Nature 11

Dr. Robert C. Switzer, III

August 18, 1943 ~ October 18, 2020 (age 77)


Dr. Robert “Bob” Switzer III, of Knoxville, Tennessee, passed into eternal life peacefully on October 18, 2020. Born in 1943 to Robert and Elayne Switzer, Bob was raised in upstate New York where he excelled in many areas but particularly sports, and of course, science. He became a lifelong Spartan when he attended Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan where he received his B.S. in Physics and his M.S. and Biophysics. 

Dr. Switzer and his wife Julie created NeuroScience Associates (NSA Labs) in 1989. After sleepless nights and long days, they advanced the company from a quaint 1890’s general store to what is now a globally renowned organization that spans multiple buildings with a full staff of employees. The success of NSA Labs is best measured in the number of lives that have been positively impacted –  whether it be family members, friends, employees, clients, community members, or any of the millions of people who have received life-saving treatment through the progress of research enhanced by the contribution of NSA Labs to the neuroscience community. 

Aside from the many years of work and scientific contributions, Dr. Switzer enjoyed his time playing golf, traveling, watching collegiate football and basketball, reading, driving his cherished red convertible, being mistaken for Captain Jean Luc Picard, and spending time with his Great Pyrenees.

Dr. Switzer is survived by the love of his life and best friend of more than fifty-two years, Julie Switzer; son, Robert Switzer and his wife, Alice of Sherwood, OR; daughter, Britt Massei and her husband Chris of Warrenton, VA; son, Scott Switzer and his wife Tyann of Knoxville, TN. He is also survived by his eight grandchildren: Owen, Emily, Mia, Sara, Reece, Skylar, Tia, and Holly and two step-grandchildren, Stephen and Connor who all will dearly miss their beloved “GrandBob.” Dr. Switzer leaves close friends Cindy Moore, Jim Baun, Josie Kidd, as well as his three sisters: Marilyn, Shirley, and Suzanne. 

Dr. Switzer leaves a void with the staff at NSA Labs. His teaching sessions, mentoring, humor, compassion, encouragement, and genuine kindness have left an indelible mark on the lives of every employee at the company. Dr. Switzer (or “Dr. Bob” as he is known at the lab) treated each person with respect and genuine interest, no matter their background. It would normally be said that Dr. Switzer set a gold standard for business operations, but at NSA it would be more appropriate to call it the “silver” standard.

Due to COVID-19 and in the interest of safety, a memorial service will be available for viewing online on Friday, October 23, 2020 at 9:00am.

In place of flowers or personal visitations, anyone is welcome to do something in his memory, whether an act of kindness for someone in need; sending flowers to someone you love “just because”; or making a financial donation to a charity you deem worthy and impactful. Make it so…

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” - Thomas Campbell, Scientist


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