Meet the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute Management Team

Charles F. Burant, MD, PhD



Taubman Institute Director Charles F. Burant, MD, PhD, is Michigan Medicine’s Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Professor of Metabolism endowed chair, and professor of internal medicine in the department of Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes. He also is a professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology in the U-M Medical School, as well as in the U-M Schools of Public Health and Kinesiology.

Dr. Burant developed and is director of the Michigan Metabolomics and Obesity Center, which provides infrastructure and expertise for researchers across the country to perform basic and clinical research in metabolism, obesity and diabetes. His personal research program studies how individual differences in metabolism affect longevity and risk for metabolic diseases, spanning the range from basic to translational to clinical research.

Grace Wu

Managing Director


Grace Wu was appointed Managing Director of the Taubman Institute in August, 2017. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Administration from Concordia University.

Since joining the University of Michigan, Ms. Wu has held positions in administration, grants management and organizational management at the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and at Michigan Medicine. Most recently, she served as administrator for the Metabolomics and Obesity Center, organizing the activities of the MMOC as well as the NIH grants within the MMOC umbrella, the Regional Metabolomics Resource Core, the Nutrition Obesity Research Center, the Children’s Health Exposure Analysis Resource and Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity.

Stacey Jacoby, PhD

Deputy Managing Director


Stacey Sakowski Jacoby, PhD, joined the Taubman Institute as the Deputy Managing Director in 2011.  Her role includes supporting the operation of the organization and managing scientific programs and communications of the Taubman Institute.
Dr. Jacoby received her PhD in Molecular Biology & Genetics from Wayne State University in 2006, where her graduate research training focused on the biochemical characterization and analysis of post-translational modifications of proteins involved in serotonin biosynthesis.  She joined the laboratory of Dr. Eva Feldman at the University of Michigan in 2006 as a postdoctoral research fellow, and then advanced to Research Investigator in 2011.  In the Feldman laboratory, she developed and utilized zebrafish models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to understand the mechanisms of motor neuron degeneration and identify points for therapeutic intervention.  Dr. Jacoby is the author/co-author of over 30 manuscripts.

Melissa Preddy

Communications Director


Melissa Preddy joined the Taubman Institute in 2011 as Communications Director, overseeing internal and external writing, editing, videography, digital channels and development communications needs for the institute.  A veteran editor and writer, she has worked as a reporter, columnist and editor, with work appearing in such diverse publications and digital channels as the Detroit News,, Agence France-Presse and D Business magazine.   She has authored and presented training materials to other journalists via seminars and webinars nationwide.  She holds a BA and MA in Journalism from the University of Michigan, and also was selected as a Knight-Wallace Fellow in Journalism, Class of ’05.