UTRGV breaks ground on Institute for Neuroscience in Harlingen

HARLINGEN, TEXAS – NOV. 6, 2019 – UTRGV President Guy Bailey and Dr. John Krouse, executive vice president for Health Affairs and Dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine, on Nov. 6 led a groundbreaking ceremony for the new UTRGV Institute for Neuroscience, a $30 million, world-class clinical and research site within the School of Medicine.

Participating in the event were UT System Regent Dr. Nolan Perez; Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell; Randy Whittington, president of the South Texas Medical Foundation; and Judy Quisenberry, executive director of the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation.

The interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience is funded in part by a $15 million gift from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation, announced in February 2017.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said partnerships with the South Texas Medical Foundation – which gifted the 35 acres on which the institute is being built – the City of Harlingen and the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation have made it possible to bring the world-class facility to fruition.

“The Institute for Neuroscience is a game-changer for the Rio Grande Valley,” Bailey said. “As we focus on the institute’s core activities – such as developing multidisciplinary research and clinical fellowships, early detection of psychotic disorders, and community education – we take another step in fulfilling our commitment to improving healthcare in South Texas.”

The institute, located at Haine Drive and North Whalen Road in Harlingen, will house clinics and diagnostic centers for numerous neuropsychiatric and aging disorders while also leading the way in clinical and laboratory research for the Valley.

Leading the institute will be Dr. Ihsan Salloum, a specialist in addiction psychiatry who joins UTRGV from the University of Miami, where he has been a professor and chief of the Division of Substance and Alcohol Abuse.

“The development of the Institute for Neuroscience creates an extremely exciting opportunity to conduct innovative interdisciplinary research to advance our understanding of functions and mechanisms underlying brain diseases and health,” said Salloum, who traveled some 20 hours from Japan to attend the ceremony.

“It will act as a catalyst for scientists across basic and clinical translational disciplines to advance basic discoveries into clinical application and will strive to educate future generations of neuroscientists. We will be able to serve the Rio Grande Valley community with its most pressing brain health needs,” he said.