About Us

Frederick W. Schaerf, M.D., Ph.D.



Dr. Frederick W. Schaerf passed away on July 14, 2018 after a courageous and very public battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). You can read more about him at his obituary.


He was born in Basel, Switzerland and moved to Baltimore, Maryland as a child.  He received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1974. He continued his studies in reproductive endocrinology at the University of Maryland, graduating with a Ph.D. in 1980, followed by a M.D. in 1983.


He completed his internship and residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and served as Chief  Resident in Psychiatry.  Following his Chief Residency, he was appointed to Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.


He is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult and Forensic Psychiatry.


Dr. Schaerf specialized in Neuropsychiatry at Johns Hopkins and was instrumental in starting the psychiatric AIDS service at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  He also worked with Dr. Fred Berlin evaluating and treating patients with sexual disorders.


Dr. Schaerf left academia in 1989 and came to Ft. Myers to practice Neuropsychiatry.  He has served as President and Associate Medical Director of the Medical Staff at Charter Glade Hospital, Medical Director of The Ruth Cooper Center for Behavioral Health Care of Lee County, served on the governor-appointed Local Advocacy Council and the Lee Memorial Health System Behavioral Health and Addictions Task Force.  Dr. Schaerf served on the Boards of the Quality Life Center, the Alvin Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center and the Lee County Association of Remarkable Citizens.  Dr. Schaerf was appointed by the Florida State Surgeon General to serve on the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Grant Advisory Board, which advises the State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health on the scope and direction of the Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program. In 2015, Dr. Schaerf was named Trailblazer of the Year by The News-Press Media Group for his research efforts in Alzheimer’s disease.


In 2001, Dr. Schaerf founded the Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida to establish, develop and maintain a high quality neuropsychiatric clinical research program in Southwest Florida.  With over 30 years of experience in clinical research, Dr. Schaerf and the medical research team conduct Phase Ib, II, III and IV outpatient clinical trials in Alzheimer’s Disease.


In 1999, Dr. Schaerf was one of 39 Psychiatrists in the United States to receive the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.  He has also received the Castle Connolly Top Doctor Award in Neuropsychiatry every year since 2004.  He is a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.





Wendy R. Bond, M.D.

Principal Investigator


Dr. Wendy Robinson Bond was born in Michigan and has been in SW Florida for the past 13 years.  She graduated from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2000 and completed her internship at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Michigan.  She then went on to Tufts University from 2000-2004 for her neurology residency.  She continued her education with a fellowship in muscle and nerve disorders at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton, MA form 2004-2005.


She is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.


For the past 13 years, Dr. Bond has been practicing General Neurology in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral Area.  She was the previous medical director of the Lee Health ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Clinic. She is a current member of the American Academy of Neurology, AAN Fellow.  Locally, she is a member of the Lee County Medical Society.


Because of her personal experiences with Alzheimer’s Disease, she recently joined Dr. Fred Schaerf, who founded the Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida.  She will continue, with his guidance, to maintain the high quality of clinical research trials here in Southwest Florida, in hopes of finding some relief for everyone suffering from this type of dementia.


Jennifer A. Springer, M.D.

Sub Investigator


Dr. Jennifer Springer was born in Pennsylvania where she attended Temple Medical School in Philadelphia.  She then went to the Medical College of Pennsylvania for her residency in Emergency Medicine.


She is Board Certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine.


For the past 19 years, Dr. Springer has resided in Southwest Florida and worked part-time in the Health Park Emergency Department and Lee Convenient Care while she helped her husband, Dr. Charles Springer, raise their four children and foster child.


She currently works as a Sub-Investigator at The Neuropsychiatric Research Center.




Melissa Chaires Schaerf, M.S.N., A.P.R.N.

Site Director


Melissa Chaires Schaerf, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., is the Site Director of Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida. Born near Jacksonville, Fla., she graduated from the University of North Florida and received her master’s degree from the University of South Florida. She has worked as a sexual assault counselor, a child protection team coordinator, a registered nurse and a neuropsychiatric nurse practitioner. As a clinical trial coordinator, rater and sub-investigator, she has experience with more than 90 clinical trials. With greater than 20 years of neuropsychiatric clinical patient care and CNS clinical trial experience she is routinely called upon as an educational lecturer to the community and healthcare professionals alike and consultant in the area of clinical trial site management. She holds professional membership in the Association of Clinical Research Professionals and the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and is active in numerous causes within her community. She has two children with her late husband, Frederick W. Schaerf, M.D., Ph.D.



Melissa C. Schaerf, M.S.N, A.P.R.N.

Site Director/Sub Investigator


Wendy R. Bond, M.D,

Principal Investigator


Jennifer A. Springer, M.D.

Sub Investigator


Bernardo A. Avila, M.D.

Clinical Intake/Research Coordinator


Deborah C. Silver, Psy.D.

Research Associate/Rater


Kerry Ellis-Berry, M.S., A.P.R.N., B.C.



Cheryl A. Edgecomb, R.N.

Research Nurse Coordinator


Brook L. Medina, R.N., B.S.N

Research Nurse Coordinator


Joan E. Black, R.N., B.S.N., C.C.R.C.



Angel C. Duncan, Ph.D. Candidate, M.A.-LMFT, A.T.R.

Director of Education/Rater


Jacob Feulner

B.A., Rater


Maurie Romeo, B.S.

Director Business Administration & Regulatory Affairs


Jessica G. Bur, B.S.

Research Project Coordinator/Assistant Regulatory


Andrea Feldman, R.Ph.T., C.Ph.T.

Unblinded Pharmacist/Clinical Intake


Deanna F. Osborne,

Administrative Office


Deanna K. Allard

Medical Assistant


Stephanie Brown, RMA

Medical Assistant


Robert C. Starke

Professional Relations/Marketing



Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida

14271 Metropolis Avenue, Suite A • Fort Myers, FL  33912