of disease prevention which motivated her to create The Hidden Body Podcast.

Ana Schilke

Ana Schilke

Guest Contributor

Ana Schilke is a neuroscience student at the University of California, Davis. Born and raised in Spain, she has always valued the importance of food and nutrition and its effects on the human body and mind, something that has driven her to pursue a career in medicine.

Markham Heid

Markham Heid

Guest Contributor

Markham Heid is a freelance health writer. His work has appeared in TIME magazine, The New York Times, and elsewhere. He’s a regular contributor at Elemental, a Medium publication, where an alternative version of this story first appeared.

Colleen Cutcliffe, PhD

Colleen Cutcliffe, PhD

Guest Contributor

Colleen Cutcliffe is the CEO and Co-Founder of Pendulum Therapeutics. Pendulum is a startup company based in San Francisco that uses biological and computational insights into the microbiome to develop interventions for a variety of health and disease conditions. Colleen currently resides in Menlo Park, CA with her husband, 2 daughters, 2 dogs, and 2 birds and 2 chinchillas...all contributing to a diverse microbiome!

Emily Noronha

Emily Noronha

Guest Contributor

Emily Noronha is a student at UCLA studying Human Biology & Society and Food Studies. She's interested in gut health, nutrition, and understanding where our food comes from. In her free time, you can find Emily doing outdoor activities like hiking or surfing, or trying new creations in the kitchen.

Ron Chiarello, PhD

Ron Chiarello, PhD

Guest Contributor

Ron Chiarello, Ph.D., is Founder and CEO of Alveo Technologies. Dr. Chiarello earned his Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of California Santa Barbara and his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Physics from Northeastern University. Dr. Chiarello has spent more than a decade in research and development working with institutions like Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Chicago, and Stanford University, where he functioned as a program director for a number of years. A NATO fellow, he has published more than 50 technical articles and has been a recipient of the Department of Energy Award for Excellence in Research and the University of Chicago’s Pace Setter Award. Reach him at ronc@alveotechnologies.com.

Sharon Brock

Sharon Brock

Guest Contributor

Sharon Brock is a breast cancer survivor and a certified Mindfulness Facilitator trained at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. She is also a health-and-wellness journalist with a master’s degree from Columbia University. Sharon teaches mindfulness courses online, at corporations and studios, and with private clients as a mindfulness coach. Sharon lives in Los Angeles. IG/FB @sharonbrockmindfulness www.sharonbrockmindfulness.com

Luisa Scott, PhD

Luisa Scott, PhD

Guest Contributor

Luisa Scott, PhD is a neuroscientist and science communicator who is passionate about innovative solutions that help people with chronic conditions achieve greater well-being. As a Medical Engagement Manager at Mahana Therapeutics, Luisa Scott shares clinical and scientific information about prescription digital therapeutics with the healthcare community and the patients they serve.


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