Dorene Markel

Dorene S. Markel, MS, MHSA

Assistant Research Scientist of Learning Health Sciences
Director of the Brehm Center
Managing Director, MDiabetes


Dorene Markel is the Director of the UM Brehm Center, which focuses on transforming the way research and collaborations are undertaken using a systems analysis approach and utilizing diabetes as a platform. She is the coordinator of the Brehm Coalition, a national “dream team” of 10 senior scientists in type 1 diabetes research. In her faculty appointment in DLHS she is working on a Learning Health System approach to diabetes care. She also serves as a coordinator and mentor to the Brehm Scholarship programs for undergraduates and medical students. Ms. Markel has been on staff at the University of Michigan Medical School since 1984 and has held leadership roles in growing the clinical and translational research enterprise and previously worked in the genetic counseling and genetic research field. Ms. Markel received a Master’s Degree in Human Genetics, specializing in genetic counseling, from the University of Michigan Medical School and a Master’s Degree is Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

She is married and the mother of two adult children. She serves on the non-profit BOD for Our House that provides mentoring and life-skills training and support for youth and young adults in and aging-out of the foster-care system. She loves to read and travel.

Areas of Interest

Research and scholarly interests: diabetes, learning health systems, novel collaboration approaches in research and healthcare, genetic counseling, community engagement in clinical research, health literacy, research informed consent education, ethical issues in clinical and human genetic research

Subject-matter expertise: collaboration science, diabetes, genetic counseling, ethical issues in human and genetic research, informed consent, human subjects/IRB regulations, community engagement in research, biomedical research and clinical research administration, general administration, staff and faculty management

Other professional highlights:  

  • 1st genetic counselor employed by UMHS
  • Contributor to original Huntington's Disease and BRCA gene hunting studies
  • Founding co-director of the University of Michigan NIH-funded Human Genome Center under Dr. Francis Collins (Center Director)
  • Administrative Director of the UMHS General Clinical Research Center (NIH funded Center)
  • Founding Managing Director of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (NIH-CTSA grant)
  • Past Director for Clinical and Translational Research at the medical school
  • Founding and Current Director of the UMHS Brehm Center
  • Manager of the Brehm Coalition of diabetes scientists
  • Coordinator for the Brehm Undergraduate and Medical School Scholarship Programs
  • Past member of the UM School of Public Health Alumni Board of Governors Past
  • Founding member of the Ideal Patient Care Experience (IPCE) initiative at UMHS
  • Member of the Michigan Dept. of Community Health Scientific Advisory Board (BioTrust for Health)
  • Recipient of the University of Michigan Research Administrator of the Year Award (first year it was awarded)

Published Articles or Reviews

Selected publications:

  • Dwyer-White, M., Choate, C., Markel, DS. Increasing Health Research Literacy through Outreach & Networking: Why Translational Research Should Matter to Communities. Health Education Journal. (2014): 0017896914529552.
  • Atkinson MA, Bluestone JA, Eisenbarth GS, Hebrok M, Herold KC, Accili D, Pietropaolo M, Arvan PR, Von Herrath M, Markel DS, Rhodes CJ.  How does type 1 diabetes develop?: the notion of homicide or ?-cell suicide revisited. Diabetes. 2011 May;60(5):1370-9.
  • Sampselle CM, Pienta KJ, Markel DS. The CTSA mandate: are we there yet? Res Theory Nurs Pract. 2010;24(1):64-73.
  • Markel DS, Yashar BM. The Interface between the Practice of Genetic Counseling and Human Genetic Research: What Every Genetic Counselor Needs to Know. Journal of Genetic Coun. 13(5):351-368, 2004.
  • Biesecker BB, Boehnke M, Calzone K, Markel DS, Garber JE, Collins FS, Weber BL. Genetic counseling for families with inherited susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer. JAMA. 269:1970-1974, 1993.
  • Markel DS, Young AB, Penney JB . At-risk persons' attitudes toward presymptomatic and prenatal testing of Huntington Disease in Michigan. Am J Med Gen. 26:295-305, 1987.

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