BioBank Team

George Wilson, Ph.D.
Scientific Director, BioBank
Chief, Radiation Biology
Director, The Erb Family Molecular and Genetics Laboratory

Dr. Wilson received his Ph.D. from the University of Liverpool in the UK in 1978 and undertook his postdoctoral training at the University of Birmingham and the University of London. In 1984, Dr. Wilson joined the Gray Laboratory, the renowned radiation research institution in London, as a Senior Scientist and worked there for
18 years. In 2002, Dr. Wilson became Professor of Radiation Oncology at Wayne State University and the Karmanos Cancer Institute. Dr. Wilson joined Beaumont in 2005 as Chief of Radiation Biology in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Wilson has published over 200 scientific articles and book chapters and has a long standing research interest in biomarkers to predict the response of tumors to radiotherapy.  Dr. Wilson is the Scientific Director of the BioBank and the Director of the Erb Family Core Molecular Laboratory at Beaumont Research Institute. 
Dr. Wilson is a Clinical Professor in Biomedical Sciences at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and is also an Adjunct Professor of Radiation Oncology at Karmanos Cancer Institute and Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Wayne State University.

Barbara Pruetz, B.S., HTL (ASCP)
BioBank Scientific Manager

Barb Pruetz has a Bachelor’s of Science from Oakland University with a specialization in Histotechnology (HTL) from William Beaumont Hospital.  Her professional career began in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at Wayne State University during June 1998 and December 2002.  Her role as a research assistant at WSU provided her the opportunity to implement and oversee the procurement of human brain specimens from the Wayne County Medical examiner’s office and through an accrual process she initiated an RNA project to study the mechanism of the dopamine transporter system.  In addition, she developed a unique bar-code tracking system to track the movement and downstream applications of all human specimens.  She also acquired additional experience as an HTL through her work at the University of Pathology Research Services at Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University during January 2003 and May 2008.  She managed the coordination of the human pathology tissue core; she specialized in researching Immunohistochemistry, In-situ Hybridization, Laser Capture Microdissection, Tissue Micro Array construction and general histological techniqes.  She joined the Beaumont BioBank as the Laboratory Manager and was promoted to the Scientific Manager.  She led the team by coordinating and preparing the department for the College of American Pathologists (CAP) accreditation inspection process.  With her guidance and leadership, the Beaumont BioBank is accredited as the 24th BioBank in the USA by the prestigious Biorepository Accreditation Program (BAP) through CAP.

Timothy J. Geddes, B.S.
BioBank Scientific Manger
Manager, The Erb Family Core Molecular and Genetics Laboratory

A veteran researcher, Tim has contributed to over 50 publications and scientific presentations in various journals including Science, The Journal of Neurochemistry, Biopreservation and Biobanking, etc. Tim attained a B.S. from Michigan State University in 1983, focusing on Molecular Biology, microbiology, and laboratory instrumentation.  Throughout his proliferative career he has made major contributions to research programs at a variety of institutions.  These include mechanisms of gene expression studies at the University of Michigan, cancer research at both Henry Ford Hospital of Detroit and the Department of Radiation Oncology at Wayne State University. After heading up a state-of-the art Biotechnology Research and Industrial Applications Laboratory at Gage Products Company, Tim managed the Laboratory of Molecular Neurochemistry at the John Dingell VA Medical Center and Wayne State University in Detroit from 1997 through 2008. Here projects included proteomic and genomic studies of traumatic brain injury, along with elucidating the effects of drugs of abuse on brain function at the molecular level. His versatility, extensive research experience and considerable skill set of analytical techniques are a valuable asset to the BioBank team. He is involved in numerous biospecimen integrity studies and the development of novel metrics for biobanked specimens. These include the SPIN project designed to be a novel assessment of biorepository tissue quality which was introduced in 2011, winning the Asterand-ISBER Biospecimen Science Award. This and other novel metrics continue to be refined as biospecimen science evolves.

Bryan Thibodeau, Ph.D.
Research Associate I

Bryan received his Ph.D. from Wayne State University in 2009 from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Toxicology where is research focused on changes in gene expression that occur during breast cancer progression. Since joining the Beaumont BioBank team in 2010, Dr. Thibodeau has co-authored a book chapter on rectal cancer as well as published articles on various topics including prostate cancer, pancreatic intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm, cancer stem cells, and thyroid cancer. Dr. Thibodeau utilizes gene expression microarray technology and next generation DNA sequencing to identify biomarkers and/or molecular pathways that are important to disease development and response to treatment. Through the use of specialized software and pathway analysis tools, Dr. Thibodeau uses patterns in global gene expression and DNA alterations to reveal biological mechanisms that have potential to aid clinicians in understanding disease biology as well as predicting prognosis.

Samreen Ahmed, MPH (ASCP)
Research Coordinator

Samreen received her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from University of Washington. In 2006, she received her MPH in Hospital and Molecular Epidemiology from the University of Michigan. There she joined the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology where she completed he thesis project investigating molecular and physiological mechanisms involved in Wilson Disease. In 2009, she joined the Beaumont BioBank as a Research Coordinator where she is involved in projects that include molecular biomarker detection in thyroid cancer, Alzheimer’s, and carotid artery atherosclerosis as well as developing protocols for tissue molecular quality assurance and has contributed to numerous publications in the field of biomedical research and also biorepository science. She utilizes techniques in the area of gene expression profiling, detecting copy number changes, library prep for sequencing, and SNP genotyping. Samreen also works closely with other research personnel, residents, and medical students for training of core molecular equipment usage for research projects.

Laura Fortier, M.S.
Research Assistant II

Laura received her B.S. in Human Biology from Michigan State University in 2009 and M.S. in Basic Medical Sciences from Wayne State University in 2013. Since joining the BioBank in 2009, Laura has taken a focus in the fields of genomics, microscopy, immunohistochemistry, tissue microarray construction and histology. She specializes in microarray technology to identify biomarkers for the detection and progression of disease processes.  Past and current studies involving these techniques include Merkel cell carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma, head and neck cancers, as well as pancreatic IPMN, adenocarcinoma, and neuroendocrine tumors. She is currently studying at Oakland University in collaboration with the BioBank as a Ph.D. student in the Biomedical and Biological Sciences Program.  Her doctoral research project focuses on the study of the regulatory processes involved in pancreatic cancer.

Renee Patterson, B.S.
BioBank Clinical Research Coordinator I

Renee obtained her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science from Grand Valley State University in 2013. While in school she worked at Holland Hospital in Holland, Michigan as a Specimen Processor and Phlebotomist in their Clinical Laboratory.  She was eager to become involved with Beaumont’s BioBank in 2015 as a Clinical Research Coordinator I.  Her responsibilities encompass recruiting patients, facilitating the informed consent process, collecting and processing lab and surgical specimens, and data entry.  She also is involved in the training and oversight of the volunteer student interns of the BioBank.

Jennifer Theis, B.S.
BioBank Clinical Research Coordinator I

Jennifer received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from The University of Michigan in 2015 and joined the BioBank at the end of 2016 as a Clinical Research Coordinator I.  Prior to joining the BioBank, she worked in the Clinical Laboratory at Beaumont–Grosse Pointe managing patient testing and specimen processing operations. Her current responsibilities in the BioBank involve recruitment of patients via the informed consent process, collecting and processing biospecimens, and subsequent data entry in the BioBank’s biospecimen management system.

Mary Farwell, B.S.
Office Coordinator

Mary received her Bachelor of Science from Wayne State University.  She has been part of the BioBank since its inception in 2008.  She oversees the daily operation of the office and provides administrative support to the BioBank Scientific Director, BioBank Managers and support staff.  She has been with the Beaumont Research Institute on a permanent basis since 1995 and also oversees the daily office operations of Radiation Oncology Research.  She serves as Recording Secretary for the Radioactive Drug Research Committee (RDRC) and as the Research Institute Radiation Badge Coordinator.  Mary’s extensive research experience and institutional knowledge has been a valuable asset to the BioBank team.