CHIP Study Team



Marion A Hofmann Bowman, MD, PhD, is the Principal Investigator of the CHIP Biobank. Marion is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and a board-certified cardiologist. Dr. Hofmann Bowman received her medical degree and clinical training from the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

She then completed a 4-year postdoctoral research fellowship at Columbia University, New York. Her research on S100 and RAGE proteins helped to better understand the role of unchecked inflammation in the development of blood vessel diseases including atherosclerosis and aortic aneurysm.

After her postdoctoral research fellowship, Dr. Hofmann completed her Internal Medicine Residency at North Shore University in Long Island, NY and proceeded into Cardiovascular Fellowship at the University of Chicago, where she stayed on as physician scientist for 11 years.

Her research laboratory focused on aspects of vascular smooth muscle cell biology as a driver for atherosclerosis and aneurysm formation with approximately 65 published articles and research support from the NIH, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Marfan Foundation and American Heart Foundation. Dr. Hofmann Bowman joined the faculty at University of Michigan in 2018 in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.

She is interested in aortic aneurysmal disease, genetic susceptibility for aortic disease, and medical treatment related to aneurysms, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and preventive cardiology.


Jonathan Eliason, MD

Jonathan L. Eliason, MD is the S. Martin Lindenauer Collegiate Professor of Vascular Surgery. Dr. Eliason received his undergraduate degree from Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota and his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School.

He then relocated to Nashville, Tennessee where he completed his General Surgery Residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He became Chief Resident and proceeded into the two-year Vascular Surgery Fellowship at the University of Michigan.

Prior to joining the faculty at U-M, Dr. Eliason served as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and as a staff surgeon for the San Antonio Military Vascular Surgery Service at Wilford Hall Medical Center and Brooke Army Medical Center.

He joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in the section of vascular surgery in 2007. He is interested in aneurysmal and occlusive diseases of the arterial system, and he is a Co-Director of this study.


Himanshu Patel, MD

Himanshu J. Patel, MD is the Joe D. Morris Collegiate Professor of Cardiac Surgery and is a Co-Director of CHIP. In August 2016, he became Head of the Section of Adult Cardiac Surgery. He received his undergraduate degree and completed medical school at The Johns Hopkins University.

His general surgery training was completed at University of Rochester School of Medicine, Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, and he then came to Michigan to complete his Thoracic Surgery Residency. His clinical and academic interests revolve around open and endovascular approaches for aortic valve and aortic surgery. He believes the best care of patients occurs when approached in a collegial and multidisciplinary fashion and set with the highest of expectations of performance for all team members.


Lauren Humphrey

Lauren Humphrey-Stark is the acting Project Manager for CHIP. She graduated with a B.S. in Biophysics from the University of Michigan. After working in a Cell & Developmental Biology laboratory for several years and publishing two papers in Molecular Biology of the Cell, Lauren joined CHIP as the Research Coordinator before moving to Clinical Research Coordinator – Intermediate.


Jen McNamara headshot

Jen McNamara is the MI-AORTA Research Administrative Manager. Jen was previously a Project Manager for the Cardiovascular Health Improvement Project (CHIP) team and has made many significant contributions to the team since joining in 2016. She joined the Frankel Cardiovascular Center in 2012. Her previous roles include Clinical Manager at the Livonia Vein Center through the Department of Vascular Surgery and Research Recruitment through the FCVC Administration Team.


Caroline Foster headshot

Caroline Foster is interested in clinical research and discovering ways to change patient outcomes in cardiovascular diseases. She has been involved with many cancer studies since joining the University of Michigan in 2015 and is listed in several articles, most recently in the journal Cancers. Caroline joined the CHIP team in 2022. She enjoys patient interaction and being involved with the collection of relevant health information, as well as sample banking for our biorepository.


Chelsea Fisk headshot

Chelsea Fisk is the MI-AORTA Research Technician (tissue collection) for CHIP. She received her B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University. Chelsea’s prior work includes clinical research in trauma & acute care surgery, bench research in cell metabolism, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) support. Her research has been published in a variety of journals, including The American Journal of Surgery, Injury, Air Medical Journal, and Surgical Endoscopy.


Cole Pieroni headshot

Cole Pieroni is one of the research assistants for CHIP. He graduated with a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology with Honors from the University of Michigan. He spent his undergraduate years working in the Feldman Lab on the ALS team where he co-authored a publication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation-Insight and submitted a thesis.

As well, he worked in the Pulmonary and Critical Care department at the University of Chicago Medical Center and co-authored a publication in the Journal of Critical Care. Cole also currently works with the Transplant Center as an on-call research coordinator and is currently applying to medical school to pursue his goal of becoming a physician.


CHIP study Pricipal Investigator Cristen Willer

Cristen J Willer, PhD was the founding Principal Investigator of CHIP. Dr. Willer is trained as a computational geneticist after completing a DPhil at the Wellcome Trust Center for Human Genetics at Oxford, and postdoctoral fellowship in Biostatistics at the University of Michigan. She has published approximately 150 manuscripts, which have been cited over 35,00 times.