Administration

The institute’s philosophy is to provide our faculty and their teams with superior scientific tools and administrative support, allowing them to spend more time focused on what really matters — their research.

The institute’s administrative staff supports all aspects of strategic planning, community building and unit operations — including facilities, information technology, human resources, finance, research administration, academic programs, communications and development.

Administrative Leadership Team

Image
Anna Schork, J.D.

Managing Director Anna Schork, J.D., is the chief operating officer, overseeing administration, finance and operations of the LSI. 

Schork and her team provide integrated strategic support to the institute director, enabling nimble and transparent decision-making, and fostering a climate for success for the entire institute community.

Prior to joining the LSI, she was the assistant director for the University's Institute for Social Research for five years, overseeing all administrative and strategic operations and a research budget of nearly $100 million.

Schork began her career at the university in 2001 in the Division of Research Development and Administration, negotiating sponsored research contracts and related agreements with various foundations, pharmaceutical companies and other industry partners. In 2005, she became the Legal/Fiscal Director for the Southwest Oncology Group, a national cancer cooperative funded by the National Cancer Institute through a $50 million grant.

Image
Traci Swan Rowe

Traci Swan Rowe serves as the administrative director of graduate programs, overseeing all aspects of the U-M Program in Chemical Biology, including the Chemical Biology Ph.D. and Cancer Chemical Biology M.S. graduate programs. Alongside her team, she provides holistic program management and support for over 60 graduate students and 60 interdepartmental faculty. Traci moved to the LSI in 2013, when the LSI became the administrative home of the Program in Chemical Biology.

Traci began her career at U-M in 2007. From an administrative work-study position in the Department of Chemistry while pursuing an undergraduate engineering degree, to helping build up the Program in Chemical Biology and facilitating graduate students progress as a graduate program coordinator, to managing several trainee programs and initiatives for the Life Sciences Institute, she has dedicated fifteen years to supporting student success at the university.

Image
Laura Estephan

Laura Estephan oversees the comprehensive fundraising strategy for the LSI. In collaboration with faculty, scientific staff and leadership, she works to garner philanthropic support for the Institute's research and training initiatives. Laura works with individuals, corporations and foundations with an interest in supporting the LSI, ensuring sustained funding for groundbreaking advancements.

Prior to joining U-M and the LSI in 2023, she worked in development for Cornell University and Hearing Health Foundation.

Image
Alpa Dalal

Alpa Dalal leads and manages the annual budgeting and planning process for the LSI. She conducts financial analysis, scenario modeling, forecasting and management reporting to ensure efficient financial operations. Additionally, Alpa directs the analysis of the Institute’s recharge rates and attests they comply with the federal costing regulations. Alpa has been with the Institute since 2006.

Alpa began her career at the University of Michigan in 2002 in Central Administration for the Office of Financial Analysis. Before joining the University, Alpa worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as a senior auditor, providing accounting and auditing services to a wide variety of education, not-for-profit, manufacturing and other organizations, including SEC reporting companies. 

Image
Erin Stephens
Erin Stephens oversees human resources at the LSI, including the recruitment, hiring, onboarding and offboarding of all LSI employees, in addition to immigration compliance, employee relations, performance management, promotions and equity/salary reviews and leaves of absence.
 
Erin joined the LSI in April 2002 and was primarily responsible for providing high-level administrative support to the managing director, and providing assistance during the Institute's start-up phase with faculty recruitment and the onboarding of new LSI faculty and lab members. In 2004, she transitioned to managing and overseeing all aspects of human resources for the Institute. Erin began her career at the University of Michigan in 1998, providing high-level administrative support in the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Image
Emily Kagey

Emily Kagey oversees external and internal communications at the LSI, including media relations, LSI Magazine, news articles, e-newsletters, social media and the institute's web presence.  

Emily began her career writing, editing and managing communications in the non-profit sector and then in scientific publishing. She joined the LSI in 2017, where she works with faculty, scientific staff, trainees and leadership to communicate the institute's cutting-edge research, education programs, initiatives and goals.  

Image
Cathy Andrews

As the director of operations, Cathy Andrews is responsible for leading several teams and programs, including business continuity, capital planning, scientific core administration, facilities, information technology, procurement, research services, research safety and environmental sustainability.

Cathy started at the LSI in 2003 and was responsible for lab start-up planning and procurement of research equipment.  In 2008, she transitioned to directing operations, various teams and programs for the Institute.  Prior to the LSI, Cathy worked for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as a scientific buyer responsible for labs in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana for eight years. She began her career at the University of Michigan in 1986 in Facilities & Operations and also worked for Environment, Health & Safety.

Image

Savannah Williams develops and manages community enhancement programs, activities and groups — including implementing the LSI’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategic plan and overseeing our next generation training programs and outreach efforts — to ensure the LSI is creating a work environment where all members feel heard and included.  

Savannah joined U-M and the LSI in 2016 as Cone lab manager, utilizing her prior work experience in labs at other universities and research organizations. While supporting a research-intensive basic science program, she also served as a member of the LSI Diversity and Strategic Planning Committee and participated in numerous DEI activities within the LSI.  She was a 2019 recipient of an LSI Outreach Award for her volunteer service with several Southeast Michigan schools, the U-M Wolverine Express program and her significant mentorship of Aspirnaut program high school participants.

Image
Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith is the director of research administration, managing pre-and post-award research administration for the LSI. She has been with the university since September 2015. Danielle has been a research administrator for over 18 years, and has held various department and central pre-and post-award positions at Harvard University, Smith College, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Northeastern University.

She serves as the LSI representative to the Research Administration Advisory Council and as a moderator and advisor to the aiM Higher CRA Study Group here at U-M. She is a Certified Research Administrator and a mentor to several RAs here and in New England. Danielle has been a member of NCURA since 2008. She currently serves on the Region IV awards committee. She is also a member of SRA.

Administrative Staff