Ian A. Cook, M.D.
Translating Advances in Neuroscience to Improved Health Care
Brief Professional Biography
Dr. Cook is a Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and in the Department of Bioengineering at 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 pathophysiology and treatment of neuropsychiatric conditions and disorders of complex human behavior.
Chronologically, Dr. Cook joined the faculty at UCLA in 1995, after his residency and research fellowship training. After a year as an Instructor, he advanced to Assistant Professor-in-Residence in 1996, to Associate Professor-in-Residence in 2003, and to full Professor-in-Residence in 2010.
In January 2007, Dr. Cook became the Founding Director of the UCLA Unipolar Depression Research and Clinic Program. In 2008 he was named the inaugural holder of the Joanne and George Miller and Family Endowed Chair in Depression Research, a term chair at the UCLA Brain Research Institute.
Dr. Cook was one of the inventors of a new neuromodulation treatment, Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (TNS), and in January 2008, became the first physician ever to administer TNS as a treatment for a psychiatric disorder (depression, and later PTSD). TNS is now also being studied for use in ADHD and other disorders.
Dr. Cook was the Founding Director of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment Service at UCLA, and in March 2009, he treated the first patient at UCLA with TMS, bringing that FDA-approved approach for treating depression to his program in Los Angeles. (video here). In 2013, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the newly-formed Clinical TMS Society, and in 2013 and 2014 served co-Chair of its Clinical Standards Committee. In 2016, he was appointed as a staff psychiatrist at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center to mentor and support the growth of a TMS service at that facility.
He is an Attending Physician in the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital; over his 20+ years on the UCLA faculty, he has attended on the Adult Inpatient Service, in the General Outpatient and Mood Disorders Clinics, in the Adult Partial Hospital Program, on the Geriatric Inpatient ward, and on the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry service at the UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Cook served as a psychiatric consultant to the new UCLA Hand Transplantation Service.
Dr. Cook has held numerous other leadership positions at UCLA and outside the University. At the David Geffen School of Medicine, he served as Chair of the Faculty of the School and of the Faculty Executive Committee (2011-2013). He was Chief of Staff of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital and chaired its Professional Staff Executive Committee (2011-2013).
In the Department of Psychiatry, he previously served as Chair of the Curriculum Committee, and since 1996, has been Course Director for Psychiatry Grand Rounds, the longest-running Psychiatry Grand Rounds program on the web. He teaches the units on Major Depression and on Bipolar Disorder to UCLA medical students in their 2nd year neuroscience block, and teaches Psychiatry residents in their Professionalism and Ethics course, their clinical neuroscience course, their outpatient psychopharmacology course, and in their Consultation-Liaison block (delirium). He teaches Internal Medicine residents in their core curriculum about mood disorders in Primary Care. He has been honored with UCLA teaching awards on three occasions.
At the national level, Dr. Cook served on the Steering Committee on Practice Guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association from 1994 to 2008, and was a member of 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 2011, he was tapped by Thomas Insel MD, Director of the NIMH, to serve as a standing member of the Interventions Committee for Adult Disorders (ITVA), the Scientific Review Group at the NIH charged with reviewing scientific research applications addressing "pharmacotherapeutic, psychotherapeutic, somatic and combination treatments" in adults.
After having served as an external advisor for several years, in June 2014, Dr. Cook began a two-year sabbatical-like 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. NeuroSigma has succeeded in achieving regulatory approval to make TNS available to patients in the European Union, Canada, and Australia, where it is marketed as the Monarch eTNS System®.
In the health information technology space, Dr. Cook has served as an advisor to health IT start-ups who are developing mobile applications that employ machine learning techniques to improve health care for brain disorders, most notably Arctica Health and NeuroDetect. He is also a scientific collaborator for Brain Biomarker Analytics.
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 and an NIMH research fellowship in psychobiology. After that, he joined the faculty.
His professional affiliations include being a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a board member of the Clinical TMS Society, as well as a member of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, the British Association for Psychopharmacology, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (corresponding member), and the International Society for ECT and Neurostimulation.
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 U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Department of Defense about suicide prevention. He volunteers to support a number of non-profit charitable organizations through board service. He is a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association.
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