$436,000 Donated to PRI for Schizophrenia Research
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences' Psychiatric Research Institute received a donation of $436,000 on Dec. 19 from the Caroline T. Briggs Charitable Trust. Briggs, a native of Pine Bluff, passed away in 2016 at the age of 92. The trust, overseen by Simmons Bank, was inducted into the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences' Society of the Double Helix. The Society of the Double Helix was established in 1998 to recognize donors who have contributed $100,000 or more to UAMS.
The funds will be used to fund research in the severe mental disorder schizophrenia at PRI. Schizophrenia affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves. It can cause hallucinations, delusions and other mental problems, making the person seem to have lost touch with reality. The condition affects about 1 in 100 people, according to the National Institutes of Health.
"This will allow us to develop a program that focuses on an area where, until now, we've had a gap in our research portfolio," said Pedro Delgado, M.D., director of the Psychiatric Research Institute and chairman of UAMS' Department of Psychiatry. "We will be able to bring in some new researchers in the field as well as involve some of our younger faculty members to grow this program. We are very grateful for this gift, which I think will go a long way toward making a difference in the lives of people with schizophrenia."
Simmons Bank's Cathy Brazeale, a vice president and trust officer, and Laura Parrish, a trust officer, represented the Briggs trust at a ceremonial presentation of the gift. Brazeale and Parrish later toured PRI to learn more about the institute's research efforts. Among the sites they visited were the facility's transcranial magnetic stimulation suite, the Walker Family Clinic and the Brain Imaging Research Center.