About our Founder
Biography of Dr. Robert C. Switzer, III
Dr. Robert C. Switzer, III has over thirty-five years of experience in the neuroscience field. Immediately prior to founding NSA, he was the Director of the R. H. Cole Neuroscience Lab at the University of Tennessee which focuses on research related to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Switzer also has held positions at the National Institute of Mental Health and the Comparative Animal Research Lab in Oak Ridge Tennessee. Dr. Switzer has authored more than forty manuscripts in peer reviewed journals, published over fifty scientific meeting abstracts and contributed to seven books. In addtion, Dr. Switzer is the inventor of NSA’s MultiBrain® technology and was awarded a patent for silver staining techniques used to detect Alzheimer’s disease pathology.
Dr. Switzer graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy and then joined the Biophysics department under Dr. Barnett Rosenberg to study olfactory transduction mechanisms. Later, the intrigue of comparative neuroanatomy attracted him to the laboratory of Dr. John I. Johnson under whom he obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in Biophysics. As a post doctoral fellow under the tutelage of Drs. Lennart Heimer and Jose deOlmos at the University of Virginia he learned neurohistologic silver staining techniques for identifying neuronal pathways in the brain. As an NIH Staff Fellow, he evolved the application of silver staining methods to specifically detect neurotoxic effects. The neurotoxic effects of alcohol and high pressure oxygen were among his first applications of the silver staining methods for this purpose.
Among Dr. Switzer’s most significant “technical” contributions to neuroscience are the invention of MultiBrain® technology, the Campbell-Switzer Alzheimer’s stain and also the development of the first silver stain for proteins in 2-D gels. Some highlights of his “scientific” contributions to neuroscience include papers published on the neurotoxic effects of alcohol, a neuroanatomical trait as a phylogenic discriminator, absence of mitral cells in monotremes, and the locus of ventral globus pallidus as defined by ferric iron.