BioBank Team

Members of Beaumont's BioBank Team

Jan Akervall, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Director, BioBank
Medical Director Translational Research, Surgical Services

Dr. Akervall completed Medical School, ENT residency and PhD degree at Lund University Hospital, after which he did a fellowship in Head and Neck Oncology Surgery in 200-2001. He is Associate Professor at Lund University and Clinical Research Professor at Oakland University/William Beaumont Medical School. Dr. Akervall is Medical Director for The Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Tumor Clinic, Medical Director for Translational Research at Surgical Services and Medical Director for The BioBank, all at Beaumont Hospital. Clinically he specializes in endoscopic and robotic assisted head and neck cancer surgery and research wise in biomarkers for response to radiation therapy in Head and Neck Cancer.

George Wilson, Ph.D.
Scientific Director, BioBank
Chief, Radiation Biology
Director of The Erb Family Molecular and Genetics Laboratory

Dr. Wilson received his Ph.D. from the University of Liverpool in the UK in 1978 and undertook his postdoctoral training at the University of Birmingham and the University of London. In 1984, Dr Wilson joined the Gray Laboratory, the renowned radiation research institution in London, as a senior scientist and worked there for 18 years. In 2002, Dr. Wilson became Professor of Radiation Oncology at Wayne State University and the Karmanos Cancer institute. Dr. Wilson joined Beaumont in 2005 as Chief of Radiation Biology in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Wilson has published over 180 scientific articles and book chapters and has a long standing research interest in biomarkers to predict the response of tumors to radiotherapy. Dr. Wilson is the Scientific Director of the BioBank and the Director of the Erb Family Core Molecular Laboratory at Beaumont Research Institute. Dr. Wilson is a Clinical Professor in Biomedical Sciences at the Oakland University/William Beaumont School of Medicine and is also an Adjunct Professor of Radiation Oncology, Immunology & Microbiology and Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University.

Barbara Pruetz, HTL (ASCP)
Laboratory Manager

Barb Pruetz holds a BS, from Oakland University, with a specialization in Histotechnology( HTL) from William Beaumont Hospital. Professionally, in 1998, she joined Wayne State University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience. Worked as a research assistant and implemented and oversaw the procurement of human brain specimens from the Wayne County Medical examiners office. Through an accrual process generated RNA studies to study the mechanism of the dopamine transporter system. In addition she developed a unique bar-coding tracking system to follow the movement and downstream applications of all human specimens. In January, 2003 through May, 2008 she was the Manager of University Pathology Research Services, at Karmanos Cancer Institute/Wayne State University. Overseeing and facilitating the coordination of the human pathology tissue core. Her research specialized in Immunohistochemistry, In-situ hybridization, Laser Capture Microdissection, tissue micro array construction and general histological techniques. In May 2008, took the BioBank Manager position here at Beaumont’s Research Institute.

Timothy J. Geddes, B.S. 
Research Assistant Manager

Tim attained a BS in Biochemistry from Michigan State University in 1983, focusing on Molecular Biology, microbiology, and laboratory instrumentation. Throughout his career he has been productive at a variety of institutions. These include molecular biology Studies at the University of Michigan, cancer research at both Henry Ford Hospital of Detroit and the Department of Radiation Oncology at Wayne State University. From July 1997 through December 2008 Tim managed the Laboratory of Molecular Neurochemistry at the John Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit/Wayne State University where projects included traumatic brain injury studies, and the effects of drugs of abuse on brain function at the molecular level. His versatility, extensive research experience, and considerable skill set of analysis techniques are a valuable addition to the BioBank team.

Dianna Larson, R.N., (CCRP) 
Research Nurse Clinician

Dianna completed her Associate’s in nursing at Oakland Community College in 1992 and is currently working on completing her Bachelors in nursing at U of D Mercy. She has been employed with Beaumont Hospital since 1984. She joined the BioBank team in 2009 where she is a Research Nurse Clinician. She has cultivated professional relationships with PIs to assist them in establishing and obtaining their research goals and objectives. She recruits new investigators by sharing her knowledge of the benefits of specimen banking and providing insight to the innovative research being performed in the BioBank. She emphasizes the importance of bench to bedside medicine for better patient outcomes. Her work ethic, professionalism, and employee/patient relation skills proceed her as she consistently handles daily tasks of recruiting PI’s and patients, collecting biospecimens for processing and storage in the BioBank, performing data entry, implementing policies and procedures, participating in research developmental committees, and mentoring the clinical staff.

Samreen Ahmed, B.S., M.P.H. 
Research Coordinator

Samreen Ahmed received her BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology from University of Washington in Seattle, WA. In 2006, she received her MPH in Hospital and Molecular Epidemiology from University of Michigan. There she joined the Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology where she completed her thesis project investigating molecular and physiological mechanisms involved in Wilson Disease and continued to work there for 6 years. In 2009, she joined the BioBank as a research study coordinator.     

Bryan Thibodeau, Ph.D. 
Research Associate I

Bryan Thibodeau received his Ph.D. from Wayne State University in 2009 from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Toxicology. His research focused on changes in gene expression that occur during breast cancer progression. During his studies, he utilized lentiviral-mediated RNA interference to knockdown genes potentially involved in the development of malignant breast cancer.  In February 2010, Dr. Thibodeau joined the Beaumont BioBank team where he utilizes microarray technology and specialized software for genomic and gene expression analysis. Patterns in global gene expression and DNA modifications are then used to identify biomarkers and/or molecular pathways that are important to disease development and response to treatment.

Billie Ketelsen, M.T. (ASCP) 
Research Assistant

Billie Radke graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Alma College in 2005 and a second B.S. in Medical Laboratory Science from Oakland University in 2007. In 2008, she finished her Medical Technologist internship at Beaumont Hospital and is certified with her MT(ASCP). She has spent the last year working as a Medical Technologist in the Blood Bank at Beaumont Hospital. In January 2010 she joined the Biobank where she will be using her Med Tech expertise in blood processing and handling, as well as focusing on histology, immunohistochemistry, tissue microarray, blood DNA and RNA extraction, and microscopy.

Laura Fortier, M.S.
Research Assistant

Beginning in 2005, Laura has gained experience working in the Beaumont Hospital system through various departmental internships. Laura completed her bachelors in Human Biology from Michigan State University in Spring 2009 and joined the BioBank shortly after. Since beginning her work in the BioBank, Laura has taken a focus in the fields of genomics, microscopy, immunohistochemistry, as well as tissue and blood processing. She is currently working on Dr. Robert Jury’s Pancreatic IPMN study which involves techniques including laser microdissection, RNA isolation and amplification, and gene expression microarrays.

Krisanne Saleh, R.N., B.S.N., (CCRP)  
Research Nurse Clinician

Krisanne received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Michigan. As an Associate Nurse Manager she evaluated potential research projects from multiple medical disciplines, established a program for a restricted asthma research grant, and managed three full time employees. As a Research Nurse Clinician, Krianne then continued the development of the asthma research grant by co-authoring and facilitating two clinical trials along with assisting with special projects in Research Administration such as policy writing and internal auditing. Krisanne then joined the Surgical Clinical Trials department where she facilitated two large commercial and NIH vascular studies. In March of 2010, Krisanne joined the BioBank as a Research Nurse Clinician. Her responsibilities encompass recruiting patients, facilitating the informed consent process, collecting and processing lab and surgical specimens and data entry. 

Tiffany Manier  
Administrative Secretary

Tiffany obtained her Associates degree in Health Information Technology at DeVry University, she is currently working on her Bachelors in Health Information Management. She joined Beaumont Health System in 2000 as a Unit Secretary for five years until she was promoted as an Administrative Secretary to Director of Regulatory and Compliance in Research Administration. She has been a certified “Service Excellence Professional” since 2007. She joined the BioBank team in 2009 and provides administrative support for Jan Akervall, M.D., Ph.D., Clinical Director and George D. Wilson Ph.D. She also provides administrative support to the Clinical, Genomic, and Laboratory managers. She enjoys providing support to the Biobank leaders and being part of the BioBank team where she has the opportunity to use her creativity and talent.