Maria Stieve

Program Manager| Center for RNA Biomedicine.

Maria comes to the Center with a background in fundraising and communications. She has been with the University of Michigan since finish her undergrad in English at LSA in 2008. She also holds a master’s degree in higher education administration from Marsal family School of Education.

Her primary role will be fundraising and development for the center. If you have any questions about the Center please email Maria Stieve at

Paul Avedisian

Public Relations Specialist | Center for RNA Biomedicine.

A native of Michigan, Paul earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from Hope College and went on to complete one year of graduate school at the Manhattan School of Music before pursuing a successful career in performing arts, hospitality, and higher education.
Paul joins the team directly from his recent appointments at the University of California, Riverside, and previously College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California, and will be primarily responsible for communications and public relations. If you have any questions about the Center, please email Paul Avedisian at

Michael Barbour

Project Manager | Center for RNA Biomedicine.

Michael steps into the role of Project Manager at the Center for RNA Biomedicine, working to develop strategic communications, public relations, development, and event initiatives to drive center growth. Michael holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from Michigan State University. Having spent most of his professional life in upscale hospitality and wine education, Michael has honed a skill set based on informed, empathic decision-making and diverse audience engagement—skills he is eager to bring to his work at the center. If you have any questions about the Center, please email Michael Barbour at

Omar Salman

Senior Consultant | Center for RNA Biomedicine.

Omar obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1982. Omar worked for Pfizer in Kalamazoo, MI for 29+ years as a senior research advisor. He was the technical leader/subject matter expert (SME) in process development and scaleup for bioseparations, sterilization of active pharmaceutical ingredients, particle size reduction, and manufacturing of injectable sterile aqueous suspensions. Omar will support the design of a manufacturing line for RNA based lipid nanoparticles (LNP), purification, and aseptic filling of the final drug product for clinical trials under cGLP and/or cGMP. If you have any questions about please email Omar Salman at