The Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR) is proud to announce the addition of two distinguished fellows to our team. Each will bring their distinct expertise and research focus to enhance the vital work of the Patient Partner Academy and the Network-Based Research Unit. Their unique contributions promise to bring new perspectives to our research community.  

photos of Daniel Whibley, PhD, and Erin Carlton, MD, MSc

Daniel Whibley, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan, has been appointed as the Patient Partner Academy (PPA) Fellow for the 2024 – 2025 academic year. Whibley is an accomplished applied health sciences researcher with a background as a UK-trained physical therapist and clinical epidemiologist. He specializes in the development of non-pharmacological interventions for pain, with an emphasis on sleep optimization improvement and physical activity as behavioral interventions.

As the PPA Fellow, Whibley will collaborate with the team to further enrich the program by creating educational experiences for both patients and researchers, drafting manuscripts on the integration of patients into the clinical research process and the science of engagement, and crafting grant proposals for funding around the science of engagement. His aim is to explore ethical considerations, particularly the inclusion of historically underserved and marginalized patient groups, in the research process. 

“I’m grateful that this fellowship provides a consolidated period to intentionally center and develop my understanding, application, and innovation related to the participation of people with lived experience in research,” says Whibley. “I’m looking forward to developing collaborations with new community partners and assisting MICHR in supporting meaningful inclusion of people with lived experiences in research projects and their effective dissemination.”

Erin Carlton, MD, MSc, assumes the role of the first Network-Based Research Fellow for the 2024 – 2025 academic year. She was also a MICHR K scholar in 2021. As a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Dr. Carlton brings a wealth of expertise in pediatric critical illness and sepsis survivorship. Her research is oriented toward understanding and mitigating the long-term effects of pediatric critical illness, pinpointing risk factors for morbidity, and improving patient and family outcomes post-critical care, with a particular focus on sepsis.

Dr. Carlton will use her fellowship to build upon her experience using administrative claims data and electronic health record (EHR) data. Her efforts aim to facilitate more representative target trial emulation studies by identifying eligible patients, determining optimal treatments and timing, and capturing detailed outcomes and follow-up processes. The fellowship will allow her to employ multi-site, patient-level health data to distinguish the efficacy of various interventions across diverse healthcare settings, thereby enhancing patient outcomes at multiple levels.

These fellows bring expertise and vision that promise to drive innovation and elevate research within MICHR and beyond.