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
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.
Director of Academic Programs
Laura Howe manages the academic initiatives at the Life Sciences Institute as the Director of Academic Programs. She is the Program Manager of the Interdepartmental Program in Chemical Biology which has both Ph.D. and M.S. degree programs. She also oversees the Perrigo Summer Fellowship and Aspirnaut Summer Internship Programs.
Laura began working at the University of Michigan in 2008. She has more than 17 years of experience managing graduate student programs and has held positions at MIT and Caltech. She holds both B.A. and M.A. degrees in geology and loves spending time outdoors.
Director of Communications
Ian Demsky oversees external and internal communications at the LSI, including media relations, LSI Magazine, e-newsletters, social media and the institute's web presence.
Following nearly a decade as a newspaper journalist, Ian has served in senior-level communications roles at U-M since 2010.
Director of Development
Laura Williams works to advance the research and programs at the LSI through philanthropy, corporate and foundation support and alumni volunteers.
She has held a range of leadership positions in scientific advancement and external relations, and is continuously inspired by basic science discovery and its potential to improve human health.
Director of Finance
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.
Director of Human Resources
Director of Operations
Cathy Andrews serves as the Director of Operations responsible for managing support teams including:
- research services
- information technology
- space and asset planning
Cathy started at the LSI in 2003 and was primarily responsible for lab start-up planning and procurement of research equipment. Prior to the LSI, Cathy worked for Howard Hughes Medical Institute as a scientific buyer responsible for labs in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. She began her career at the University of Michigan in 1986 in Facilities & Operations and also worked for the Environmental Health & Safety department before joining HHMI in 1995.
Director of Research Administration
Danielle Smith is Director of Research Administration and manages pre-and post-award Research Administration for 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.