Our Team

Stefan Jovinge, M.D., Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

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Dr. Jovinge received his M.D. (1991) and his Ph.D. (1997) from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. He served as a research fellow at Cedars-Sinai Hospital UCLA (1997–1999). After completing his internship, residencies, and fellowships, he become a critical care cardiologist. Dr. Jovinge was the Medical Director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Scania University Hospital, Lund, Sweden (2008–2012). Since December 31, 2013, he has been a critical care cardiologist at Spectrum Health and the medical director of research at the Frederik Meijer Heart and Vascular Institute; professor at Van Andel Institute (VAI), and director of the DeVos Cardiovascular Research Program (a joint effort between VAI and Spectrum Health). Dr. Jovinge also serves as a professor at Michigan State University and is a consulting professor at the Cardiovascular Institute at Stanford University.

Lukas Peter Biel
Cell Technician
Alena Drayton, M.S.
Senior Research Technician
Emily Eugster, M.S.
Lab Manager

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Jens Forsberg, Ph.D.
Scientific Project Leader III

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Dr. Jens Forsberg earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Lund University, Sweden. He is a scientific project leader in the DeVos Cardiovascular Research Program, supporting the development of grant proposals, strategy and plans for attaining external funding for the program. Prior to joining the team, he served as a scientific project leader in Office of the Research Director at Van Andel Institute, where he led the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs as well as high-level initiatives in communications, special events and strategic projects. Earlier, he was the administrative director for a research school at the Biomedical Center at Lund University, where he developed and managed scientific training and professional development programs for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. At Lund University, he also was a scientific coordinator and grant manager, composing grant proposals and coordinating multi-center collaborative projects within the European Framework Programs and within Lund University.

Naomi Graber, ALAT
Laboratory Technician II
Cathy Kelty, M.S.
Clinical Research Coordinator II

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Cathy coordinates clinical research in the advanced heart failure and cardiovascular critical care populations.

Eric Kort, M.D.
Research Scientist

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Eric’s research focuses on congenital heart disease with a view toward uncovering new approaches to heart regeneration through a deeper understanding of heart development. Along with the team, he employs a range of novel analytic approaches leveraging exosomes, gene expression profiling, and induced pluripotent stem cells to unlock new aspects of cardiac cell differentiation and function.

Dana Marsy, B.A., MPH
Clinical Research Specialist I

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Dana is responsible for coordinating clinical research within the cardiovascular population.

Hsiao-Yun Yeh (Christy) Milliron, Ph.D.
Research Scientist

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Dr. Milliron has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and years of postdoctoral experience in research institutes from California to Germany. Her passion is in vivo cell imaging and all its medical applications, and watching movies after a family hike. Her major task is to use molecular-beacon technology to isolate cycling cardiomyocytes and other subpopulations of interest.

Christie Preston, B.S.
Senior Administrative Assistant
Jenni Schuitema, M.A.
Clinical Research Coordinator II

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Jenni is responsible for coordinating clinical trials, including those that involve ventricular assist devices (VAD).

Nabin K. Shrestha, Ph.D.
Senior Biostatistician

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Nabin earned his B.S. in physics from Tribhuvan University, Nepal; M.A. in mathematics from University of South Alabama; and Ph. D. in statistics from University of South Florida. He is working as a biostatistician to analyze data from the ECMO study and single-cell RNAseq analysis of mouse cardiomyocyte cells. His interest is in applied statistics and data management and assists on projects related to data analysis.

Matthew Weiland, M.S.
FACS Specialist

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Matthew operates the team’s BD Influx FACS cell sorter. His projects include profiling of peripheral immune cell types in ECMO populations and developing novel FACS based methods for the identification of cycling cardiomyocytes. Matthew’s interests include multiparameter flow cytometry, sorting of rare cellular populations and all things baseball.

Program Alumni

Andrew Borgman, M.S.
Senior Biostatistician
Lucas (Chun-Yuan) Chan, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
Shelby Compton
Assistant Research Technician
Paula Davidson, M.S.
Laboratory Manager
Lisa Decamp, M.A., MB(ASCP), RLAT
Senior Research Technician
Kari Emiley, RN
Clinical Research Nurse
Joseph Faski, B.S.
Research Technician
Nikki Hansen, B.S.
Laboratory Technician
Bo Ram Kim, B.S.
Research Technician
Olivia Licari
Assistant Research Technician
Matthew Lypka, MPH
Data Analytics Analyst
Brittany Merrifield, B.S.
Research Technician
Vinu Perinjelil, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
Jordan Prahl, B.S.
Research Technician
Alastair Proudfoot, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Fellow
Laura Tarnawski, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Laura Winkler, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow