Lois Brako

Number of Years in Research Administration: 30

Institutions: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Missouri-St. Louis, USDA


Lois Brako, Ph.D., served as Assistant Vice President for Research–Regulatory and Compliance Oversight, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor until her retirement in 2021. Her responsibilities at U-M included coordinating activities related to the development and modification of campus-wide research policies and procedures and strategic planning for regulatory compliance oversight.

At U-M, she served as the Director of U-M’s Human Research Protections Program, with oversight of more than 6500 projects. Lois co-chaired the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee, had oversight responsibilities for conflict of interest review and management, served as a member of the Institutional Biosafety Committee, the Radiation Policy Committee, the Laboratory and Research Safety Committee, and as a consultant to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. She also had oversight responsibilities for export control regulations, the use of controlled substance in research, responsible conduct of research training, and served as a member of U-M’s Leadership team for electronic information system. For all these activities, Lois continuously strived to streamline processes and reduce administrative burden while maintaining high standards for compliance.

At a national level, Lois served on the Board of Directors of the Council on Governmental Relations and as a member of the Research Ethics and Compliance Committee (originally named the Research Regulatory Reform Committee). She is a former chair of the PRIM&R’s Knowledge Center Advisory Committee and regularly presented at the Advancing Ethical Research conference. From 2009-2015 she served as the co-chair for the Federal Demonstration Partnership’s Human Subject Subcommittee.

Lois began her career in research administration in 1991 when she was hired as a grants and contracts specialist in the Office of Research Service at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) and held an Adjunct Assistant Professor teaching appointment in the Department of Biology. From 1992-1997 Lois served as Director of Research Service at UMSL, with oversight responsibilities for all pre- and post-award administrative functions and regulatory compliance committees. In 1997, she moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she was appointed Assistant Dean in the Graduate School and Office of Sponsored Projects. In 2001, Lois transitioned to U-W’s Office of Research Policy to focus on oversight of regulatory compliance. During her years at UMSL and UW-Madison she was active in NCURA and SRA. She moved to the University of Michigan in 2005. She joined NCURA’s Select Committee on Peer Review in 2020.

Prior to her research administration career, Lois worked in research positions for the USDA and the Missouri Botanical Garden. She has published two books, numerous scientific papers, and served as a peer reviewer for NSF.

Lois completed her Ph.D. in biology at the City University of New York, a Master’s of Science degree at the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor’s of Science from Queens College.