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Despite funding dip, IU bets on brains

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The city that brought the world Prozac and other neuroscience drugs is doubling down on brain research with a new $52 million research center near Methodist Hospital.

The 138,000-square-foot Indiana University Neurosciences Research Building will house researchers from the IU School of Medicine, trying to find treatments for such bedeviling diseases as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism and others. It is being paid for by the state of Indiana and Indiana University.

The new facility will sit next door to the new neuroscience imaging and outpatient center that is nearing completion. That 270,000-square-foot structure will house the medical offices of psychiatrists, brain surgeons, spinal surgeons and other neurosciences specialists.

Leaders at Indiana University and the IU Health hospital system hope the proximity between those researching neurosciences diseases and those treating them will lead to better care for patients and new breakthroughs in laboratories.

"This research facility will further strengthen the collaboration between our world-class researchers and clinicians, and open the door to innovative, cutting-edge treatments and therapies that will benefit future generations of Hoosiers,” IU Health CEO Dan Evans said in a prepared statement.

IU competes every year for a chunk of the roughly $12 billion in funding for neurosciences research doled out by the National Institutes of Health. Funding in those categories grew 7.5 percent from 2008 to 2011—slower than NIH funding overall. It is projected to remain flat the next two years.

Even so, the school has had some success at drawing those funds. In November, the Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center at the IU med school received $9.1 million in federal funding.

The neuroscience center also could make IU Health even more attractive as a site for clinical trials of experimental neuroscience drugs, which could bring it more industry funding—although many large pharmaceutical companies have been pulling back on R&D spending in the neurosciences. One notable exception: Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co., the inventor of Prozac.

The entire neurosciences project, which costs more than $100 million, is an attempt by IU Health to attract patients even from beyond Indiana’s borders, providing a new source of revenue to the $4 billion-a-year system.

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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!

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