The MS Team

The John L. Trotter MS Center team: Front row seated, Left to right: Nanette Bladdick (administrative assistant), Susan Sommer (clinical coordinator), Laura Piccio MD PhD, Megan Orchard PA, Cathie Martinez (nurse), Anne Cross MD, Rob Naismith MD, Courtney Dula (clinical coordinator).
Back row Left to right: Dana Perantie (clinical coordinator), Amber Smith (clinical coordinator), Linda Heinrich RN (clinical coordinator), Bridgette Clay (clinical coordinator), Afsaneh Shirani MD (MS Fellow), Emily Evans MD (MS Fellow), Salim Chahin MD, Gregory Wu MD PhD, Francesca Cignarella PhD (MS research Fellow), Claudia Cantoni PhD (MS research fellow), Bryan Bollman (MS laboratory technician), and Shannon Sides (MS clinical coordinator).
Not shown: Bob Mikesell (laboratory research technician) and Angela S Archambault PhD (laboratory researcher).

The Physicians

Anne H. Cross, MD graduated cum laude from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and was selected for the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honorary. After residency training in neurology at George Washington University in Washington , D.C., Dr. Cross spent six years as a fellow in multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology at the National Institute of Health and Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York. Dr. Cross received a fellowship from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and was named a Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She joined the MS Center in 1991 as a specialist in MS and neuroimmunology.
Watch Dr. Cross participating in the PBS Program “Second Opinion”

Becky J. Parks, MD a native of California, Dr. Parks earned her medical degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1987. She completed neurology residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, where she was Chief Resident in Neurology for 1991-1992. Dr. Parks joined the Washington University MS Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 2002. She was recruited from St. Louis University Hospital where she cared for a number of MS patients, was involved in MS clinical trials, and was elected as Teaching Attending of the Year. She has served on the Clinical Advisory Committee of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Gateway Area Chapter.

Robert T. Naismith, MD received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, where he was elected to AOA. He completed his Internal Medicine and Neurology training at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and was chosen Resident of the Year” in 2002. His research project as a Neurology resident on MS received the Levy Award from the Department of Neurology for best research by a resident. Dr. Naismith was selected as the first recipient of the Serono Fellow award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS). His research interests include the role of ethnicity in prognosis in MS, imaging of white matter tracts, improvement of the existing computerized database at the John L. Trotter Center, and the multidisciplinary approach to caring for people with MS. He is interested in clinical care and clinical trials, and serves as the research liaison to the Gateway Area Chapter of the NMSS.
Dr. Naismith is a member of the Steering Committee for ACTRIMS, Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in MS.

Laura Piccio, MD, PhD was trained in medicine and neurology in Milan Italy. She does research full-time. Her main focus of research is on endogenous immune regulatory mechanisms involving the “TREM” family of molecules, and caloric restriction in the EAE model of MS.

Gregory Wu, MD, PhD was born and raised in Iowa. He attended college at Washington University in St. Louis before obtaining his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Iowa. Dr. Wu joined the Washington University MS Center after completing neurology residency and fellowship training in neuroimmunology at the University of Pennsylvania. His fellowship was supported by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He is actively pursuing research in multiple sclerosis, receiving a K08 career development award from the NIH for his work investigating the role of dendritic cells in an animal model for MS.

MS Center Staff

Cathie Martinez, LPN – Staff Clinical Nurse. Cathie has been with the MS Center since 1995. Cathie handles most patient care-related matters and helps triage incoming phone calls. Some of her responsibilities include: scheduling and pre-certing MRI’s and other tests, answering questions from patients about symptoms, providing test results, filling out insurance and other forms and taking requests for medical records. Cathie will obtain information from patients calling in with problems, speak with their physician and call the patient back with recommendations. Questions about any of the above matters should be referred to Cathie. Cathie may be contacted at 314-747-0307.

Nanette Bladdick – Administrative Assistant. “Nett” joined the MS Center in May of 2005. She handles most incoming calls and appointment scheduling. General questions and appointment requests should be forwarded to her attention. Persons seeking a new patient appointment or consultation should also contact Nett. She may be contacted at our general number, 314-362-3293.

Samantha Lancia – Research assistant to Drs. Naismith and Cross. Samantha is the coordinator for all of our research imaging studies. She plans the research visits and assists in the functional testing of research subjects. Samantha can be contacted at 314 747-5576.

Other Professionals

The National MS Society Gateway Chapter

The MS Team of Therapists: PT, OT, Speech and Swallowing, Rehabilitation

The MS Laboratory Research Staff:

Michael J. Ramsbottom, Research Laboratory Technologist

Robert Mikesell Laboratory research

Angela Archambault PhD. Laboratory research

Megan Orchard, Physician Assistant

MS Fellows

Erin Longbrake MD, PhD

Jie Wen PhD