News & Events

Visiting professor lecture set for Jan. 15

Michael G. Rosenfeld, M.D. will visit Ann Arbor on Jan. 15, 2015 as a Taubman Institute Visiting Professor.

Dr. Rosenfeld, a renowned investigator in the field of gene expression, will present at Ophthalmology Grand Rounds at 7:30 a.m. at the Kellogg Eye Center.

Dr. Rosenfeld is Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine; an adjunct professor of biology in the Division of Biological Sciences at UCSD; and an adjunct professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He also is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Click here to read more about his research. 

 

Detroit News: Dr. Feldman's stem cell tests show promise in mice with Alzheimer's disease

As reported in the Nov. 11 edition of the Detroit News, Taubman Institute Director Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., is testing a stem cell treatment in laboratory mice with Alzheimer's disease.

Results of one recent experiment show that the animals engineered to have the disease performed as well as normal mice in memory tests, following the injection of stem cells to the brains of the diseased mice. 

"Those animals retained their ability to think, as a mouse does, to recognize objects so they looked just like an animal that doesn't have Alzheimer's disease," Feldman said. "It's really remarkable."

Click here to read the complete Detroit News article. 

Institute welcomes Dr. Robin Ali as Nov. 5 visiting professor

Robin Ali, Ph.D., a pioneer in the use of gene therapy and stem cells to restore damaged retinas, will speak in Ann Arbor on Nov. 5 as part of the Taubman Institute's Visiting Professor program.

Dr. Ali, professor of human molecular genetics and head of the Department of Genetics at University College London, is a leader in the study of experimental techniques to address conditions like macular degeneration and inherited retinal degeneration. He recently has initiated a human clinical trial, among the first of its kind, of a gene therapy for a severe childhood-onset form of retinal disease.

This lecture, "Gene and cell therapy for retinal degeneration: a vision for the future," is presented jointly by the Taubman Institute and the Departments of Neurology and Ophthalmology.

No registration is required to attend the talk, which will take place from 9:30-10:30 a.m. in the Danto Auditorium of the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center.  One CME credit is available for physicians. 

 

 

Dr. Eva Feldman elected to prestigious Institute of Medicine

Taubman Institute Director Eva L. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D. is among six University of Michigan faculty members to be elected this year to the he Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

The new IOM members were elected in recognition of their major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.

Dr. Feldmanis an internationally renowned expert in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.  She has devoted her career to finding new therapies and treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, and is at the forefront of applying stem cell research to human disease.

“This is truly an incredible honor,” Dr. Feldman said. “But more than anything it validates the hard work and dedication of our research and clinic teams at the University of Michigan. They are second to none, and I am fortunate to work with each end every one of them in our quest to understand and treat these confounding neurological disorders.”

As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Feldman treats patients and also directs the Program for Neurology Research and Discovery (www.pnrdfeldman.org), a laboratory staffed by some 30 scientists who are deciphering the mysteries of conditions ranging from diabetic nerve damage to Alzheimer's disease. She is director of research for the U-M ALS clinic and is the principal investigator of the first-ever FDA-approved human clinical trial of a stem cell therapy for ALS. The second phase of the trial is complete and Dr. Feldman anticipates moving to a broader test of the therapy in 2015. She has more than 23 years of continuous NIH funding and is currently the principal or co-investigator of five major National Institutes of Health research grants and three private foundation grants as well as the author of more than 300 original peer-reviewed articles, 59 book chapters and three books.

Dr. Feldman is one of six University of Michigan experts elected to the IOM this year, bringing to 59 the total of U-M faculty members who have been elected to the IOM. Also elected this year:

  • Gonçalo R. Abecasis, the Felix E. Moore Collegiate Professor of Biostatistics and chair of the Department of Biostatistics at the School of Public Health.
  • Carol R. Bradford, M.D., chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Medical School.
  • Charles J. Krause, M.D., Collegiate Professor of Otolaryngology.
  • Mark Fendrick, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the Medical School and a professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health.
  • Susan A. Murphy, the H.E. Robbins Distinguished University Professor of Statistics, professor of psychiatry and research professor at the Institute for Social Research.
  • Kathleen M. Potempa, dean and professor at the School of Nursing.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public.  Established in 1970, the IOM is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which was chartered under President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Nearly 150 years later, the National Academy of Sciences has expanded into what is collectively known as the National Academies, which comprises the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Research Council, and the IOM.

New members are elected by current active members through a selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.  A diversity of talent among IOM's membership is assured by the Institute's charter, which stipulates that at least one-quarter of the membership is selected from outside the health professions, for example, from such fields as the law, engineering, social sciences, and the humanities.  The newly elected members raise IOM's total active membership to 1,798 and the number of foreign associates to 128.  With an additional 86 members holding emeritus status, IOM's total membership is 2,012.

Taubman Institute to host renowned RNA researcher for Oct. 1 lecture

One of the world's foremost molecular biologists will speak Oct. 1 in Ann Arbor as part of the A.Alfred Taubman Institute's Visiting Professor Lecture Series.

Joan A. Steitz, Ph.D., of Yale University will deliver her talk "Noncoding RNAs: with a Viral Twist" at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 4 p.m. in the Danto Auditorium of the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center. 

Dr. Steitz is best known for her pioneering work in RNA. She and her student Michael Lerner discovered and defined the function of small ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) in pre-messenger RNA — the earliest product of DNA transcription — and was the first to learn that these cellular complexes (snRNPs) play a key role in processing messenger RNA by excising noncoding regions and splicing together the resulting segments.

Her breakthroughs into the previously mysterious splicing process have clarified the science behind the formation of proteins and other biological processes, including the intricate changes that occur as the immune system and brain develop.

Dr. Steitz earned her Ph.D. from Harvard in 1967. After completing postdoctoral work in Cambridge, England, she joined the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale as an assistant professor and later became an associate and full professor, as well as chair of the department. Her current appointment at Yale is Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.  She also is a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator.

All are welcome to attend the one-hour lecture; no registration is required. 

The University of Michigan Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit (tm).

Taubman Scholar Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan among world's most-cited researchers

A newly-published roster of the most-cited researchers in the world includes Taubman Scholar Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D. among the 27 University of Michigan researchers who made the list. 

Having one's publications cited frequently by other investigators and researchers is a sign that one's work is "ground-breaking and influential," according to Thomson Reuters, the information company that published the study, "The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds."  Being included on the list signifies that the researchers are considered in the top 1 percent of people in their respective fields, which span all disciplines from

Dr. Chinnaiyan, a professor of urology at the University of Michigan Medical School, is a noted expert in the genetics of prostate cancer.  He also serves as the S.P. Hicks Endowed Professor of Pathology and director of the U-M Center for Translational Pathology.  He was appointed a Taubman Scholar in 2011. 

New U-M president visits Taubman Institute

The Feldman Lab at the Taubman Institute hosted a fellow clinician-scientist on Aug. 22 when the University of Michigan’s new president paid a visit to the A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building.

Mark Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician and renowned biomedical researcher whose focus is n the developmental biology of the immune system. He became the University of Michigan’s 14th President on July 1, succeeding Mary Sue Coleman, Ph.D., who retired after 12 years of leading the university.

Dr. Schlissel, accompanied by U-M Medical School Dean James Wolliscroft, met with Taubman Institute Director Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D. for an   introduction to the work her lab is doing in regenerative medicine, including stem cell therapies for ALS, and in the fields of diabetes and neuropathy. During the tour he exchanged questions and answers with a number of research fellows and scientists.

Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Dr. Schlissel was provost at Brown University. Before moving to Brown in 2011, Dr. Schlissel was University of California at Berkeley’s Dean of Biological Sciences in the College of Letters & Science and held the C.H. Li Chair in Biochemistry.

He earned his undergraduate degree at Princeton University and earned both his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He performed his residency in internal medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Dr. Schlissel will be formally inaugurated on Sept. 5; related events will include a symposium on the topic “Sustaining the Biomedical Research Enterprise."  Click here for the schedule of public events

Taubman Institute 7th annual symposium set for Oct. 10

The A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute will award the 2014 $100,000 Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Science at its 7th annual symposium at 10 a.m. on Oct. 10.

Dr. Carl June, a physician-scientist who developed a personalized immunotherapy for leukemia using patients’ own T cells, will receive the honor and deliver the symposium's keynote address.

The treatment he designed is credited as the first successful and sustained demonstration of the use of gene transfer therapy to turn the body’s own immune cells into weapons aimed at cancerous tumors.

The research is considered a landmark breakthrough in treating blood cancers that have stopped responding to conventional therapies, or for patients who are not candidates for bone marrow transplants, which carry a high mortality risk.

The symposium also will feature presentations by Taubman Scholars including:

John Carethers, M.D., John G. Searle Professor and Chair, Department of Internal Medicine

       

 

Kathleen Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Internal Medicine

          

                       

Pavan Reddy. M.D., Moshe Talpaz Professor of Translational Oncology

        

 

The lectures will be preceded by a scientific poster session and coffee hour.  All events will take place in the A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building in Ann Arbor. 

No registration is required.  

Taubman Institute welcomes new gift officer

The Taubman Institute has a new ally in its quest to support the lifesaving work of U-M’s most promising clinician-scientists.

Maria Muller has been assigned by the university’s office of medical development to serve as the Taubman Institute’s lead development officer.  She’ll be working with benefactors and prospective supporters to create giving opportunities that fulfill the aims of donors while underwriting important institute efforts such as the Emerging Scholars Program. 

Muller brings a robust background in higher education fundraising.  A native of Ohio, she began her development career at Harvard University, shepherding major gifts for Harvard’s business and public health schools, the Kennedy School of Government and the fundraising activities of the university president’s office among others. 

Returning to her Midwestern roots, Muller served as a major gifts officer for the U-M College of Engineering, working with alumni and individual supporters, facilitating corporate support of scholarships, internships and other initiatives.  But the special rewards and challenges of engaging support for medical research really appeal to her, she says.

“People want to be actively engaged, and at the Taubman Institute we have very special opportunities for that,” Muller said.  “There is a way to help our donors be part of the dynamic conversation about healthcare, and to experience the transformative power of individual philanthropy -- right here where we are aggressively working to save people.  For a development officer, that’s rarefied air.”

“We are delighted, and very fortunate, to have Maria as our colleague and champion,” said Taubman Institute Director Eva L. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D.  “The scholars and I, along with Mr. Taubman, are very impressed by her acumen, energy and enthusiasm.  I know our generous supporters will greatly enjoy working with her.”

You can reach Maria Muller at (734) 763-6249 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Diabetic neuropathy will be the focus of August 6 Visiting Professor Lecture

Two eminent neurologists will visit Ann Arbor on August 6 to present their latest research findings at a Visiting Professor Lecture hosted by the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at the University of Michigan.

Amanda Peltier, M.D., a clinician-scientists and assistant professor of neurology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, is an authority in the field of diabetic neuropathy.  Her research focuses on developing means to diagnose neuropathy at earlier stages where it may be treatable. 

Dr. Peltier completed her residency in neurology in 2002, and her M.S. in clinical research design in 2005.She has been awarded the Samuel J. Roessler Memorial Medical Scholarship, and has been recognized by the Landacre Society, College of Medicine Research Honorary Society. She has also received the IFCN Young Investigator Fellowship Award.

Dr. Peltier has been awarded the Samuel J. Roessler Memorial Medical Scholarship, and has been recognized by the Landacre Society, College of Medicine Research Honorary Society. She has also received the IFCN Young Investigator Fellowship Award.

Troels Staehelin Jensen, M.D., DMSc, of the Aarhus University in Denmark, is a renowned expert in the neurophysiology of pain.  As a clinician-scientist, he has extensively studied the neuropathology of pain and is the author of more than 300 scientific papers.  He is chair of the Aarhus University Hospital Department of Neurology, a founder of the Danish Pain Research Center, has held numerous academic posts and is a past president of the International Association for the Study of Pain.

Dr. Peltier will speak about "Diabetic neuropathy: A tale of two diseases" at 9:30 a.m. on August 6.  Dr. Jensen will present his lecture, "Mechanisms and evidence based treatment of neuropathic pain" at 10:30 a.m.

Both talks will take place in the Danto Auditorium of the U-M Cardiovascular Center.  No registration is required; all are welcome to attend.

Click here for directions and parking information for the Danto Auditorium.

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