WPI originated from hope and determination to find the underlying causes of myalgic encephalomyeltis (ME) and a cure for a spectrum of disabling illnesses that continue to profoundly affect our founders’ family members and thousands of other families within the state of Nevada and millions throughout the United States. With expert advice from concerned pysicians, Dr. Kenneth W Hunter, Sci.D., and the help of many interested friends, the Whittemores worked with the University of Nevada and the Nevada state legislature, to create a new medical research center on the medical campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. Their combined resources resulted in the 2010 opening of WPI in the Center for Molecular Medicine on the medical campus in Reno, Nevada.
Thousands of publications describe the severe systemic consequences of infection-associated chronic diseases such as ME, post-treatment Lyme disease, and, more recently, Post-Acute Sars CoV or PASC, an illness that is similar to ME. Yet, there are still too few treatment options and no FDA-approved biological diagnostic tests.
WPI is committed to finding answers for the millions impacted by ME through research, education, and individualized service programs.
F. Harvey and Annette Whittemore and Daniel Peterson MD
Board of Directors
Annette Whittemore, Sam Shad, Peggy Sullivan, Nancy Ghusn, and Joann Lippert, PhD
President & CEO - Annette Whittemore
Administration - Kellen Jones
Controller - Jim Harris
Technology - Dean Laslo
Government Affairs - Pete Ernaut
Board of Directors
President & CEO, WPI WPI Board of Director’s President Affiliations: Davidson Academy Board of Directors, SolveME, The ME Association, International Association CFS/ME, American Association of University Women
WPI Board Member Sam Shad is a household name in Northern Nevada where his face and voice are as instantly recognizable as an old friend from his four decades as a broadcast personality on television and radio. A member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Sam has also worked in every form of advertising. His cheerful manner and trademark attire of suit and white tennis shoes established him as one of the area's most popular TV personalities. A self-admitted Type A personality and early riser, Sam has interviewed the prime movers and shakers in the state's political, business, health and education spheres for many years. The Nevada Newsmakers television show airs in both Reno and Las Vegas. In Northern Nevada the show airs on The CW Tuesday through Friday at Noon. News Talk 780 KOH airs all four weekly programs in a two-hour block each Sunday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 am. Nevada Newsmakers is available in streaming video on their website and also on audio and video Podcasts on iTunes as well as on YouTube.
JoAnn Behrman-Lippert, PhD
WPI Board Member JoAnn Behrman-Lippert, Ph.D., Psychologist and Trauma Consultant, has 30 years of experience working with missing and exploited children, victims of crime and assessing threats of workplace violence and harassment. She specializes in treatment of these issues. She also serves as a forensic consultant and evaluator in criminal and civil actions involving violence, threats of violence and allegations of harassment and hostile work environments, child abduction and exploitation. Dr. Lippert has been a consultant to municipal, county, and federal law enforcement agencies since 1985. She has also been a frequent consultant and faculty member in U.S. Department of Justice training and research programs including Reunification of Missing Children the Missing and Exploited Children Action Program (MCAP). In 1999 she completed a five‑year research and development grant for the U. S. Department of Justice on treatment models and family trauma response to missing children who have been recovered and to their families. In addition to treating children recovered from abductions, she has also assisted law enforcement and social services in reunifying children with their left behind parents. She maintains a private practice in Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada
Treasurer, Board of Directors A longtime friend of Annette and Harvey Whittemore, Peggy remembers well when Andrea Whittemore, their daughter, was diagnosed with ME/CFS. She recalls the profound impact it had on the entire family and their immediate search for answers. Peggy has remained a close friend and supporter of WPI since its inception and is proud to be an advocate for the institute and neuro-immune diseases. Her time and work with the institute has been motivated by her desire to see WPI become a world-renowned institution and an innovative leader for research and treatment for all neuro-immune diseases and afflictions. A native Nevadan, Peggy has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has been involved with various political campaigns including former Nevada Chief Justice Bob Rose’s run for governor (1978) and Dick Bryan’s governor race (1983). Peggy was married to retired federal district court judge David Warner Hagen for 40 years. While raising their three children, in addition to her continued support for WPI, she spent 10 years substitute teaching in the Washoe County School District. One of Peggy's children, Kathryn Hagen, MD, volunteered in Dr. Lombardi's research lab at UNR prior to attending medical school where she became a neurologist. Additionally, Peggy served for several years on the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood, spearheading their various fundraising efforts.
Secretary, Board of Directors
There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.
~ Idowu Koyenikan,