Diabetes and obesity researcher Dr. Charles Burant has been named director of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at Ann Arbor’s Michigan Medicine. Burant succeeds Dr. Ava Feldman, who had served as director since the institute was founded in 2007 with a gift from the late philanthropist A. Alfred Taubman.
“I’m thrilled to take the institute into its second decade,” says Burant. “I’m especially honored to be following my friend and mentor, Dr. Eva Feldman, in this position. As founding director of the institute, Dr. Feldman has built a world-class center that has helped multiple clinician-investigators in a critical stage of their careers, and led to discoveries that already are making a difference in people’s lives.
Burant 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 is also a professor of molecular and integrative physiology in the U-M Medical School, as well as the Schools of Public Health and Kinesiology.
He developed and is director of the Michigan Metabolomics and Obesity Center, which provides infrastructure and expertise for researchers nationwide that are performing basic and clinical research in metabolism, diabetes, and obesity. His personal research program studies how individual differences in metabolism affect longevity and risk for metabolic diseases, ranging from basic to translational research.
Burant adds that one of his early goals is to increase the Taubman Scholars’ access to collaborators, technologies, and computational tools.
“Establishing the institute has been one of my proudest achievements and a highlight of my career,” says Feldman, whose research includes the first-ever human clinical trial of a stem cell therapy for ALS. “From an ambitious plan in 2007, we have grown by 2017 into a robust community that connects globally renowned thought leaders with new collaborators, all while nurturing the next generation of medical breakthroughs.”
Feldman, Michigan Medicine’s Russell N. DeJong professor of neurology, will remain at U-M as a practicing neurologist and head of her own laboratory, the Program for Neurology Research and Discovery.