Message from the Dean

Now is an exciting time for Life Sciences. Our research and teaching are focused on addressing society’s most urgent challenges in human health – including both physical and mental health, biological conservation and production of food and biofuels. Recent innovations in biotechnology and computational power are creating new opportunities, new approaches, and new knowledge in areas that range from genomics to brain imaging to nanosystems. UCLA Life Science researchers are making groundbreaking discoveries in these areas while educating graduate and undergraduate students in these new frontiers of research. As Dean of Life Sciences, I have identified the following philanthropic priorities. With your support, UCLA Life Sciences will invest in the people and programs in these areas of excellence for the benefit of all of society.

Victoria Sork,
Dean of UCLA Life Sciences

Dean’s Initiatives


The creation of a strong computational biosciences program is one of the Dean’s top priorities, since it is the overarching research infrastructure that integrates massive amounts of data being generated daily by researchers in the life sciences, physical sciences, biomedical sciences, and engineering. Strengthening computational research will create new models of understanding, while fostering interdisciplinary collaborations at UCLA that will lead to new approaches and new ways of thinking.


Through focused investment and increased interdisciplinary research collaborations in Microbial Genomics, Systems Biology, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Health Psychology, the Dean envisions great advances in the treatment of infectious disease, chronic diseases, cognitive disorders, and psychological health.


High on the list of the Dean’s priorities are targeted research programs that will positively impact and protect our natural environment and its resources, including areas of endangered rainforests and coral reefs.


One of the Dean’s priorities is to advance plant research that will develop and refine new ways to optimize growth in plants, leading to enhanced efficiency in growing major crops to meet our planet’s increasing demands for food and fuel.


The Dean aims to create a more representative demographic in the sciences by recruiting outstanding scientists–“mentor–professors”–with a specific commitment to mentor and motivate the full spectrum of UCLA’s diverse undergraduate population.

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