A world-renowned researcher—and University of Michigan Medical School alumna—Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D. leads the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute, which funds senior-level scientists in a diverse range of diseases.

Recently Dr. Feldman and her colleagues launched the first clinical trial for the intraspinal transplantation of stem cells in patients with ALS. Here she talks about what makes her work possible at U-M and how she feels about training the next generation of doctors.

 “I feel privileged to work at the University of Michigan, which offers one of the best-funded medical research programs in the country. Even more important are the human resources that I get to work with—my remarkable research colleagues.

“It is of the greatest satisfaction for me and my team to see this landmark stem cell trial for ALS take place at the University of Michigan. This is where we performed the years of research that led to this breakthrough technology. If it succeeds as we envision, we think it can be adapted to many other neurological diseases. It happened here because of Michigan’s collaborative environment, which breeds innovation.

“Like most of my colleagues, I take my educational role very seriously.  We always have medical students working in my lab. They are doing hands-on, cutting-edge research side-by-side with some of the most dedicated and talented scientists in the field.

“As an M.D./Ph.D. myself, I believe passionately in the importance of nurturing the next generation of clinician-scientists. I truly believe that the best clinicians also do research, and the best researchers also see patients. The combination fosters the best possible medical care for patients now and in the future.

“I can say without hesitation that there is no better place to launch a medical career than the University of Michigan. I’ve helped trained dozens and dozens of doctors, many of whom have gone on to accomplish great things in the medical profession. I think every one of them would say Michigan was great place to start. So would I.”

Photographs by Leisa Thompson.