UTRGV Institute of Neuroscience Opens In Harlingen

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UTRGV Institute of Neuroscience Opens In Harlingen

 

The UTRGV School of Medicine, together with its clinical arm UT Health RGV, officially opens its Institute of Neuroscience. The state-of-the-art facility is in Harlingen at 2902 Haine Drive. (photo David Pike, UTRGV)
The UTRGV School of Medicine, together with its clinical arm UT Health RGV, officially opens its Institute of Neuroscience. The state-of-the-art facility is in Harlingen at 2902 Haine Drive. (photo David Pike, UTRGV)

The UTRGV School of Medicine and UT Health RGV officially opened its Institute of Neuroscience with a ribbon-cutting last week. The facility measures at more than 30,000 square feet.

The institute, which broke ground in 2019, is an all-encompassing research, education, clinical care and community partnership facility. The facility’s goal is to transform brain health for the Rio Grande Valley community.

ION will bring advanced care and training in specialized neurological medical treatments and research to the Valley.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said partnerships have made it possible to bring ION to fruition. South Texas Medical Foundation gifted the 35 acres on which the institute is being built. Additionally, Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation contributed $15 million to support the operations of the institute. The City of Harlingen is also a partner in developing the facility.

“The Institute of Neuroscience is really transformative, for the UTRGV School of Medicine and for the Valley,” Bailey said. “This building is going to house a lot of folks who are going to transform the lives of the people of the Valley.

“We thank our partners – including the City of Harlingen, the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation, and the South Texas Medical Foundation – for helping us take this bold step in fulfilling our commitment of improving healthcare in South Texas,” he said.

Research and Education

The facility houses medical services and research that will serve as critical learning experiences for the university’s medical students. There are additional plans to start a residency program to train neurologists in the future.

Dr. Ihsan Salloum is the UTRGV School of Medicine director for the Institute of Neuroscience. He said those interested in learning and conducting research in neurology will have plenty of unique opportunities.

“We are so excited about training the next generation of neuroscientists here in the Valley,” he said. “As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, we will place particular emphasis on working with underrepresented minorities and expanding on an already strong research program, with particular focus on brain diseases that affect our communities.”

“We are building a team of multidisciplinary researchers that will bring together biomedical engineers, cognitive neuroscientists, geneticists and computational neuroscientists, along with neuropsychiatrists and neurologists. This will provide the foundation for scientific discoveries to advance brain health. There’s so much to look forward to,” Salloum said.

Services

Dr. Michael B. Hocker is the dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine. He said ION fulfills the School of Medicine’s mission to provide innovative, high-quality medical resources for South Texas.

“This Institute of Neuroscience is a concrete example of UTRGV’s mission to provide leading-edge research, as well as educational and clinical care opportunities to this area of the country,” he said. “This is a state-of-the-art facility in South Texas, and we are going to have top-notch researchers and clinicians taking care of patients right here in the Valley.”

Dr. Michael R. Dobbs, chair of the Department of Neurology and chief medical officer for UT Health Rio Grande Valley, said the institute’s medical providers and the services they will offer through the facility will be top-tier.

“The  technology at ION will allow physicians to provide leading-edge specialty services and procedures, including advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), high-resolution CT scanning, and positron emission tomography (PET),” he said. “Brain health just got a huge boost in our region, and we should celebrate that.”

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