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Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Quillen College of Medicine



Norman C. Moore MD is the Director of PEARL, which is located in the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Innovation Lab. He is also ETSU Quillen College of Medicine (QCOM) Professor Psychiatry. The Innovation Lab is a full service small business incubator, designed to support entrepreneurs and investors to affect the successful establishment of technology-based start-up and spin-off businesses in order to achieve technology transfer, create jobs, and enhance economic development within the region. Dr Moore and his research team are carrying out a number of multimodal imaging studies, with an emphasis on EEG and PET. Research interests include neuropathic pain (fibromyalgia; complex regional pain syndrome {CRPS}) and the dementias (Alzheimer’s; vascular, HIV/AIDS; Traumatic Brain Injury). Studies include antibody treatment (which removes Alzheimer’s disease plaques) and investigational PET radioligands (e.g. C11-PIB amyloid compound) which image plaques. Methodology includes spinal taps, autopsies and visual evoked responses.   Other research includes treatment-resistant schizophrenia and long-acting antipsychotic treatment. Studies of EEG biofeedback of anxiety disorders in adults and children are also in progress.




Our first Soterion Research Fellow is Homayoun Modaressifar MD. Being Board Certified in Nuclear Medicine, he brings to our Research Program valuable expertise in PET imaging. The Soterion Fellowship is funded by Bob Jones, President, Soterion Health Care Group. His company provides neuro-diagnostic services, using neuro-PET and EEG. The Soterion Fellow will spend time in the sponsor’s laboratory, which will be located near PEARL in the Innovation Lab. Scott Holbrook is the Director of Precision Nuclear LLC, the cyclotron which manufactures the radioligands for the PET scanners in the region. His company carries out sponsored studies in imaging of the heart and brain. Hendrik Engelbrecht PhD, Radiochemist, is leading the team that produces the radioligands. In the building where Precision Nuclear is located, there is also a PET laboratory, owned by LifeScan Tennessee LLC. The Soterion Fellow will spend most of his time in PEARL, Precision Nuclear and LifeScan. He will use multi-modal brain imaging (to search for biomarkers; monitor brain function in treatment of CPRS; etc.), and will gain experience in EEG, MRI and molecular medicine imaging.  Lance Klosterman MD, Johnson City Medical Center Radiologist, will join Norman Moore, Scott Holbrook and Hendrik Engelbrecht and the cardiologists conducting biomarker research in supervision of the Fellow. Future studies could include uptake of compounds that bind to dopamine, serotonin, opioid and other receptors.

Studies coordinated by Homayoun

·        Abilify (Aripiperazole Depot IM)

·        Fibromyalgia (Quetiapine)

·        Avid (Amyvid)


Tracy D. Wilson BS, Research Assistant, is the lead coordinator for all PEARL activities. Projects range from investigator-initiated studies to international sponsored clinical trials, which involve diagnostic tests and interventions for fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, PET, and EEG. Tracy is a graduate of East Tennessee State University.



Susan Wallace BS, Secretary 3, is the lead coordinator and technician for our EEG studies. She is Director of a Biofeedback Foundation of Europe Hub, for a study of EEG Biofeedback Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This is a collaboration with Thought Technology, LTD, Montreal. She is actively preparing for a Visual Evoked Response biological marker study of Alzheimer’s disease. She also acts as coordinator, rater, screener and drug manager in non-EEG studies.





Shima Mohsen Sheini, MD, is working as a Volunteer Research Assistant while obtaining qualifications to make her eligible to apply for a Residency in Psychiatry. She will screen subjects for the Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia studies, collect their demographic and clinical data, and explain the consent process. She will also perform EKGs in some projects, and carry out EEG biofeedback in Generalized Anxiety Disorder studies.



Christan Thomas is the drug dispenser for the Alzheimer’s immunotherapy studies, sponsored by Janssen. Christan is a PharmD candidate at the East Tennessee State University Gatton College of Pharmacy with an expected graduation date of May 2012. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Milligan College.




There are many functions that can be performed only by fully licensed physicians. Patrick Macmillan MD, Assistant Professor, is seen here. He and fellow faculty member Rakesh Patel MD assist the research team in various projects. Residents Anoop Bhagat MD and Badari Birur MD provide physical examinations in fibromyalgia research. Tom Stoss MD acts as the un-blinded drug dispenser for the fibromyalgia study. Dr. Birur also acts as a PANSS rater in schizophrenia studies. Liliana Murillo MD and Gabriel Zaietta MD assist in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia studies. TJ Mitchell, a Medical Student Summer Research Fellow, is working on EEG and dementia projects. He is the third medical student in three years to join us for the Summer Research Fellowship.


·        Clinical Global Impression (CGI)

·        Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Scale

·        Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS)

·        Barnes Akathisia Scale

·        Simpson-Angus Rating Scale (SAS)

·        UKU Side Effects Rating Scale

·        Drug Attitude Inventory

·        Positive And Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia (PANSS) Scale

·        Personal and Social Performance Scale (PSP)

·        Neurocognition Rating

·        Cogtest Computer Battery

·        WisconsinCard Sorting Test (WCST)

·        Verbal Fluency Test

·        Auditory Consonant Trigram

·        Category Fluency

·        Health Outcomes

·        Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE)

·        Neuropsychological Test Battery (NTB)

·        NeuroPsychiatric Inventory (NPI)

·        Alzheimer Disease Assessment – Cognitive behavior (ADAS-cog)

·        Health Utilities Index (HUI)

·        Quality of Life Alzheimer’s Disease Scale (QoL-AD)

·        Dependence Scale (DS)

·        Resource Utilization in Dementia (RUD) LITE

·        CGI-SS suicide scale

·        ColumbiaSuicide Severity Rating Scale


Chris Loveday BS, M Ed, Office Manager, is the administrator who manages all personnel and other details for the hiring and training of research staff. She takes care of contracts and budgets, and solves administrative problems that have never been presented in the past. She informs Tracy Wilson BS (photo above) of all financial information related to PEARL studies. Tracy acts as bookkeeper, ensuring that all income and payments are recorded. She also purchases equipment and other necessities for the research program.


If you, a family member, or friend would like to participate in any of the following studies, please call Tracy on 423-439-7393.

The clinical efficacy of a monoclonal antibody in Alzheimer’s disease

Assessment of other types of dementia: vascular; traumatic brain injury; HIV / AIDS

Intramuscular monthly shot treatment of Schizophrenia

EEG relaxation therapy of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Medication treatment of fibromyalgia

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