Audacious discovery

Physician-researchers are distinguished medical scientists who have chosen a rigorous dual career path: Patient-care clinician and laboratory investigator.

The Taubman Institute was founded to support and facilitate the success of these innovative and ambitious researchers at the University of Michigan, through financial grants and the cultivation of a collaborative community of Taubman Scholars.

These clinician-scientists treat patients at Michigan Medicine, and concurrently direct laboratory teams that are working to combat a wide array of challenging conditions: childhood and adult cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, ALS, depression, vision loss, cardiovascular disease and much more.

Scholars also serve as advocates for research by mentoring junior faculty and medical students, serving in executive roles at Michigan Medicine and holding leadership positions in professional societies.

Collectively, they are responsible for initiating more than 100 human clinical trials of new therapies and treatments, and have published thousands of peer-reviewed papers in the most prestigious journals.

Taubman Institute Director

Charles F. Burant, MD, PhD

  • Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Professor of Metabolism
  • Professor, Internal Medicine
  • Professor, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
  • Professor, Nutritional Sciences, School of Public Health
  • Director, A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at Michigan Medicine, Medical School

Dr. Burant studies how individual differences in metabolism affect longevity and risk for metabolic diseases, spanning the range from basic to translational to clinical research.

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Michigan Nutrition Obesity Research Center

Metabolomics Research Core

Founding Scholars

Eva L. Feldman, MD, PhD

  • James W. Albers Distinguished University Professor
  • Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology
  • Director, ALS Center of Excellence
  • Director, NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies
  • Founding Director, Taubman Institute

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Feldman’s Laboratory

ALS Center of Excellence – Pranger ALS Clinic

Valerie P. Opipari, MD

  • Ravitz Foundation Endowed Professor, Pediatrics and Communicable Disease
  • Former Division Chief, Pediatrics
  • Director of the Taubman Institute’s Neuroblastoma Research Program

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

David J. Pinsky, MD

  • J. Griswold Ruth MD & Margery Hopkins Ruth Professor, Internal Medicine
  • Division Chief, Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Director and Science Lead, Frankel Cardiovascular Center
  • Taubman Institute Executive Committee Member

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Yehoash Raphael, PhD

  • The R. Jamison and Betty Williams Professor, Otolaryngology
  • Faculty Mentor, Neuroscience Graduate Program

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Raphael’s Laboratory

Max S. Wicha, MD

  • Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professor, Oncology
  • Director, Forbes Institute for Cancer Discovery
  • Distinguished Professor, Oncology and Internal Medicine
  • Founding Director Emeritus, U-M Rogel Cancer Center

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Wicha’s Laboratory


The Taubman Scholars are senior level physician-researchers and thought leaders in discovery-driven science.

Arul Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD

  • S.P. Hicks Endowed Professor of Pathology
  • Director, Michigan Center for Translational Pathology
  • Professor, Urology
  • Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • American Cancer Society Research Professor

Dr. Chinnaiyan’s laboratory is focused on using functional genomic, proteomic, metabolomic and bioinformatics approaches to dissect and understand cancer biology as well as discover biomarkers.

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Chinnaiyan’s Laboratory

Kathleen Collins, MD, PhD

  • Professor, Internal Medicine
  • Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
  • Director, Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Michigan Medicine Medical School

Dr. Collins is an expert in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) biology and the mechanisms of HIV disease pathogenesis.

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Collins’ Laboratory

Thomas Gardner, MD, MS

  • Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
  • Professor, Internal Medicine – Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes
  • Professor, Molecular & Integrative Physiology
  • Director, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Diabetic Retinopathy Center

Dr. Gardner studies the prevention, treatment and clinical research of diabetic retinopathy.

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

David Ginsburg, MD

  • James V. Neel Distinguished University Professor Internal Medicine & Human Genetics
  • Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Medicine
  • Research Professor, Life Sciences Institute
  • Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Dr. Ginsburg studies the molecular genetics of blood clotting, specifically von Willebrand factor, coagulation factor V and plasminogen activation

Dr. Ginsburg’s Laboratory

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Profile

Lynn Henry, MD, PhD

  • Daniel F Hayes M.D. Breast Cancer Research Professor
  • Professor of Internal Medicine
  • Associate Division Chief for Clinical Research
  • Assistant Director for Training, Education and Career Development (TECD) in Cancer Center

Dr. Henry focuses her research on breast cancer, including triple negative breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, hormone receptor positive breast cancer, HER2 positive breast cancer, and male breast cancer.

Michigan Medicine Profile page

Theodore Lawrence, MD, PhD

  • Isadore Lampe Professor of Radiation Oncology
  • Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology

Dr. Lawrence focuses on translational research in the general area of molecularly targeted radiosensitizers

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Lawrence Laboratory

Donna Martin, MD, PhD

  • Ravitz Foundation Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases
  • Professor, Human Genetics
  • Chair, Department of Pediatrics
  • Taubman Institute Executive Committee Member

Dr. Martin’s research focuses on the genetic basis of neural development and disorders of human development; specifically, study genes predicted to influence neuronal stem cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Martin’s Laboratory

Jack Parent, MD

  • William J. Herdman Professor of Neurology
  • Director, Neurodevelopment and Regeneration Laboratory
  • Co-director, Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
  • Taubman Institute Executive Committee Member

Dr. Parent studies biology of neural stem cells in the neonatal and adult mammalian brain, and the response of neural stem cells to brain injury 

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Parent’s Laboratory

Henry L. Paulson, MD, PhD

  • Lucile Groff Professor of Neurology
  • Director, Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias
  • Co-Director, U-M Protein Folding Diseases Initiative

Paulson’s research and clinical interests concern the causes and treatment of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, with an emphasis on polyglutamine diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Paulson’s Laboratory

Srijan Sen, MD, PhD

  • Director, U-M Depression Center.
  • Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Professor of Depression and Neurosciences
  • Associate Chair, Research and Research Faculty Development
  • Associate Vice President, Health Sciences

Dr. Sen’s research focuses on the interactions between genes and the environment and their effect on stress, anxiety, and depression

Dr.Sen’s Laboratory

U-M Institute for Healthcare Innovation & Policy Profile

Emerging Scholars

The Taubman Institute’s unique Emerging Scholars program ensures that promising early-career physician-investigators are able to stay in the research arena as they develop a body of work that will qualify for more traditional sources of funding. Generally, practicing clinicians who are medical school faculty at the assistant professor are eligible.

To date, the Taubman Institute has sponsored 34 of these talented individuals, paving the way for the next generation of biomedical breakthroughs

Alison Affinati, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine

Dr. Affinati is an endocrinologist whose research seeks to understand the pathways in the brain that control blood sugar, with a long-term goal of developing brain-targeted treatments for diabetes.

Sami Barmada, MD, PhD

  • Angela Dobson Welch and Lyndon Welch Research Professor
  • Assistant Professor, Neurology
  • Danto Family Foundation Emerging Scholar

His research focuses on the pathologic overlap between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD)

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Barmada Laboratory

Allison Billi, MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Dermatology
  • Abigail and Leslie Wexner Emerging Scholar

Her research aims to understand why women are so much more likely to develop autoimmune disease than men, and they are looking into skin as a cause.

The Autoimmunity/Immunogenetics in Skin Research Program

Sung Won Choi, MD, MS

  • Edith S Briskin and Shirley K Schlafer Foundation Research Professor of Pediatrics
  • Professor of Pediatrics and Fellowship Director, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Taubman Institute Executive Committee Member

Graft versus host disease-prediction, prevention, management in the setting of blood and marrow transplantation biomarkers

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

U-M Experts Page

Brian Emmer, MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine — Division of Hospital Medicine
  • Abigail and Leslie Wexner Emerging Scholar

Research studies focus on the human genome, and his current project seeks to target ACE2, the receptor in human cells that interacts with COVID-19’s spike protein.

Emmer Laboratory

Katherine Ann Gallagher, MD

  • John R. Pfeifer Collegiate Professor of Vascular Surgery
  • Professor, Surgery
  • Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
  • Friends of Judy and Alfred Taubman Emerging Scholar
  • Taubman Institute Executive Committee Member

Research focused on histone methylation changes in bone marrow progenitor cells and the impact on peripheral macrophage phenotypes as it relates to wound healing and inflammation

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Michigan Medicine Department of Surgery

Sascha Goonewardena, MD

  • Assistant Professor, Cardiology
  • Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Emerging Scholar

Nanotechnology, immunology, vascular biology, and heart failure

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences Profile

Johann Gudjonsson, MD, PhD

  • Arthur C. Curtis Professor of Skin Molecular Immunology
  • Associate Professor, Dermatology
  • Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Emerging Scholar

Primary research focus is basic immunological and genetic research on psoriasis, with projects directed at improving the diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Michigan Medicine Department of Dermatology News

Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-Based Center

Gudjonsson Elected to ASCI and ADA Membership

Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD

  • Giles G. Bole, MD and Dorothy Mulkey, MD Research Professor of Rheumatology
  • Associate Professor, Internal Medicine
  • Associate Director of Lupus Program
  • Associate Chief of Basic and Translational Research, Division of Rheumatology
  • William U. Parfet Emerging Scholar

Dr. Kahlenberg is studying how sunlight and other factors act as triggers for skin and systemic disease in patients with autoimmune diseases such as lupus

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Anna Mathew, MD

  • Assistant Professor, Nephrology
  • Abigail and Leslie Wexner Emerging Scholar

Dr. Mathew’s current project explores the role of activated immune cells in the development of heart disease in kidney patients

Dr. Mathew’s Laboratory

Joanna Mattis, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Neurology

Dr. Mattis is a neurologist who specializes in epilepsy.  Her laboratory studies focus on neuronal circuitry, aiming to decipher how seizures get started in the brain.

Todd Morgan, MD

  • Associate Professor, Urology
  • Chief, Division of Urologic Oncology, Urology
  • Taubman Institute Emerging Scholar

Dr. Morgan focuses on the identification and treatment of early disseminated tumor cells in men with prostate cancer thought to have localized disease

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Morgan’s Laboratory

Jonathan Morrow, MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
  • U-M Addiction Center
  • Practicing Physician with U-M Addiction Treatment Services
  • Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Emerging Scholar

Dr. Morrow’s primary research interest is in delineating the basic neurobiology that underlies motivated behavior, and determining how variation in that neurobiology can lead to psychopathology

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Morrow’s Laboratory

Erika A. Newman, MD

  • Associate Professor, Pediatric Surgery
  • Edith S. Briskin and Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation Emerging Scholar

Dr. Newman focuses on developing novel approaches to treating children with neuroblastoma and other solid tumors

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Newman Speaks at TEDxUM

Parag G. Patil, MD, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Neurological Surgery
  • Associate Professor, Neurology
  • Associate Professor, Anesthesiology
  • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Associate Chair, Clinical and Translational Research, Neurosurgery
  • Young Friends of the Taubman Institute Emerging Scholar

Dr. Patil studies brain-machine interface, neuroprosthetic devices, intraoperative electrophysiology, motor and cognitive human systems, neuroscience mechanisms of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), clinical outcomes in functional neurosurgery.

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Restorative Neuroengineering Group Profile

Rajesh Rao, MD

  • Leonard G. Miller Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
  • Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
  • Assistant Professor, Pathology
  • Leslie H. and Abigail S. Wexner Emerging Scholar

Dr. Rao studies the use stem cell and epigenetic-based strategies to promote retinal regeneration, reduce scar and tumor formation

Michigan Medicine Kellogg Eye Center Faculty Profile

Dr. Rao’s Laboratory

Simpa Salami, MBBS, MPH

  • Assistant Professor, Urology
  • Brian and Rosaline Chamberlain Emerging Scholar

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Kanakadurga Singer, MD, MA

  • Valerie Castle Opipari, MD Professor of Pediatrics
  • Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics – Division of Pediatric Endocrinology
  • Physician Advisor in Faculty Development
  • Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Immunology
  • Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
  • Rackham Faculty Ally for Diversity in Graduate Education, Immunology Program Faculty Co-Representative
  • Edith Briskin / SKS Foundation Emerging Scholar

Dr. Singer’s research is related to the pathogenesis of obesity-induced inflammation and the progression from this chronic inflammatory state to insulin resistance and diabetes

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr.Singer’s Laboratory

Michigan Medicine Graduate Program in Immunology Profile

Scott Tomlins, MD, PhD

  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Pathology
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Urology
  • A. Alfred Taubman Emerging Scholar

Dr. Tomlins’ research has focused on using high-throughput techniques to characterize the cancer genome and transcriptome to identify cancer-specific aberrations to better understand cancer biology and identify clinically relevant biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

Dr. Tomlins’ Laboratory

Biospace News

Scott Van Epps, MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine
  • Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Assistant Professor, Macromolecular Science and Engineering
  • Associate Director, Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care
  • Leslie H. and Abigail S. Wexner Emerging Scholar

Dr. Van Epps’ research is currently focused on life threatening infections, and in particular those related to implantable medical devices

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

U-M Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care

Sriram Venneti, MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Neuropathology
  • Julie Reyes Taubman Emerging Scholar

Dr. Venneti studies childhood brain tumor biology

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Venneti’s Laboratory

Daniel Wahl, MD, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology
  • William U. Parfet Emerging Scholar

Dr. Wahl studies the interactions between radiation and abnormal metabolism in glioblastoma.

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Wahl’s Laboratory

U-M Health Lab News

Brendon Watson, MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
  • Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Emerging Scholar

Dr. Watson’s research focuses on the neocortical network dynamics in normal brain and role in psychiatric disease

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Watson’s Laboratory

Dr. Watson’s Google Scholar Page

Yu “Ray” Zuo, MD, MSCS
Assistant Professor, Rheumatology

Dr. Zuo cares for patients in the Michigan Medicine rheumatology division.  As a researcher, he studies autoimmunity, and currently focuses on how infections may lead to the development of autoimmune diseases by disrupting the body’s natural defense mechanisms.