MCDTR Leadership

William H. Herman, MD, MPH

Dr. Herman is a Professor of Internal Medicine and Epidemiology, the Stefan S. Fajans/GlaxoSmithKline Professor of Diabetes, and Director of the Michigan Center for Diabetes Translational Research. Prior to becoming the director, he was Director of the Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center (MDRTC) for eleven years. As the Director of the MCDTR and its Administration Core, Dr. Herman provides scientific, technical, and administrative leadership for the Center. He is responsible for reporting to the NIH and represents the MCDTR nationally. He is responsible for membership decisions, the organizational leadership of the Cores and is responsible to communicate the goals, resources, activities and accomplishments of the Center to the University community, the region, the nation and the world.

Michele E. Heisler, MD, MPA

Mary Ellen Heisler, M.D.

Dr. Heisler is a Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and Professor of Public Health at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She is a Research Scientist of the Ann Arbor VA's Center for Clinical Management Research. From 2008-2019 she served as a co-Director of the National Clinician Scholars Program (formerly Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program) and teaches a one-semester course on Behavioral and Social Determinants of Health for the Master's Program affiliated with that program. In her role as a Co-Director of the NIDDK-funded Michigan Center for Diabetes Translational Research and a core Director of the Peer Support core, she provides regular mentorship and consultation for junior researchers and trainees. She has won multiple mentorship awards, including the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research Distinguished Clinical and Translational Research Mentor Award, University of Michigan and a nationwide VA HSR&D Daniel Deykin Award for Outstanding Mentorship.  Dr. Heisler’s research has applied rigorous health services research approaches to investigate and improve health equity, health, and human rights among vulnerable populations with type 2 diabetes. With over $35M of continuous funding from federal donors such as NIH, VA, AHRQ, PCORI, and CDC funding, she has pioneered methods, programs, and evaluation tools that enhance health by developing and evaluating innovative health system approaches to activate and support low-income individuals to effectively manage their health and health care, thereby improving diabetes outcomes. She has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed studies in medical and public health journals and is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Heisler received her MD degree from Harvard University and MPA degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She completed residency training in internal medicine and health services research training as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan.

John D. Piette, PhD

Dr. Piette is Professor of Internal Medicine. He served as the Chief of the Prevention and Control Division of the MDRTC from 2007 to 2012. He is recognized internationally as a leader in the development and dissemination of diabetes care interventions that improve self-management and outcomes for socioeconomically vulnerable patients. His work focuses on translation of innovative programs for self-management support, many of which include the use of accessible health technologies to improve self-management between face-to-face clinical encounters. Dr. Piette facilitates interdisciplinary research collaborations and assists the Director in the development and implementation of Core services. He acts as liaison to the Michigan Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) where he directs the Quality Improvement in Complex Conditions Unit and to the Veteran’s Administration Health Services Research and Development Program (HSR&D). He serves on the MCDTR Operating Committee, Internal Advisory Board Committee, and Pilot/Feasibility Study (P/F) Grants Program Advisory Council.

Brenda Phillips

Brenda Phillips provides administrative leadership and continuity for the MCDTR. Ms. Phillips represents programmatic issues to Health System faculty and administrative personnel and to external organizations. She provides for strategic planning and development of resources to diversify the Centers’ funding base and insures continuation of programs. Specific responsibilities include fiscal planning and analysis, oversight of grant management in compliance with National Institutes of Health requirements, personnel management, space planning and utilization, public relations and marketing, and website and resource development. Ms. Phillips is a member of the Internal Advisory Committee and the Core Operating Committee of the MCDTR.

Remember to cite the Michigan Center for Diabetes Translational Research (MCDTR) in publications as follows:
“The project described was supported by Grant Number P30DK092926 (MCDTR) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases”