Victoria Blanc Ph.D., Director
Victoria Blanc has been the Director of the UMMS Central Biorepository since its inception in March of 2013. Before coming to U-M, Vici spent 11 years at Asterand, a commercial provider of high-quality human tissues for research and research services. While there, she held several positions, including vice president and general manager of the biorepository. Vici was responsible for the successful management of the company’s contract to audit the biorepository at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and securing and executing a contract with the National Cancer Institute as a Network of Tissue Source Sites for The Cancer Genome Atlas project. Prior to her work at Asterand, she was an application specialist at Genomic Solutions, training customers on the use and manipulation of robots for high throughput genomics applications. Vici is currently a committee member of the College of American Pathologist’s Biorepository Accreditation Program. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from New York University, and holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Michigan.
Joseph Paulauskis Ph.D., Associate Director
Joe Paulauskis received his M.S. and Ph.D. in zoology and toxicology from Miami University before accepting Postdoctoral Fellowships at Harvard University. He joined the faculty of Harvard’s School of Public Health for 11 years as assistant and associate professor of molecular biology in the Department of Environmental Health. His laboratories at Harvard focused on immunology, genetics, and molecular mechanisms of pulmonary toxicity/inflammation.
Joe later joined Pfizer as director of Genomics/Proteomics Groups in Drug Safety Research & Development in Ann Arbor. He also managed the Genomic Pathology Laboratory, a collaborative effort between Pfizer and the University of Michigan Medical School. He served for two years as Pfizer’s worldwide head of pharmacogenomics based in the Molecular Medicine Division in Groton/New London Connecticut.
In 2010, Joe joined the International Genomic Consortium (IGC) as vice president for research and biobanking. He served as a key member of the IGC’s leadership team, and assisted in directing the Biospecimen Core Resource and Tissue Source Site Network, both The Cancer Genome Atlas projects funded by the National Cancer Institute. In 2012, he also became chief operating officer for IGC’s Paradigm, a joint venture with the U-M using next-generation sequencing to enable a cutting-edge cancer diagnostic.
Matt Dool B.S., Molecular Lead Technician
Matt has worked as a laboratory technician since graduating from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He currently supervises the molecular laboratory of the Central Biorepository, which includes nucleic acid extraction and characterization, biospecimen portioning, standard operating procedure generation, and maintenance and operation of robotic equipment. Prior to joining the CBR in 2013, he worked for the Michigan Clinical Research Unit at U-M as a laboratory technician.
Renee Frey M.B.A., Quality Assurance Manager
Renee received her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Central Michigan University and her master’s in Business Administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Renee is an active member of the Society of Quality Assurance, and prior to joining the CBR she was a global quality assurance auditor at Eli Lilly and Company (Elanco).Renee leads the ongoing development and execution of the CBRs quality management system and provides guidance and interpretation of quality standard requirements for CBR functional areas. She is responsible for driving the accreditation compliance of the CBR through the development and implementation of compliant biorepository data collection and specimen management systems.
Michael Grant B.S., Research Technician Associate
Michael joined the Central Biorepository team in 2015. He is a research technician working mainly with biological logistics, but he also works with liquid-handling automation in the molecular laboratory. Prior to working at the CBR, Michael held a position in technology customer service. Michael received his B.S. in Biology from Oakland University.
Zachary Klug M.H.S.A., Business Operations Manager
Zack joined the Biorepository in 2013. He performs administration of customer projects, communication and marketing planning, establishes operational metrics in coordination with Lab Operation and QA Managers, and assists in financial planning and review.
Zack received his undergraduate degree in Biology at Kalamazoo College and his master’s in Health Systems Administration from the U-M School of Public Health, Department of Health Management & Policy. He began his work at U-M in 2008 at the UMHS Comprehensive Cancer Center and in 2010, transferred to the Michigan Clinical Research Unit.
Christopher Launius, Research Laboratory Technician Associate
Chris is an Eastern Michigan University student finishing up a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. He has a strong interest in microbiology and the immune system , and hopes to pursue graduate education in the field of immunology.
Scott Launius B.S., Senior Research Laboratory Technician
Scott is the Laboratory Logistics Manager for the Central Biorepository, supervising the CBR’s temperature-controlled biospecimen management and the provision of biospecimen collection kits. Prior to joining the CBR, Scott ran the Chronic Kidney Disease Biobank for the NEPTUNE and C-PROBE studies on the University of Michigan Medical Campus. Scott is a U-M graduate.
Allan Loup J.D., Bioethics and Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Allan provides guidance and develops structure around ethical and regulatory issues throughout the phases of human biospecimen research, from project design and informed consent to secondary distribution, research use agreements, and management of research data.
Allan received his undergraduate degree in philosophy at U-M, his J.D. at Washington University in St. Louis, and fellowship training at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. Allan has previously worked in the American Medical Association Ethics Group and the Office for Human Research Protections, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Leslie McCormick B.B.A., Administrative Assistant
Prior to her role in supporting the Central Biorepository staff, Leslie spent 10 years as a reading specialist and a middle school math educational assistant for the Brighton Area Schools. Before she started her family, Leslie worked at the University of Michigan Health System as an admissions coordinator. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s in business administration.
Gail Osawa B.S., Research Laboratory Technician Associate
Gail Osawa joined the Central Biorepository with 20-plus years of laboratory technical research experience. She began her career at the Hauptman Woodward Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., before moving to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), working first at NHLBI with Dr. Robert Redner then at the NIDDK in the Cellular and Developmental Biology Department with Dr. Jurrien Dean. Gail moved to Ann Arbor in 1995 and in addition to raising a family, two Wolverines and one Spartan, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Catherine Keegan to work on BAC recombineering. While there, she created a mouse knock out of the gene causing Caudal regression in adrenocortical dysplasia (acd). Gail received a B.S. in Medical Technology at Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y.
Jessica Schultz B.S., HTL(ASCP)CM, Research Lab Technician Intermediate
Jessica is a graduate of Oakland University with a degree in Biomedical Diagnostics and Therapeutic Sciences and Beaumont’s School of Histotechnology. She is currently a molecular technician in the CBR performing biospecimen processing and has been a certified histotechnologist for nearly four years. Prior to joining the Central Biorepository, Jessica performed logistics and histology procedures for Paradigm, Inc., a cancer diagnostic company.