Mark Guadagnoli

Mark Guadagnoli, PhD

Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs & Director of Learning & Performance

Mail Code


Mark Guadagnoli is a professor of neuroscience and neurology for the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV. He will develop and execute the school’s “Intersession” program, which provides medical students with resources for effective learning and performance strategies, communication and life skills, and specialized medical curricula. All of which are woven into the culture of medical school from its students to faculty to administration.

His primary line of research is related to the Challenge Point Framework, which has been used to optimize learning and performance for athletes, corporate executives, medical professionals, students and others who compete in high performance situations. His model of learning shows appropriate short-term challenges can result in long-term and stress resistant learning.

Dr. Guadagnoli has published more than 100 articles and abstracts and is the author of two books, Human Learning: Biology, Brain, and Neuroscience and Practice to Learn, Play to Win. His work has been featured in publications including The New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, Golf Digest, and has appeared in media on the History Channel and CBS Sports. Dr. Guadagnoli has lectured at several universities including Harvard University, MIT, UCLA, and USC. He presented the Challenge Point Framework and other work in countries such as Canada, China, France, Germany, and Scotland. Dr.

Guadagnoli has also worked in performance optimization with athletes of the USA Olympic Elite Track and Field Coaches, PGA, and LPGA.

He received his undergraduate and MS degrees at Texas A&M University, and PhD at Auburn University (Human Performance: Cognitive Psychology). He specializes in optimizing performance, communication, leadership, and learning in academia and industry (e.g., Zappos). He has received numerous awards including Student of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Faculty of the Year, and Researcher of the Year.

Expert Areas

Memory and cognition, Optimized learning and performance, Information processing and attention