Special Events


It’s a new world of online learning for us!  

Our Distinguished Speakers will present from 10-11:00am, followed by a short Q&A session.

Registration below. For questions, please email info@ljcommunitycenter.org

Dr. Bernie Sunwoo

What’s a Sleep Doctor? An Introduction to Sleep Medicine

Tuesday, May 11, 10-11 AM 


Dr. Sunwoo will introduce Sleep Medicine and provide an overview of the major classes of sleep disorders and an introduction to current sleep diagnostics and therapeutics.


About Dr. Bernie Sunwoo

Dr. Bernie Sunwoo is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Medical Director of Sleep Medicine at the University of California San Diego (UCSD).  Dr. Sunwoo received her M.B.B.S. degree (Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery), which is an international medical degree equivalent to an M.D. degree in the U.S, from the University of New South Wales in Australia with first-class honors. She moved to the United States in 2005 where she completed fellowships in both Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Sleep Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sunwoo has special interests in the evaluation and management of patients with rare and complex lung disorders, hypoventilation disorders, and co-existing pulmonary and sleep disorders.  In addition, she is actively involved in medical education and scholarship and is currently the Medical Director of Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine, at UCSD.

Missed past presentations? Click below to watch!

Dr. Ezra Cohen

Listen and Observe - How to Use Precision Immunotherapy to Treat Cancer

Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 10-11 AM 

Missed the date? No problem! Recording coming soon.

Cancer is a genomic disease. Until recently, most cancer therapies were standardized based on trial-and-error experiments that did not take into account its molecular biology. That has changed in the era of targeted therapy with notable progress but, even disrupting a critical pathway in a cancer cell does not lead to cures for patients with advanced disease. However, new understanding, technology, and therapies have launched a new era of precision immunotherapy that promises to treat every cancer based on its biology and the response of the immune system.  Dr. Cohen will focus on the latest developments in individualized cancer immunotherapy that are currently being used to treat patients. 

About Dr. Ezra Cohen

Ezra Cohen, MD is a Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego Health, Chief, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Co-Director of the San Diego Center for Precision Immunotherapy, Co-Director of the Solid Tumor Therapeutics Program, and Associate Director at Moores Cancer Center overseeing Translational Science. A physician‐scientist, Dr. Cohen also leads a laboratory that studies novel cancer treatments, including immunotherapy, and has made major contributions in understanding how targeted cancer therapies work.


He recently served as editor‐in‐chief of Oral Oncology, has authored more than 170 papers, and currently serves as senior editor for Clinical Cancer Research. He has been the principal investigator on multiple studies of novel agents in head and neck cancer and other solid tumors in all phases of development. 


Dr. Cohen completed residencies in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto and in Internal Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed a Hematology/Oncology fellowship at the University of Chicago. Prior to his arrival in San Diego, Dr. Cohen was Co‐Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Program, Associate Director for Education and Program Director for the Hematology and Oncology Fellowship at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Mara Karpel​​
Connecting to Your Passion & Joy in Times of Stress & Isolation

Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 10-11 AM

Missed the date? No problem! Watch the lecture here​

It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of an unsteady world and forget that life is meant to be lived fully. However, Dr. Mara Karpel, psychologist and author of The Passionate Life: Creating Joy & Vitality at Any Age, has a remedy. In this presentation, Dr. Mara will offer tips for you to reconnect to the joyfulness of living a purpose-filled and meaningful life. She will guide you to listen to your heart’s whispers and decipher these clues to live your passion, even while the world turns upside down, the new normal has yet to be experienced, and isolation and uncertainty prevail. 

About Dr. Mara Karpel​​

Dr. Mara Karpel has dedicated her life to guiding the way for adults including seniors, caregivers, and veterans to overcome the challenges that prevent them from living a joy-filled and passionate life.  Her book, The Passionate Life: Creating Vitality & Joy at Any Age was published in 2018 and interweaves her expertise as a psychologist, her personal experiences, and the wisdom of today’s thought leaders on physical, emotional, and spiritual health into her book. Dr. Karpel is the host of the radio show Dr. Mara Karpel & Your Golden Years and is a contributor to a number of publications including Ariana Huffington’s Thrive Global, Huffington Post, and several others. She has been in private practice 28 years and received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Syracuse University. Learn more at DrMaraKarpel.com.

Dr. Mimi Guarneri

The Heart Speaks. Are You Listening?

Tuesday, February 16, 10-11 AM

Missed the date? No problem! Watch the lecture here​

Integrative cardiologist Mimi Guarneri, MD, medical director of the Pacific Pearl La Jolla, and president of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine discusses how and why the heart is so much more than a physical pump. She covers the science behind why purpose, joy, meditation, and other lifestyle choices create positive physical changes in our bodies that lead to long-term heart health. It’s only now that Western medicine has begun applying scientific measurement mechanisms to the holistic and ancient tools that have kept even those with advanced coronary disease living years and even decades past their doctors’ predictions.

Dr. Guarneri is followed by Pedi Mirdamadi, ND, licensed naturopathic doctor, functional medicine doctor, and holistic nutritionist at Pacific Pearl La Jolla. Dr. Mirdamadi is passionate about using food to address chronic disease, optimal wellness, and longevity for seniors and anyone determined to improve energy, fitness, and overall health.

About Dr. Mimi Guarneri

Dr. Mimi Guarneri is Board-certified in Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine, Nuclear Cardiology, and Integrative Holistic Medicine. Dr. Guarneri is a Founder and President of The Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine. She serves on the Founding Board of the American Board Physician Specialties in Integrative Medicine, and is a Clinical Associate Professor at University of California, San Diego and an award-winning physician and researcher. After graduating from SUNY Medical Center in New York, she began her career at Scripps Clinic as an attending in interventional cardiology, where she placed thousands of coronary stents.  Recognizing the need for a more comprehensive and holistic approach to cardiovascular disease, she founded the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine and served as Medical Director for 15 years, where state-of-the-art cardiac imaging technology and lifestyle change programs could be used to aggressively diagnose, prevent and treat cardiovascular disease. In 2014, Dr. Guarneri Co-founded and began serving as Medical Director of Guarneri Integrative Health, Inc. She has served as a senior advisor for large healthcare systems to develop integrative medicine and wellness centers.


Dr. Guarneri has been interviewed on many nationally-syndicated television shows including The Dr. Oz Show, PBS Full Focus and documentaries and is a frequent lecturer at medical institutions. She is author of numerous books, including The Heart Speaks: A Cardiologist Reveals the Secret Language of Healing (2007) and 101 Pearls to Awaken Your Healing Potential (2017). She has received numerous awards and has been recognized for her national leadership in Integrative Medicine by Bravewell Collaborative and was awarded the Linus Pauling Functional Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award by the Institute for Functional Medicine, in 2012 and directs numerous national conferences in San Diego on integrative-based medicine. 

Mona Hacker, MD

Top Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccines Answered: From Clinical Trials to

Side Effects & More 

Tuesday, January 19, 10-11 AM

Missed the date? No problem! Watch the lecture here​

Dr. Hacker will address questions regarding the COVID-19 Vaccines, including the questions below. We will allow plenty of time for Q&A from participants.

1. Describe the different vaccines that are both currently available and coming down the pike (Specifically addressing the Merck and Moderna vaccines)

2. Discuss the most common and the more serious side effects of these vaccines

3. Discuss what's involved in clinical trials and when we might expect additional vaccines. What is the clinical trial process?

About Dr. Mona Hacker

Dr. Hacker is a board certified family practice physician also in San Diego, California.  She has vast experience in clinical trials and has participated as a principal investigator and sub-investigator on over 100 clinical trials in a wide range of therapeutic areas.  Dr. Hacker completed her medical training also at the University of California, Irvine (where she met her husband) and went on to accept a family practice residency in Seattle, Washington.  Since returning to San Diego, she has spent over 10 years in the clinical trial space.  She also frequently appears on local media to provide a valuable perspective on new developments in the medical field.

Dr. Anna Kulidjian, MD, Scripps Green Hospital

Advances in Hip Replacement & The New ESY Approach

Thursday, November 12, 10-11 AM

Missed the date? No problem! Watch the lecture here

Dr. Anna Kulidjian is an orthopedic surgeon with Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla and is Associate Clinical Professor and the Director of the Musculoskeletal Program at the Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center.


She received her MD from University of Toronto and completed fellowships in Joint Reconstruction and Limb Preservation in Mount Sinai Hospital and Princess Margaret hospitals in Toronto. Dr. Kulidjian has been an orthopedic surgeon for the last 15 years and performs primary and revision knee and hip replacements using advanced technologies and minimally invasive techniques. She has extensive experience restoring limb function through complex reconstructions.


Dr. Kulidjian will discuss advances in reconstructive procedures specifically focusing on restoration of hip function through modern techniques in arthroplasty. She recently introduced a new technique called ESY direct anterior approach to San Diego. Her research focuses on improvements in joint replacements techniques including efficient knee and hip arthroplasty and robotics.


She was involved in 1988 Armenian earthquake recovery effort and decided to become an orthopedic surgeon after seeing her father, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, bring amputee children from Armenia to Toronto to receive life-changing orthopedic procedures.

Dr. William Mobley, Neurologist and Associate Dean of Neuroscience Initiatives at UCSD
Where Do We Stand in the Fight Against Dementia

Tuesday, October 13, 10am

Missed the date? No problem! Watch the lecture here


Covid-19 is not the only epidemic we face. There is also an epidemic of Alzheimer disease (AD). Although we understand the causes AD, we have yet to discover treatments that prevent the onset or effectively treat its progression. Learn about treatment options, lifestyle issues, and how current technology could be used to decrease social isolation and loneliness of those impacted by AD and their caregivers.

Dr. Mobley’s research focuses on the neurobiology of neurotrophic factor actions and signaling and on the hypothesis that dysfunction of such signaling mechanisms contributes to neuronal dysfunction in developmental and age-related disorders of the nervous system. His emphasis on the neurobiology of Down syndrome has brought new insights into the disease, including possible treatments. He has also done pioneering work on the neurobiology of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) using a mouse model of Down syndrome (DS). These studies were based on the observation that virtually all adults with Down syndrome develop the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease by the age of 50. This knowledge paved the way for Dr. Mobley’s ongoing studies of AD in experimental models.

Dr. Mobley’s laboratory has pursued two major themes. The first is the biology and signaling of neurotrophic factors. The second, propelled by the first, is the pathogenesis of developmental and age-related neurodegeneration in DS and AD. The Mobley Laboratory has made many important contributions to neuroscience investigation, all of which relate to the biology of neurotrophic factors or to the pathogenesis of DS.

To date, Dr. Mobley has published almost 150 research articles and reviews in peer reviewed journals. Publications appear in high quality journals, such J. Neuroscience, Neurobiol Dis., and J. Comp Neurol. In addition, Dr. Mobley is co-editor of one book and has contributed to 13 books or book chapters.

David Swanson
Author/Travel Writer

Tuesday, September 8, 10am

Missed the date? No problem! Watch the lecture here


Travel writer-photographer David Swanson is a third-generation San Diegan. Following a 17-year stint with Landmark Theatres, since 1995 he has traveled through more than 100 countries around the globe. En route, David's stories and photos have been published in more than 50 North American newspapers and dozens of magazines and websites. Among his current outlets are National Geographic Traveler, Los Angeles Times, American Way, Westways, Cruise Critic, TravelAge West, and Corporate & Incentive Travel. David wrote an award-winning column for Caribbean Travel & Life magazine for 14 years, and he is author and co-author of 16 different travel guidebooks.  

The Caribbean has been the focus for many stories, and his research has brought him to all of the islands for multiple visits -- in 2007 he was chosen by the Caribbean Tourism Organization as Travel Writer of the Year. David has a volcano fetish, which has taken him to the smoldering summits of Mount St. Helens, Soufrière Hills, Piton de la Fournaise and Mount Etna. He is a frequent traveler to Africa (7 trips to 10 different countries), China (8 trips since 2001), Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, the British Isles, and Italy, with multiple cover stories in major outlets about each. David is also an expert on cruises, and in 2012-2014 he traveled on more than 40 cruises as an anonymous cruise reviewer for USA Today.

Swanson will present the Hidden Spots of Interest in San Diego (& Many in La Jolla). He’ll share these finds—all compiled in his newly published Second Edition Guidebook titled 100 Things to Do in San Diego Before You Die.

Dr. Eric David Adler

Cardiologist and Medical Director of Heart Transplantation, UCSD

Tuesday, August 11, 10am

Missed the date? No problem! Watch the lecture here

Dr. Eric David Adler is Head Attending Physician, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Program Director of Heart Failure Fellowship and of the Heart and Lung Transplantation Program at the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Institute, University of California at San Diego. Dr. Adler treats patients in all stages of heart disease and specializes in advanced transplantation and heart failure. He will discuss the journey from diagnosis to transplantation, including drug treatments and pacemakers, ventricular assist devices, mechanical hearts, transplant procedures, post-operative recovery and life after transplantation.

This presentation will include a case study of LJCC board member, Glen Rasmussen, who received a heart transplant in 2019 after being diagnosed with a rare heart condition, cardiac amyloidosis. Glen was one of a group of 69 heart transplant patients who received a transplant at UCSD last year. More than 50 transplants have occurred so far in 2020, as transplantation is an essential medical procedure. UCSD is ranked as one of the top heart transplant centers in the country today and has the best one-year post transplant survival rate in the country.

Dr. Jacopo Annese, President & CEO
The Brain Observatory

Tuesday, July 14, 10am

Missed the date? No problem! Watch the lecture here


Dr. Jacopo Annese, Ph.D. is the Director of The Brain Observatory and lead scientist for the Human Brain Library (HBL) project, a database of brain images that supports education and worldwide collaboration. The HBL collects valuable information from live scans and donated brains that assist both the public and the scientific community in gaining a greater understanding of the brain and provides valuable insights in the treatment of numerous brain diseases. During his presentation, he will address individual brain variability and the personal factors that can affect brain health and aging.

Dr. Dilip Jeste, UCSD Neuropsychiatrist

Loneliness & the Role of Wisdom

Tuesday, May 12, 10am

Missed the date? No problem! Watch the lecture here


Dr.  Dilip Jeste, a geriatric neuropsychiatrist and director of UC San Diego’s Center for Healthy Aging will speak virtually on the topic of loneliness and how we can address this issue during the current situation of social isolation. He will also discuss his San Diego-based research on loneliness in seniors, the role of wisdom and his suggestions on intervention for loneliness.  

Elaine LaLanne, Fitness Expert, Author

The Secret to Longevity
Tuesday, June 9, 10am

Missed the date? No problem! Watch the lecture here


Fitness expert, motivational speaker, author (and wife of the fitness icon Jack LaLanne) Elaine LaLanne will help us stay in shape while we’re staying at home with tips on health and fitness. Elaine started in television in San Francisco in 1948, one of the first TV hosts. There, she met her guest, fitness proponent and later her husband, Jack LaLanne. The successful TV series ran for 34 years with Elaine showcasing many of the fitness regimens. Elaine is author of numerous books including her latest, If You Want to Live, Move; Putting the Boom Back into Boomers. Now 94 years-old, Elaine (“LaLa”) will entertain the online audience with her wit, fitness suggestions and tips for longevity.

In the News!

Enjoy Elaine Lalanne as a guest on KUSI's

Good Morning San Diego!

Member Exclusive!

Enjoy Jack Lalanne's Back to Basics!

Back to Basics: Day 1

Back to Basics: Day 2

For questions, please email info@ljcommunitycenter.org

Our 2020 Distinguished Speaker Series was generously underwritten by Judy White.