About Us

 Psychiatric Research Institute
Psychiatric Research Institute

The Psychiatric Research Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is a one-of-a-kind facility, created to treat and study various forms of mental illness. Our highly qualified staff has the experience and knowledge necessary to care for patients of all ages, no matter what kind of challenges they are facing. The trust they inspire is a direct result of their devotion to serving the needs of all Arkansans regardless of their social or economic status.

PRI’s mission is simple, to improve mental health for individuals and families in Arkansas and beyond through the integration of outstanding education, research, clinicial care and service. Located adjacent to the UAMS Medical Center, PRI offers inpatient and outpatient services, all structured in formats that are both unique and comprehensive. With a staff of more than 300 clinicians, researchers and administrative support, PRI is able to provide cutting-edge care in a comfortable and secure setting.

The Walker Family Clinic, located on the second floor, is PRI’s outpatient service area. It is home to the center’s specialty programs, including treatment for addictive, eating, anxiety, depressive and post-traumatic stress disorders. The Fred and Louise Dierks Research Laboratories located on the fourth floor include the Center for Addiction Research and a methadone clinic that promotes more convenient and safe access for patients and guests. The Center for Addiction Research’s staff is responsible for some of the country’s most innovative research into the intricate brain functions of individuals addicted to various substances, including cocaine, marijuana, tobacco and alcohol.

PRI’s Division of Health Services Research is one of the largest centers of its kind in the nation. Working closely with research scientists around the country, these investigators focus on designing evidence-based treatments that reach out to vulnerable populations in community settings, homes, schools, churches, etc., and clinical service areas, such as federally qualified health centers and community mental health centers.


The Brain Research Center is exploring the brain mechanisms behind mental illness and searching for novel insights into the causes of brain-related illnesses such as depression and drug addiction, and the mechanisms of treatment response.The workhorse of the BIRC is a Philips Achieva 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, a state-of-the-art research scanner, to address focus issues related to human neuroscience. The BIRC will support research and clinical imaging by generating detailed functional and anatomic images.


The inpatient services of the Psychiatric Research Institute includes a total of 40 beds dedicated to psychiatric patients in need of hospitalization, divided evenly among the children’s unit, the geriatric unit, the acute-care for adults section and the unit treating medically-involved patients. The inpatient care areas, located on the fifth and sixth floors, offer state-of-the-art care in high-quality surroundings, with private rooms, standard-setting safety features and other amenities.


PRI’s education programs, from medical student education to the psychiatry residency and fellowship programs and psychology intern training, are respected both locally and nationally. With various training sites including UAMS Medical Center, the Psychotherapy Training Center (a joint program with PRI and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock) the Central Arkansas Veterans Health System, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the Arkansas State Hospital, the Little Rock Community Mental Health Center and several other associated clinics, PRI’s students, interns, residents and fellows experience mental health treatment across all systems and throughout the continuum of care.

The Psychiatric Research Institute is working to change not only the way mental illness is treated but the way it is perceived. With each day comes a new awareness of the connection between mental and physical health, and the staff of PRI are dedicated to meeting the needs of those they serve, no matter what they might be. The goal of PRI is to not only help our patients but help others realize that assistance is needed and that it is available.