Meet Our Team
The world-class researchers, scientists, physicians, social workers and other health care professionals at Banner Alzheimer's Institute work together to provide help and hope for patients and families affected by Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders.
Eric M. Reiman,
Chief Executive Officer, Banner Research
Executive Director, Banner Alzheimer's Institute
Dr. Reiman is chief executive officer of Banner Research, executive director of Banner Alzheimer's Institute, clinical director of the Neurogenomics Division at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona, and director of the Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium. His contributions to the fields of brain imaging, the behavioral neurosciences and the presymtomatic study of Alzheimer's disease have earned him international recognition. He is the author of more than 200 research publications and serves as principal investigator for several research grants from the National Institutes of Health and other leading funders.
Pierre N. Tariot,
Director, Banner Alzheimer's Institute
Dr. Tariot, director of Banner Alzheimer's Institute, is board-certified in internal medicine and geriatric psychiatry. After intensive training in developing new treatments for Alzheimer's disease at the National Institutes of Health, he spent 20 years as a professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, where he directed a program dedicated to the care and study of people with Alzheimer's. He has devoted his career to helping patients and families cope with the effects of dementia and is a recognized leader in the development of new Alzheimer's treatments. He has published hundreds of scientific articles, is a widely sought-after speaker and consultant, and has won numerous awards for his service and research.
Senior Scientist and Technical Director, PET Center
Bandy serves as senior scientist and technical director of the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Center at Banner Alzheimer's Institute. He holds a bachelor's degree in nuclear medicine and zoology from the University of Iowa and a master's in engineering science (nuclear) from Arizona State University. He plays a critical role here in brain imaging programs and is responsible for the daily operations of the PET Center, including clinical and research activities as well as equipment quality assurance.
Brand is a physician assistant at Banner Alzheimer's Institute and a former physical therapist specializing in caring for the elderly. Her professional interests center on education and counseling related to understanding and living with dementia. Her work focuses on the effects of dementia on a person's ability to function daily as well as the disease's impact on the families of those affected.
Dr. Burke is a board-certified geriatric psychiatrist and specialist in dementia care at Banner Alzheimer's Institute. She completed an internal medicine internship at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and residency training in general adult psychiatry at the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT. Dr Burke went on to complete a prestigious fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at Harvard Medical School/ McLean Hospital. She has worked extensively with patients and families suffering from Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Her areas of expertise include the diagnosis and treatment of dementia as well as treatment of associated behavioral and psychiatric disturbances.
Lab Head - Computational Image Analysis
Chen is a senior scientist and senior biomathematician at Banner Alzheimer's Institute. He got his PhD in biomathematics in the area of neuroimaging at UCLA and also holds a master's degree in mathematics from Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China. His primary research interest is the quantification and statistical analysis of positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data in the study of human brain functions and diseases, particularly Alzheimer's disease. Chen has more than 160 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals in the fields of neuroimaging, Alzheimer's disease and mathematical/statistical methodology developments.
Jan Dougherty, RN,
Director, Family and Community Services
Dougherty is instrumental in creating care programs that cater to those affected by Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Her work has led to the formation and implementation of nationally recognized care models for dementia patients, including Dementia Care Paths and Palliative Care for Advanced Dementia. At Banner Alzheimer's Institute, she leads the Family and Community Services team in developing programs that foster enhanced education and support an improved quality of life for individuals living with and affected by memory loss.
MD (not licensed in the US), CCRP
Senior Manager of Clinical Trials
Medina-Rodriguez is a foreign medical graduate. She earned her medical degree at St. Luke's College of Medicine in the Philippines and bachelor's in psychology at the University at Buffalo-SUNY. She worked as a clinical research coordinator at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York conducting clinical trials in liver diseases before moving to Arizona in 2009 to join the research team at Banner Alzheimer's Institute. She served as a clinical research coordinator prior to becoming a certified clinical research professional in 2010. In 2011, she was promoted to clinical trials senior manager. In this role, she is responsible for the daily research operations of the clinical trials team, managing more than 30 trials concurrently, including both imaging and pharmaceutical-based research.
Wendy Lee, MD, (not licensed in the US),
Research Bioinformatics Manager
Lee is a Research Bioinformatics Manager at the Computational Image Analysis Lab at Banner Alzheimer's Institute and received her master's degree at Arizona State University and her MD degree, practicing in China for three years. Lee works with the director of computational imaging, supervising daily research operations, assists for investigators with research proposal submission and in research development efforts, consistent with department and organizational strategic plans. She has extensive experience in neuroimaging analyses specifically in the study of aging and Alzheimer's. Using various software programs, Lee performs data analyses using whole brain voxel based and ROI based methods for PET and MRI; tests and runs PET image quantification procedure; performs data quality control; conducts data extraction, and develops reports.
Ayutyanont is a biomathematician who received her PhD in industrial engineering from the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. Her doctoral studies focused on applying complex statistical and data mining methodologies to construct a statistical and mathematical model for prevention and early detection of cyber attack. During her studies, she also worked on the collaborative project between Arizona State University and Banner Alzheimer's Institute applying the statistical and data mining methodologies for diagnosis and tracking of Alzheimer's disease. She is now analyzing brain imaging data along with other biomarkers and cognitive performance data using statistical, mathematical and data mining methodologies to study the risk modification, early detection, diagnosis, tracking and treatment evaluation of Alzheimer's disease and normal aging in older adults. She helps analyze brain imaging and cognitive performance data to assess statistical powers and potential trial designs. She has published papers in leading scientific journals on brain imaging and Alzheimer's disease.
Hillary Protas, PhD
Biomathematician, Post-doctoral Fellow
Protas is a biomathematician at Banner Alzheimer's Institute. Protas received her PhD from the Department of Biomathematics at University of California, Los Angeles. Her doctoral research included combining Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) derived cortical extraction methods with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) enabling her to look and statistically analyze patterns of PET intensity of individuals at varying states of cognitive decline. With her current research she uses univariate and multivariate statistical approaches to look at different PET tracers with cognitive decline throughout the whole brain using both voxel based methods and regions of interests. She has published papers in leading scientific journals on neuroimaging and Alzheimer's.
Auttawut Roontiva, MS
Research Bioinformatics Analyst
Roontiva is a Bioinformatics Analyst at Banner Alzheimer's Institute. He received his master's degrees in industrial engineering and in mechanical engineering at Arizona State University. For his master in industrial engineering, he focused on applied statistics and data mining with applications on medical imaging, bioengineering, information security, manufacturing, biomechanics, development and design of products and workstations. He is now analyzing research brain imaging data such as MRI, fMRI, and PET along with other biomarkers and cognitive data to study the risk modification, early detection, diagnosis, tracking and treatment evaluation of Alzheimer's and normal aging. He also helps analyze brain imaging to assist physicians in diagnostics of patients in the Memory Disorders Clinic.
Pradeep Thiyyagura, MS
Research Bioinformatics Analyst
Thiyyagura is a bioinformatics research analyst at Banner Alzheimer's Institute. He earned a bachelor's in Biotechnology from ICFAI University, India and Professional Science Master's degree in Computational Biosciences from Arizona State University. For his master's project, Thiyyagura worked on modeling olfactory system networks in model system. He has been involved in studying the early structural and functional changes of the brain related to dementia. He also works closely with other team members in the computational PET lab to pre-process and perform statistical analysis on neuroimaging data.
Stephanie Parks, BA
Parks is a research assistant at Banner Alzheimer's Institute in the Computational Image Analysis Laboratory. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology with emphases in physiological and developmental psychology from San Francisco State University. During her studies, she worked as lab manager in the Infant Cognition Laboratory in the Psychology department at San Francisco State University. Prior to her time at BAI, she also worked in the Mind, Culture and Society Laboratory on a variety of collaborative projects between the Social Psychology and Neuroscience departments at Stanford University and the Stanford University School of Medicine. At BAI, she assists with analyses of neuroimaging data along with other biomarkers and cognitive measures in impaired and healthy participants for a number of projects.
Regulatory Affairs Coordinator
Pandya, a graduate of London's South Bank University, began her career in clinical research as a research associate at the University of Delaware. After 16 years, she transitioned to hospital-based research working in pre-clinical studies at Banner Sun Health Research Institute. After earning her clinical research coordinator certificate, she moved to the administrative side of the industry working as a regulatory affairs coordinator at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center before joining the team at Banner Alzheimer's Institute. Here, she provides operational support to physician and clinical investigators, while ensuring adherence to all guidelines outlined by study sponsors, the Institutional Review Board (IRB), FDA and other applicable federal, state and local governing agencies.
Regulatory Affairs Coordinator
Intorcia joined Banner Health in 1981 and held a variety of positions before moving to Banner Alzheimer's Institute in 2001 to serve as a research coordinator. In January 2006, she accepted the position of regulatory affairs coordinator for BAI and the Banner Good Samaritan PET Center. In the role, she provides regulatory support to physicians, clinical investigators and staff involved in conducting all sponsored, grant-funded and investigator-initiated research projects.