Dr. Poe is the Director of the UCLA Brain Research Institute (BRI), which is comprised of approximately 300 faculty members representing nearly 30 departments across six schools, the Brain Research Institute serves as a catalyst for education, outreach, and research collaborations among scientists, engineers, and clinicians to advance interdisciplinary neuroscience across UCLA and educate and engage society in exploration of the nervous system..

Dr. Poe is a California native who earned her BA at Stanford in Human Biology, followed by a PhD in Neuroscience at UCLA in the laboratory of Distinguished UCLA Professor Ron Harper (Neurobiology). Her dissertation work revealed that activity in emotional circuits during dream sleep generates deep sighs and apneas. She was part of the first class of the current UCLA Neuroscience Interdepartmental Program (NSIDP) which restructured in 1989 when Dr. Arnold Scheibel was the BRI Director. Dr. Poe was a founding member of the BRI SPARCS outreach program bringing brains to schools in Los Angeles. It has been a central part of her mission ever since to broaden the impact of neuroscience research to the community. Dr. Poe returned to UCLA in 2016 as Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology (Life Sciences), with joint appointments in Psychiatry, and Neurobiology. She was recently named the Lorre Scholars Chair after serving as the Leslie Term Chair of Innovative Brain Research. She has over 150 abstracts and publications on the function of dream sleep for memory consolidation, insight, and emotional health and her lab’s research is featured on NOVA, Netflix, TEDx, and many podcasts. A nationally recognized leader who is currently on Council at NIH’s NINDS, she has also served on the Sleep Research Society’s Board of Directors as well as the NIH’s Sleep Disorder Research Advisory Board. Her work co-Directing the Neuroscience Scholars Program with Julio Ramirez, PhD, won the nation’s highest mentor program award in 2018: the PAESMEM. Dr. Poe regularly teaches three courses and won the UCLA Senate and Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching award in 2022.