Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy 304-691-1713

Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine names physician as first Maier Clinical Research Professor

Long-time dementia researcher tapped for inaugural program

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. Shirley M. Neitch, professor of internal medicine and chief of geriatrics at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, has been named the inaugural Maier Clinical Research Professor.

The professorship will support interdisciplinary translational research investigating the causes, management and treatment of dementia.

“It is a tremendous honor to be named as the first Maier Professor,” Neitch said. “I've been able to do some small research projects before, but this will allow me, with the help of many dedicated colleagues, to pursue more in-depth clinical research projects, which will have significant impact on the lives of persons with dementia.”

Neitch said the first goal is to complete a genetics study of a family whose affected members develop symptoms at a very young age, in their late 20’s.   The next step, she added, will be to pursue treatment options.

Dr. Larry D. Dial, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine, applauded Neitch’s efforts to find answers about a disease that affects thousands of West Virginians.

“This selfless gift from the Maier family will ensure that critical research support is available to talented individuals like Dr. Neitch who are the forefront of defining etiology of and therapies for dementia and other debilitating brain disorders,” Dial said.

The Maier Clinical Research Professorship was named in honor of Marshall University alumnus Edward “Ed” Maier, following his retirement from General Corporation, a real estate business owned by the Maier family.

“I’m very gratified my family chose to honor me with the establishment of an endowed professorship at the School of Medicine,” Maier said.   “We are pleased to help support research which will benefit future generations of West Virginians.”

General Corporation’s gift of $1 million for establishment of the professorship was matched dollar for dollar by the “Bucks for Brains” West Virginia Research Trust Fund.  The fund was established in 2008 to serve as a catalyst for economic development across the state. The trust fund program allows Marshall to double private gifts that support expansions to research faculty and infrastructure in key areas linked to economic development, health care and job growth.


Photos: (Above) Dr. Larry Dial Jr., chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, presents a plaque to Dr. Shirley Neitch today after she was named the first Maier Clinical Research Professor. (Below) From left, Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, Susan Maier, Dr. Shirley Neitch and Ed Maier pose for photographers during a ceremony today announcing Neitch as the first Maier Clinical Research Professor. Photos by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197