News Release

Barrow Neurological Institute expands Phoenix research footprint with the opening of new neuro analytics center

Business Announcement

Dignity Health Arizona

Barrow Neurological Institute has opened a new cutting-edge research center that is expected to revolutionize neurological research and expand Phoenix’s research footprint into the areas of environmental neurology and health equity. 

The Barrow Neuro Analytics Center, located at the Park Central property in the Phoenix Medical Quarter, comprises a 10,099 square-foot dry laboratory housing 10 principal research investigators and their dedicated teams. These experts delve into critical areas such as environmental epidemiology, advanced neuroimaging, global health, neurological drug development, health equity, and data science. Research at the center will span a wide spectrum of neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, and epilepsy. The center, which held a grand opening celebration on May 22, is poised to revolutionize neurological research and foster interdisciplinary collaboration.

“This center represents a new concept in clinical neuroscience research. Our collaborative approach will accelerate breakthroughs and elevate Phoenix’s status as a hub of medical discovery,” says Brad Racette, MD, FAAN, Chairman of Neurology and Senior Vice President at Barrow Neurological Institute.  

The center aims to co-locate investigators and their teams to foster a dynamic and collaborative environment. Researchers with diverse skill sets will cross-pollinate ideas, leading to scientific breakthroughs. Strategically located between Barrow Neurological Institute and Creighton University Medical School, the center will also provide hands-on research experience for students from Creighton University Medical School, Arizona State University, and the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

“We are very pleased to welcome Barrow Neurological Institute’s new research center at Park Central,” said Sharon Harper, Chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies, one of the co-owners and developers of Park Central. “This research facility is an important addition to the Phoenix Medical Quarter and will further the groundbreaking research being done in the heart of our community.” 

Dr. Racette and his team of scientists are globally renowned for their groundbreaking environmental and global neuroscience research. Using large administrative datasets, they have identified environmental risk factors and disparities in health care access for neurological diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and ALS. Recent research led by Racette’s team directly linked air pollution to Parkinson’s disease incidence, revealing a 56 percent greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease for individuals living in regions with median pollution levels compared to those in low pollution areas.

“The research being conducted in the Barrow Neuro Analytics Center is revealing important insights into the role of air pollution in neurodegenerative disease, as well as gaps in health care access,” says Dr. Racette. “Our work has great potential to help influence policy makers, bridge the health care disparity gaps, and inform environmental policies in hopes of decreasing the incidence of many neurological disorders,” says Dr. Racette. 

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