Institute Leadership and Staff

Amy Bohnert, PhD, MHS

Dr. Bohnert is a Professor at the University of Michigan in the Departments of Anesthesiology (primary), Psychiatry, and Epidemiology. She is co-Director of the Michigan Opioid Collaborative, which seeks to improve access and quality of treatment for opioid use disorders throughout Michigan through community outreach and clinician education. Dr. Bohnert focuses her research on epidemiology and brief interventions regarding chronic pain, opioid misuse, overdose, substance use and related disorders. Learn more about Dr. Bohnert

Chad Brummett, MD

Dr. Brummett is the Bert N LaDu Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Brummett is also the Co-Director of the Overdose Prevention Engagement Network (OPEN) at the University of Michigan, which aims to apply a preventative approach to the opioid epidemic in the US through appropriate prescribing after surgery, dentistry, and emergency medicine. Dr. Brummett’s research interests include predictors of acute and chronic post-surgical pain and failure to derive benefit for interventions for interventions and surgeries primarily performed to treat pain. Dr. Brummett is specifically interested in the impact of a fibromyalgia-like or nociplastic pain phenotype on outcomes. Learn more about Dr. Brummett

Kim Gaedeke

Kim Gaedeke joined the Office of the Vice President for Research in 2022 as Director of Partnerships – Opioid Solutions where she built collaborative partnerships and strategies, internally and externally, to support efforts and best practices in addressing the opioid issues across the state. Prior to joining the University, Kim held a number of leadership roles in the private and public sectors.  Most notably, she worked for the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) from 2012-2021, where she led the efforts to modernize the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.  She also worked with stakeholders and legislators on policies around the opioid issue. Learn more about Kim Gaedeke

Institute Co-Director

Institute Co-Director

Managing Director

Gina Dahlem, PhD, FNP-C, FAANP

Dr. Dahlem is a family nurse practitioner whose clinical focus has been delivering primary care services for complex care populations particularly for people experiencing homelessness. Learn more about Dr. Dahlem

Ponni Perumalswami, M.D., MSCR

Dr. Perumalswami is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Michigan, Director of the Liver Clinic and a Staff Gastroenterologist at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and Investigator in Center for Clinical Management Research in the VA Health Services Research and Development. Learn more about Dr. Perumalswami

Community Engagement Domain Co-Director

Community Engagement Domain Co-Director

Kao-Ping Chua, MD, PhD

Dr. Kao-Ping Chua is a primary care pediatrician and health policy researcher in the Department of Pediatrics and the Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center at the University of Michigan Medical School. Learn more about Dr. Chua

Pooja Lagisetty, MD, MSc

Dr. Pooja Lagisetty is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and practicing physician with a focus on addressing access barriers and developing interventions to better treat chronic pain and addiction across medical settings. Learn more about Dr. Lagisetty

Erica Levitt, PhD

Dr. Erica Levitt is an Associate Professor of Pharmacology and an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology. Dr. Levitt’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying opioid-induced respiratory depression. Learn more about Dr. Levitt

Research & Data Domain Co-Director

Research & Data Domain Co-Director

Research & Data Domain Associate Director

Kate Barnes

Kate Barnes joined the University of Michigan Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) in January 2022. Her responsibilities include working with OVPR units and leadership to create and implement a strategic communications plan for programs and projects, including website development, content creation, media relations, and external stakeholder engagement. Her primary units are the Opioid Research Institute, the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and ARPA-H. Prior to joining OVPR, Kate served as Logistics Director for Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II (2019-2022), and Communications Specialist at a Lansing lobbying firm (2013-2019). Kate holds a B.S. in Journalism from Central Michigan University.

Beth Sprang

Beth Sprang joined the Opioid Research Institute as the Administrative / Project Coordinator in July 2023. She leads the planning efforts for the institute’s Coffee Connections presentation series for internal faculty and research staff, as well as coordinates the details of campus visits for our guests from other institutions who are invited to speak in our Visiting Faculty Lecture Series. She also provides assistance with grant submissions and participates in strategic planning and setting long-term goals for the institute. Prior to this role, she worked for the central office of the University’s research enterprise, the Office of the Vice President for Research, where she provided general administrative support to the entire department as well as temporary executive support to the Senior Director of Research Development and the Executive Director of Research Security. 

John Syrjamaki

John Syrjamaki joined the Opioid Research Institute as the Senior Manager of Data Strategy and Analytics in January 2024. He is responsible for the strategic direction of all data and analytic operations and leads efforts in growing internal and external partnerships with other data analytic and research teams to achieve the priorities of the Institute. John is focused on utilizing a variety of data sources, novel data linkages, and robust analytic approaches to generate actionable insights that directly address the opioid epidemic.

Prior to joining the Institute, John held multiple leadership roles in data analytics within the healthcare insurance, consulting, and academic sectors. Notably, he spent 7 years at the University of Michigan working for the Michigan Value Collaborative (MVC), a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM)-funded Collaborative Quality Initiative (CQI) with a mission to improve the health of Michigan through sustainable, high-value healthcare. John was responsible for all analytic services, data operations, and performance reporting for the collaborative which encompassed greater than 100 hospitals and 40 physician organizations across Michigan.

John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology from Michigan State University and a Master of Public Health degree in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of Michigan.

Communications Manager

Administrative / Project Coordinator

Sr. Manager, Data Strategy & Analytics