The Maier Institute is a multidisciplinary research initiative aimed at investigating novel therapies and approaches to treating dementia.  The Maier team reflects this multidisciplinary approach by bringing together physicians, pharmacists, social workers, policymakers, insurance providers and data scientists. 

The initiative was created through generous support from the Maier Foundation and initially led by Shirley Neitch, MD, FACP, AGSF, the Inaugural Maier Professor of Clinical Research and Chief of Geriatrics within the Department of Internal Medicine, until her retirement in 2019 after more than 30 years of dedicated service to the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

The multidisciplinary team Dr. Neitch helped build is poised to deliver outstanding dementia therapeutic research well into the future. Currently led by Drs. Kevin Yingling and Todd Gress, the Maier Institute also includes members of the medical school’s Department of Clinical & Translational Science and the Marshall University School of Pharmacy, who provide valuable insight on research design and pharmaceutical therapies. The Institute has also received the support of nationally-respected faculty outside of Marshall University.

  • Kim Broedel Zaugg, Ph.D., Professor & Chair of Pharmacy Practice, Administration & Research
  • Robert Stanton, MBA, Pharm.D., BCPS, Professor & Assistant Dean of Experiential Learning
  • Isha Patel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
  • Ashley Perkins, Pharm.D., Postgraduate Pharmacy Trainee

Research Design and Clinical Informatics

Al Cecchetti, PhD, MSc, MSc IS
Research Assistant Professor and Director of the Division of Clinical Informatics
Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

Todd Davies, PhD
Associate Director of Research and Development, Division of Addiction Sciences
Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

Rajan Lamichhanne, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biostatistician
Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

Usha Murughiyan, PhD
Assistant Professor
Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

Niharika Bhardwaj
Data Architect
Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

Public Policy and Outreach

Brian Gallagher, RPh, JD
Chief of Government Affairs and Healthcare Policy
Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine/Pharmacy, Marshall Health

John Maher, PhD
Vice President for Research
Marshall University

External Advisory Committee Members

Helen Matheny
Director of Collaborative Relations and Initiatives
West Virginia University Health Science Center

Frank Palumbo, PhD, JD
Professor and Executive Director
University of Maryland School of Pharmacy Center on Drugs and Public Policy

Don Perdue
Pharmacist and Former Director
Wayne County Economic Development Authority

Sharon Rotenberry
Executive Director
Alzheimer’s Association of West Virginia


J.T. Schneider
Administrative Director
Marshall Health

Todd Gress, MD
Associate Chief of Staff for Research 
Hershel "Woody" Williams VA Medical Center

Kayla Peak, LPN
Program Coordinator
Marshall Health