The MCIRCC Catalyst | November 2015

News for MCIRCC Members, Insiders and the U-M Critical Care Community

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Traumatic Brain Injury Research Spotlight
Funding Opportunities
Member Achievements


GrandChallengeGrand Challenge: TBI

Register now for The Massey Family Foundation Critical Care Grand Challenge: TBI.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major global health problem that is constantly growing and difficult to grasp. While there have been advancements in understanding the biological mechanisms behind TBI, there have been major challenges when it comes to translating that knowledge into a successful clinical trial and improvement in patient care.
To tackle the TBI challenge, researchers from across fields including medicine, engineering, data sciences and others, must collaborate to find solutions to improve patient survival and outcomes.
Therefore, with support and funding from the Joyce and Don Massey Family Foundation, MCIRCC will host its second Critical Care Grand Challenge on January 22 & 23 to target severe TBI. Having experienced the devastating effects of TBI first-hand, the Massey Family Foundation has joined forces with U-M to help save lives and improve the outcomes of those who suffer TBIs.
Up to $500,000 of funding is available to support project teams develop diagnostic, device, therapeutic, or health information technology solutions that address the initial "golden hours" of care after severe TBI (generally the first 48 hours).
MCIRCC has also collaborated with the Department of Defense (DOD) who will bring expertise and resources to help accelerate the movement of translational research outputs into the field.
Funded projects that drive toward proof of concept and human testing have the potential to receive follow-on funding from the DOD for solutions, therapies and products that can be used by DOD medics in the field.
The Grand Challenge is open to all faculty and supports integrative collaboration across disciplines; therefore proposals submitted by co-PIs from across disciplines will be given first consideration for funding. 
Registration is required for this 2-day event and PIs must be in attendance to be considered for funding. 

Click here to view the Grand Challenge Event Brief for more detailed information including the agenda.
We encourage you to forward this newsletter, or provide the registration link, to colleagues you believe would be interested in attending the Grand Challenge: TBI.

If you have any questions at all, please contact Bria Wiltshire at

SummitVideosMassey TBI Summit Videos Now Available!

In September, U-M hosted its first Joyce Massey TBI Summit which brought together leading scientists and key opinion leaders from across the country to present their research and to share their thoughts on the future of TBI research. This inaugural Summit was made possible thanks to the support and generosity of the Joyce and Don Massey Family Foundation.
Five videos are now available for the broader U-M community to view:


KorleyKorley Brings TBI Expertise to U-M

New Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine develops blood test that could predict brain injury outcomes.

Frederick Korley, MD, PhD was recently published in the Journal of Neurotrauma for his work on a new blood test that can quickly identify traumatic brain injury (TBI) and accurately determine its severity. These findings could dramatically change the way physicians are able to initially diagnose and treat TBI.
The current standard in TBI diagnosis relies on heavily on CT scans, however scans can only detect bleeding in the brain, not damage to brain cells. Dr. Korley spoke to the Johns Hopkins University communications team to explain:
"A typical situation is that someone comes to the emergency department with a suspected TBI, we get a CT scan, and if the scan shows no bleeding, we send the patient home," says Korley. "However, these patients go home and continue having headaches, difficulty concentrating and memory problems, and they can't figure out why they are having these symptoms after doctors told them everything was fine."
In an effort to find a more accurate way of testing for TBI, Dr. Korley and collaborators from around the country measured the levels of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in more than 300 patients with a TBI and 150 patients with brain injuries over a six-month period.
What they found was remarkable: the levels of BDNF, taken within 24 hours of a head injury, could predict the severity of a TBI. Patients with brain injuries had significantly lower amounts of BDNF in their bloodstreams, with the most severe patients showing the lowest levels. On the other hand, those patients with higher levels of BDNF had mostly recovered from their injuries six months later.
"The advantage of being able to predict prognosis early on is that you can advise patients on what to do, recommend whether they need to take time off work or school, and decide whether they need to follow up with a rehab doctor or neurologist," Korley told the Johns Hopkins University communication team. In addition, it could help decide which patients to enroll in clinical trials for new drugs or therapies targeting severe TBIs.
The next phase for Dr. Korley and his collaborators is to look into why brain injuries lower levels of BDNF in the blood and whether things known to increase BDNF levels could help treat TBIs. 

Virtual Institute Communications


CoulterHave A Technical Innovation Idea That Could Improve Patient Care?
The UM Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program is pleased to announce the 2016 Call for Proposals. The deadline for proposal submission is January 15, 2016. 

The UM Coulter Program is funded through proceeds of an endowment from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and supports collaborative translational research projects that involve co-investigators from any engineering department and a clinical department.  

The goal of this program is to accelerate the development and commercialization of new medical devices, diagnostics, and other biomedical products that address unmet clinical needs and lead to improvements in health care. Projects are supported and mentored by a team of industry experienced experts who proactively work to accelerate Coulter Program objectives of developing new product concepts to the point of partnering with industry or forming start-up companies with follow-on funding to commercialize new products envisioned from translational research efforts. Funding does not require cost-sharing of salaries. 

Distinctive aspects of the Coulter Program include business assessment work that dovetails with technical milestones for each project. Specific benefits to each project include: 
  • Business Development Support
  • Intellectual Property advice
  • Regulatory guidance 
  • Follow-on funding guidance 
  • Mentorship from Oversight Committee 
  • The C3i training program 

For more information, visit or Download Coulter Proposal Instructions and Application Form Here:

  For questions, please contact Thomas Marten, Coulter Program Director, at or 734-647-1680.


MCIRCC salutes the achievements of it members in their pursuit of academic excellence, industry thought leadership, and initiatives of personal passion. Because together, leveraging each of our individual triumphs as a team, we have the power to transform critical care medicine. If you have a recent achievement, award, or accolade to brag about contact  with details.

NeumarNeumar Elected to National Academy of Medicine


Robert Neumar, MD, PhD has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly called the Institute of Medicine) for his contribution to emergency heart care--one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.


His research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of ischemic and traumatic brain injury, and developing strategies for neuroprotection, including therapeutic hypothermia and inhibition of pathologic proteases. As chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, he led the establishment of the Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care.

TibaTiba Wins Taubman Institute Poster Presentation
M. Hakam Tiba, MD was recently awarded first place at the Taubman Institute Eighth Annual Symposium for his poster " Monitoring of Tissue Microvasculature Oxygenation using Resonance Raman Spectroscopy. "
Due to its non-invasive nature, Resonance Raman Spectroscopy may serve as a faster, safer and more cost-effective way to assess patient tissue oxygenation, aiding in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as sepsis, trauma, heart failure and other critical states.
Several other MCIRCC members also submitted their abstracts for consideration which can be viewed by clicking here.

VanEppsVanEpps Published in Nanomedicine
J. Scott VanEpps, MD, PhD has found that a common ingredient in sunscreen could be an effective antibacterial coating for medical implants such as pacemakers and replacement joints. His findings, published in the journal Nanomedicine, could help to prevent infections from occurring in the first place.

SalamangoSalamango Talks Juggling and Analytics at IBM Insight 2015
Last month, MCIRCC CIO Mark Salamango presented at IBM Insight 2015 where he discussed predictive analytics. In his presentation " Juggling is for Jugglers, Not Physicians: Analytics at The University of Michigan" he talks about MCIRCC's AHI (Analytic for Hemodynamic Instability) project and how it can help physicians with early intervention.
Mark recently received the Medical School Dean's Award for Professional Staff of the Year for his work on the AHI project among others.  Read more  about the award and the other 2015 honorees. 

If you are speaking with the media about your work in critical care research or are working with the U-M News Service or U-M Health System Public Relations on a health care related press release, article, or other news item, please mention your affiliation with the U-M Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care.


IndustryPlaybookTips on Partnering from the Industry Playbook

December 3
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

G063-64, NCRC Building 10

Academic researchers often look for co-development partnerships with companies, while start-ups seek acquisition. But how do you know when to run down the middle, or when to throw long? Join the Fast Forward Medical Innovation team and BioArbor for this huddle on the ins and outs of industry relationships.

ProteomicsClinical Applications for Quantitative Proteomics

December 10
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Danto Auditorium, Cardiovascular Center

Join experts from the Proteomics & Peptide Synthesis Core and MS Bioworks as they discuss clinical applications for quantitative proteomics, including data analysis, experimental design and more. 

The seminar includes: 
  • 12:00 PM: Introduction by Cassandra Wong, Director, Biomedical Research Core Facilities
  • 12:10 PM: "Experimental Design and Return on Investment" by Michael Ford, PhD, Co-founder, MS Bioworks 
  • 1:00 PM: "Data Interpretation in Quantitative Proteomics" by Henriette Remmer, PhD, Director, Proteomics & Peptide Synthesis Core 
  • 1:30 PM: Meet the Speakers and Q&A 

FREE lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to reserve your seat at the event. 


For more information, contact Proteomics & Peptide Synthesis Core Director Henriette Remmer, PhD at


MCIRCC Membership

The U-M Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care (MCIRCC) is one of the world's first comprehensive research enterprises devoted to transforming critical care medicine by accelerating science and moving it from bench to bedside. To do this, MCIRCC brings together integrative teams comprised of world-class U-M scientists, clinicians, and engineers with industry partners and funding sources to develop and deploy cutting-edge solutions that elevate the care, outcomes, and quality of life of critically ill and injured patients and their families.