IU Health Neuroscience Center Dedication

IU Health Neuroscience Center
355 W. 16th St.
Indianapolis, Indiana
August 24, 2012

It truly is a great pleasure to be here this morning to help celebrate the dedication of this facility and the work that will be done here that will improve—and save—human lives.

At this very moment, approximately 162 million miles from earth, NASA’s Curiosity rover is exploring the Gale Crater of Mars, investigating the planet’s climate and geology, and searching for evidence of the chemical building blocks of life. Indiana University scientists, who helped to develop some of the experiments and who will analyze data that the rover collects, are playing an integral role in this scientific mission that has captured the world’s imagination.

A little closer to home, about 4,400 miles away, near Geneva, Switzerland, scientists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider announced last month that they had observed a new particle they believe is the elusive Higgs boson. Their findings, if confirmed, will have a profound impact in particle physics. Once again, Indiana University scientists played a key role in the project, designing and building one of the main components of the ATLAS detector mechanism.1 Information Technology professionals from IU have also been important partners in the project, providing and operating some of the vast computing resources necessary to analyze data from the experiment.

Here in Indianapolis, the same spirit of exploration by IU scientists and researchers that we see on Mars and at CERN is being applied to one of the most complex structures in the known universe: the human brain.

It is estimated that diseases of the brain, including both neurological and psychiatric illnesses, affect as many as 50 million individuals each year in the United States, at an estimated societal cost of hundreds of billions of dollars in clinical care and lost productivity.2

It is our hope that, just as the work at NASA and CERN resonate the world over, so too will the work done here, as Indiana University scientists and health care professionals work at the leading edge to help prevent, treat, and, ultimately, to find cures for neurological diseases and disorders.

Here at the IU Health Neuroscience Center, patients suffering from neurological illnesses can be confident that they will receive the latest and most effective treatments.

This center is just one of many ways in which our partners at IU Health, one of the largest health systems in the nation, help to bring the great clinical expertise and the breakthrough research of the IU School of Medicine to Indiana citizens. Together, IU Health and the IU School of Medicine make enormous contributions to the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers every day.

As most of you know, just over two weeks ago, we broke ground for the IU School of Medicine’s Neuroscience Research Building. When completed, that facility will physically connect with this building, creating one of the largest concentrations of neuroscience researchers and clinicians in the country and further strengthening the collaboration between our outstanding clinicians and our world-class researchers. As a result, research findings will be more rapidly translated to the clinic, and patients and their physicians will have rapid access to the latest discoveries.

The IU Health Neuroscience Center has the potential to stimulate groundbreaking work that will affect the lives of people across Indiana and around the world in a tremendously positive way. It is another example of the vital role Indiana University plays in the growth and health of the state of Indiana.

I look forward, indeed the whole state looks forward, to celebrating the advancements in the prevention, treatment, and cures of neurological illnesses that this center will surely foster.

Thank you very much.

Source Notes

  1. http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/20651.html
  2. Larry R. Squire, Floyd E. Bloom, et al., (eds.) Fundamental Neuroscience, edition 3, (Academic Press, 2008), 9.