Bio from 2008 Support Staff of the Year

Janet Hoff, L.V.T., L.A.T.G.
Coordinator, Center for Integrative Genomics
Janet Hoff is a licensed veterinary technician with a passion for animals. While committed to basic research and obtaining the best possible data, she is dedicated to animal health and welfare.  She is responsible for assisting investigators in their research with animals, marketing the Center for Integrative Genomics, researching new equipment for purchase, establishing rodent physiological assessment protocols, maintaining equipment and writing animal use protocols. Committed to research progress and willing to take on new challenges to solve existing problems, she is a role model for our entire research community.
Her value to the Center for Integrative Genomics, the Medical School, students, the U-M professional community and, ultimately, our larger community reflects her respect for the people who work here, the research projects conducted here, and the animals in her care.  As the Center’s coordinator, Ms. Hoff has provided exceptional training to several hundred trainees, many of whom are working towards medical and graduate degrees.
Since she joined the Center in December 2001, it has grown from a small core with just a few instruments to a fully functional phenotyping center offering high throughput equipment such as a non-invasive electrocardiogram and technically challenging ultrasound imaging. She masters each new piece of equipment with vigor and has made changes resulting in more humane handling of animals, and faster and more efficient generation of results for research investigators.
Ms. Hoff has the rare ability to perform difficult small-animal surgical manipulations successfully.  She willingly learns new techniques for researchers, and shows creativity in helping them develop new methodology.
Always eager to assist, she has used her entrepreneurial spirit in developing and licensing innovations for lab animal surgery, including a device that practically eliminates lab personnel exposure to waste anesthetic gas when an anesthetic induction chamber is used to pre-anesthetize rodents.  Her work allows researchers to implement their tests, aids and facilitates their grant aims, and helps accomplish their goals in a timely and expert fashion.
She is quick to help investigators with their research projects or to answer questions that surface when writing their animal use protocols. She interacts effectively with faculty, research fellows, and graduate students alike, providing excellent instruction as well as high-quality customer service. As one colleague says, “A testament to her profound abilities as an educator is the fact that Janet has always been able to convey her technical knowledge to new members of our laboratory.”
The animals in Ms. Hoff’s care benefit from her sensitivity, knowledge and expertise. For example, before joining the Center, she was with the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) where she developed a rodent recycling program through which laboratory animal personnel can obtain rodents destined for euthanasia as long as they had not been used in any research project. Currently managed by ULAM personnel, the program continues to benefit many principal investigators.
Ms. Hoff consistently contributes to the communication of novel ideas. For example, she suggested the creation of a Medical School research personnel e-mail listserve, which has proven to be a highly utilized and productive tool.
Her educational efforts reach beyond the Medical School and into the community, where she seeks out and truly enjoys opportunities to interact with the public. She is a highly effective spokesperson for the health and welfare of laboratory animals. She visits elementary schools to talk about how – and why – scientists use animals in medical research, and from 1997 to 2000, she represented the Michigan Society for Medical Research at Michigan State University’s annual Vet-a-Visit event. In 2007, she participated in Pfizer’s Science and Math Jamboree, and in 2008 she represented research at the U-M Bring Your Child to Work Day event. Most recently she presented for a group of 30 deaf and hearing-impaired high school students during an IBM Stem Entry Point Program.
Her scholarly work includes contributing authorship on three journal articles and primary authorship on two. Her article, “Methods of Blood Collection in the Mouse,” appeared in the November 2000 issue of Lab Animal, and generated notable interest, including recent inquiries from India and Nigeria.
Ms. Hoff became a licensed veterinary technician after earning an applied science degree in 1986 at Macomb Community College. By 1998, she passed a series of exams and became a laboratory animal technologist.
Outside of her Medical School position, Ms. Hoff is also a certified horse farm manager, who boards and trains horses at the Equine Charm School in Grass Lake.
Ms. Hoff says she is privileged to have worked under the direction of Dr. Ringler and Dr.
Dysko. She would like to thank Dr. MacDougald, Dr. Samuelson, Dr. Williams, Mr.
Clouthie and Dr. Metzger for the award nomination and letters of support. Most of all,
she wishes to thank her family for the love and support they have given over the years.