Arkansas Children’s launching national opioid research center
Arkansas Children’s is launching a new center focused on researching the effects of opioids on infants and young children.
The $70 million facility will be known as the National Center for Opioid Research and Clinical Effectiveness, and will be housed on Arkansas Children’s main campus in Little Rock.
Arkansas Children’s CEO Marcy Doderer says the center will fill a gap in existing clinical research.
“To date, there’s been limited national and international research focused specifically on how opioid misuse affects children and adolescents. This center will change that. We believe that every child deserves to reach his or her fullest potential,” she said.
The center will be funded by $50 million Arkansas received through a nationwide settlement with opioid manufacturers. Attorney General Tim Griffin says it will give researchers leverage to ensure continuing funding their work.
“This will be a national magnet for research,” he said. “If you establish a national center for opioid research, when you apply for federal funds and other grants, you won’t just say ‘We do this type of thing occasionally when an AG or somebody gives us money,’ you’ll say ‘This is what we do. Not only is this what we do, we own this space.’”
The facility will include a brain imaging center and a clinical research unit, among other features. Construction on the 45,000-square-foot space is expected to begin in late 2024.