Director and Staff

Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., F.A.N.A.


Throughout her career, Dr. Eva Feldman, the Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan, has made it her mission to use scientific discoveries to understand and cure human diseases.

In January 2008, Dr. Feldman was named the first Director of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute, which was created by a $100 million dollar endowment from A. Alfred Taubman to support fundamental research into a wide range of human diseases. Under her leadership, the Taubman Institute funds senior-level clinician-scientists in a diverse spectrum of diseases – adult and childhood cancer, ALS, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hearing loss. The institute also provides grants to early-career physician-researchers who are in the process of establishing their own laboratories.

In her own work, Dr. Feldman is on the forefront of applying stem cell research to human disease. Most notably she is the Principal Investigator of the first clinical trial of intraspinal transplantation of stem cells in patients with ALS, which received FDA approval in April 2013 to proceed to Phase 2. This second round of surgeries began in September 2013 in Ann Arbor; to date 28 procedures have been performed in the trial with no adverse side effects. In post-operative evaluations of Phase 1 patients, a subset has shown noteworthy stabilization of their disease progression.

In addition to running an active clinical practice at the University of Michigan, Dr. Feldman directs a team of 30 scientists who collaborate to understand and find new treatments for a wide variety of neurodegenerative conditions, including ALS, diabetic neuropathy, Alzheimer’s disease, and muscular dystrophies.

She has published more than 330 original peer-reviewed articles, 59 book chapters and three books. Dr. Feldman has over 23 years of continuous NIH funding and is currently the Principal or Co-Investigator of five major National Institutes of Health research grants, three private foundation grants and one clinical trial focused on understanding and treating neurological disorders, with an emphasis on ALS and diabetic neuropathy.

Dr. Feldman has received many honors including the Early Distinguished Career Award and the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from the University of Michigan, along with several scientific achievement awards in the field of diabetes. In 2010 she was elected to the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars, and she has been listed in Best Doctors in America for more than 12 consecutive years. She served as President of the American Neurological Association from 2011 to 2013, the third woman to hold this position in 140 years. In 2014 she was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Among Dr. Feldman’s greatest accomplishments is her training of both scientists and neurologists. Nine scientists have received their Ph.D. degrees under her, she has trained 50 postdoctoral fellows in her laboratory to become neuroscientists, and 40 neurologists have trained under her to specialize in the understanding and treatment of neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases, with an emphasis on ALS.

fischhoffMarty Fischhoff, B.A.

Managing Director

Marty Fischhoff came to the University of Michigan Health System in 2008 to oversee administrative, programming, communications and development functions of the Taubman Institute. Prior to that, he was assistant managing editor at The Detroit News, where he worked for 20 years in a wide variety of capacities. He was the editor of Detroit Monthly for five years before that, winning the William White Award as editor of the best city magazine in its circulation class in the nation. He has worked in public relations, marketing, video production and wrote a best-selling guidebook to Detroit. He has participated in many community organizations, serving on the boards of Washtenaw Literacy, the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit and D-PAN (which produces music videos for the deaf community).

stacey-sakowskiStacey Jacoby, Ph.D.

Deputy Managing Director

Stacey Sakowski Jacoby, Ph.D., 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 Ph.D. 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 14 manuscripts.

Melissa Preddy, B.A., M.A.

Communications Director

Melissa Preddy joined the Taubman Institute in 2011 as Communications Director.  A veteran editor and writer, she worked as a reporter, columnist and editor for The Detroit News from 1995 to 2008, specializing in business journalism and personal finance.  As a freelance writer, her work has appeared in print and online for numerous news organizations ranging from to Agence France-Presse to D Business magazine.   She has authored and presented training materials to other journalists via seminars and webinars nationwide.

Preddy received a B.A. in Communications and an M.A. in Journalism from The University of Michigan, and also was selected as a Knight-Wallace Fellow in Journalism 04-05 for her study proposal on the topic of financial anthropology.

Judith Bentley, B.B.A.

Executive Assistant

Judith Bentley is executive assistant to Dr. Feldman, responsible for grant and manuscript submissions, as well as daily correspondence and administrative activities for the Taubman Institute and the Program for Neurology Research and Discovery laboratory.  She also assists Dr. Feldman in her work on  the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Center for the Study of Complications in Diabetes.  She received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Eastern Michigan University in 2005. 


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