|PARKINSON RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Paul A. Nausieda, MD –
Medical Director, Research Scientist
Dr. Nausieda is a board-certified neurologist nationally recognized as a sleep disorders and Parkinson disease specialist. He has written more than 100 publications on the subject of sleep and movement disorders, received many professional awards, and held numerous academic appointments including associate professorships in the department of neurological sciences and pharmacology at Rush University and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
His current practice is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the country. He is a prominent expert and sought-after lecturer on the pharmacological treatment of PD. He has been a principal investigator in 30 drug studies of experimental therapeutic agents being tested for FDA approval and acts as a consultant to a number of pharmaceutical firms involved in the development of new treatments for Parkinson disease.
Dr. Nausieda’s determination to unveil the cause of PD was the impetus for creating the Parkinson Research Institute. As founder of the program, he bases his research ideas on the knowledge that he has gained from diagnosing and treating the disease for more than 30 years. He hopes that the information he has developed will be a catalyst for both current and future researchers.
Trevor Hyde, PhD –
Neuropsychologist, Research Scientist
Dr. Hyde received his bachelor of arts degree in psychology and philosophy from Lawrence University. He went on to earn his PhD in 2004 from Marquette University and holds a position as visiting assistant professor of psychology at Carroll College. His area of research is geriatric neuropsychology with a special focus on visuospatial memory and executive functioning. He is currently involved in multiple studies, including cognition in community-dwelling elders, neuropsychological and neurological sequelae of Gulf War syndrome, visuospatial memory and executive functioning in Parkinson disease, and caregiver stress in spouses of patients with Parkinson disease.
Dr. Hyde has published multiple manuscripts on neuropsychological consequences of anesthesia in geriatric patients with a history of alcoholism, dynamics of group problem-solving, and creative processes and productivity. Dr. Hyde has a special interest in identifying the processes of dementia and hallucinations in PD. Dr. Hyde also has an extensive background in computer programming, database design, and statistical analysis, ensuring the quality of the Life Span Database.
Dacy Reimer, APNP/MSN/CCRC –
Adult Nurse Practitioner, Regional Parkinson Center Coordinator, Brain Procurement Specialist, Research Scientist
Dacy Reimer is a founding member of PRI and committed to identifying the causes of PD, with a particular interest in disease trait analysis and environmental effects. She developed the Life Span Database, a collection of more than 20,000 clinical patient histories and treatments. Ms. Reimer instituted the procedure for the Parkinson Research Institute Brain Procurement Program, providing 24-hour clinical service to patients and families wishing to donate brain tissues. Her role within the Parkinson Research Institute is in the development and conduction of its epidemiological research projects. She is co-author of multiple manuscripts on PD and provides research support to local university researchers. She is certified as a research coordinator by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.
Ms. Reimer has managed more than 20 pharmaceutical studies using experimental therapeutic agents being tested for FDA approval. She works in collaboration with Dr. Nausieda as a consultant to a number of pharmaceutical firms involved in the development of new treatments for Parkinson disease.
Thomas Fritsch, PhD –
Thomas Fritsch, PhD, is a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology. He completed his master of arts and doctoral degrees at Miami University of Ohio, where he was trained as a cognitive experimental psychologist.
After graduate school, Dr. Fritsch spent nearly ten years working at Ohio’s only federally funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, located at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. His research interests there focused on risk and protective factors for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) throughout the life course. Emerging from this work were widely cited publications pointing to the idea, new at the time, that lifestyle factors may play a role in the development of AD.
More recently, Dr. Fritsch spent three years as associate director at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee’s Center on Age and Community. There he focused on translating epidemiological findings into rational, applied programs to serve people with neurodegenerative illnesses but by using non-pharmacologic approaches. Currently, he is conducting a four-site study to assess the role of “memory clubs” that provide opportunities to engage in mental, social, and physical activities. The goal of these clubs is to delay the onset of symptoms of Alzheimer’s and PD by increasing “brain reserve” through mental activity, facilitating neuronal repair through exercise-related mechanisms (greater oxygenation of the brain, for example), and through reduction of damaging stress hormones via greater participation in social networks and the support they provide.
Dr. Fritsch is known for using and studying creative approaches – such as the use of live theater – to teach minorities about neurodegenerative illnesses and encourage their participation in research studies. He is in demand as a guest on radio, TV, and lecture circuits, with a focus on the theme of “brain health/fitness.”
Over the years, Dr. Fritsch has served as research scientist for Case Western Reserve University Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, instructor of neurology for Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, research consultant, and outreach specialist.
Maggie S. Wallendal, MSW –
Maggie S. Wallendal holds a master of social work degree from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She also holds a certificate in applied gerontological research from that same institution. In addition to her duties at PRI, Ms. Wallendal is a researcher and project manager at the Applied Gerontology Research Unit at UWM. Her research interests include Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease caregiving, end-of-life care, and targeted care for older adults seeking financial and life services. She has received numerous awards and grant support from UWM Center on Aging and Community to foster research in the field of aging. She has directed and taken part clinical trails and has been associated with several medication-related interventions. In 2008-2010, Ms. Wallendal was awarded a prestigious grant to participate in the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education.
Meredith Keller –
Brain Donation Specialist
Prior to joining PRI, Ms. Keller’s focus was on human subjects’ research, recruitment, and regulatory documentation. These skills are vital, since the transport of human tissues is highly regulated by local, state, and national authorities.
Ms. Keller earned her undergraduate degree, with honors, from Alverno College. She has since worked for the Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research at UWM, the department of emergency medicine research services at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and most recently for the UW–Madison's Alzheimer’s Institute. As Ms. Keller pursues her master’s degree in public health, she also functions as a compliance officer/contracts manager for a disaster-preparedness software firm.
Ms. Keller can be reached at:
cell: (414) 839-7359
fax: (408) 404-0855