April 19, 2018
Upcoming Events :
Biotech Career Panel 
April 20, 2018
Taubman Health Sciences Library, Rm. 2903
Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists from life science programs interested in non-academic biotech careers can attend the second Biotech Career Panel that will focus on jobs in the consultant/nonprofit and government/other fields, including management, FDA regulatory, USPTO, IP law, and science policy.

This panel is part of a series from the Biotech Career Exploration Program provided by Fast Forward Medical Innovation, the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, and the UMMS Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
Commercialization of Diagnostic Innovations
May 9, 2018
ABC Seminar Rooms
Networking mixer to follow
Faculty, staff, and students working on diagnostic technologies and those interested in learning about development resources and collaboration opportunities can join Fast Forward Medical Innovation for an exclusive diagnostic development symposium. The symposium will focus on successful commercialization of diagnostic innovations, including clinical utility, intellectual property protection, regulatory routes, and success stories. The first hour of the event (1:00pm-2:00pm) is part of our approved CME series. 


The CME event is open to all U-M faculty, staff, and students. The University of Michigan Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University of Michigan Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Creditâ„¢. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. The speaker, Timothy Cornell, M.D., has no commercial relationship relevant to this presentation. Dr. Kevin Ward, the faculty planner, has no commercial relationship relative to this activity.
2018 Biomedical Innovation Cup
May 16, 2018 
Marriott Eagle Crest,
Auditorium 2
1275 South Huron Street
Ypsilanti, MI
Biomedical researchers and potential investors can attend this annual event that helps prepare a select group of MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub teams for launch to market, taking the stage to pitch their innovations to the "sharks" of the investment world at the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is with mixed emotions that I announce that I am stepping down as the Executive Director of the University of Michigan Medical School's Fast Forward Medical Innovation program. I have been privileged and honored to have had the opportunity to work with a fantastic team over the last 5 years to develop, what I believe to be, one of the nation's premier academic biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship programs. 

I will be returning full time as Executive Director for the Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care, which is itself an innovation and entrepreneurship program with over 150 faculty members, and also plan to focus on growing my personal research and product development interests and entrepreneurial ventures. There are also some amazing future opportunities that I hope to be able to participate in that require me to make some difficult choices.

FFMI continues to enjoy the full support of the Medical School's Office of Research under the leadership of the Senior Associate Dean of Research, Dr. Steven Kunkel. Connie Chang will be assuming the position of Interim Executive Director of FFMI and will be working with Michigan Medicine Leadership on a strategy that will ensure the program's continued success, growth, and impact on the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem within the UM, the region, the state, and beyond.

I truly believe in FFMI's mission to make biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship a natural academic behavior that speeds our University's ability to move great ideas to patient impact. I want to sincerely thank all of you who have supported FFMI's programs across our collective tripartite mission of excellence in research, education, and patient care, and I look forward to the exciting contributions FFMI will continue to make to the biomedical innovation landscape of the Medical School, University, state, and beyond. 


Kevin Ward, M.D.
Executive Director
Fast Forward Medical Innovation
May 16 Biomedical Innovation Cup
Shark-Tank-style competition highlights MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub-funded research

Join Fast Forward Medical Innovation as a select group of
Mi-TRAC teams pitch their innovations to the "sharks" of the investment world at the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium.

Wednesday, May 16
Marriott Eagle Crest
Auditorium 2
1275 South Huron Street

CLICK HERE to RSVP for this FREE event
The path to market for a new biological product is challenging. It's not enough to have a deep knowledge of the science. Innovators must be ready to step into the spotlight, showing stakeholders and potential investors clarity of vision and passion.

Hosted by Sandra Cochrane, M.B.A., Assistant Dean, Director of the WMed Innovation Center, this annual event helps prepare a select group of MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub teams for launch to market.
New this year, the Biomedical Innovation Cup will feature a poster showcase highlighting early-stage work by students and researchers from throughout Michigan.
This year's pitches...
Software tool for precise IVF treatment management
Alight Sciences, LLC
Technology for early detection of treatment-resistant cancer mutations

3D-printed ear splint for congenital ear deformity
Trove Analytics, Inc.
Predictive analytic for detecting hemodynamic instability and providing early actionable insight on unexpected patient deterioration
Jen Baird, M.B.A.
Dual c-Src/p38 inhibitor for triple negative breast cancer

And our judges...
Paul D'Amato

Linda Fingerle

Matthew Johnson

Karen Spilizewski
Cheers to the Latest Mi-Kickstart Awardees
Award for developing early proof-of-concept

FFMI recently announced the latest awardees for its
Mi-Kickstart early-stage funding program. 

Mi-Kickstart Awards, made possible by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub, the William Davidson Foundation, the U-M Medical School Office of Research, and the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, offer early-stage funding to biomedical researchers across the state of Michigan. This award is aimed to enhance the commercial potential of a technology owned by any Michigan-based non-profit to the point of demonstration of utility and possible inclusion in Mi-TRAC or other research funding programs.  

The new Mi-Kickstart teams are:
Kemp Cease, M.D., M.B.A., Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
University of Michigan
"A nanoparticle vaccine for S. aureus"
James Douglas Engel, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
University of Michigan
"Refining small molecule inhibitors of LSD1 to treat sickle cell disease (SCD) and beta-thalassaemia"
Loay Kabbani, M.D., Program Director, Vascular Surgery Fellowship, Department of Vascular Surgery 
Henry Ford Health System
Mohammad Mehrmohammadi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Biomedical/Electrical and Computer Engineering
Wayne State University
Nicole Kennedy, M.D., Department of Vascular Surgery
Henry Ford Health System
"Photoacoustic imaging for guidance of endovenous laser ablation procedures"
Karen Liby, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Michigan State University
"New rexinoids for lung cancer"
Jennifer Meddings, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
University of Michigan
"Female Foley Facilitator (F3) Study"
Jason Spence, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Lonnie Shea, Ph.D., Professor & Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of Michigan
"Human Lung Organoid: Pre-Clinical drug screening platform"
Christopher Waters, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and
Molecular Genetics
Michigan State University
"Eradicating biofilms in diabetic chronic wounds"
Fast Forward Medical Innovation is now accepting proposals
for the next round of Mi-Kickstart
Applications due Tuesday, May 1
Questions? Contact:
Michelle Larkin, Biomedical Innovation Specialist
Sara Johnson, Biomedical Innovation Specialist
8th Cohort of FFMI fastPACE Course Wraps Up 
Biomedical commercialization course awards winning team 

Jessica Ameling, Crowd
Favorite winner, receives her award from Jon Servoss, FFMI Commercialization Education Manager 
On Friday, April 6, Fast Forward Medical Innovation ended the eighth cohort of the FFMI fastPACE Course with a competition in which teams from U-M, Michigan State University, Western Michigan University, and Wayne State University pitched their projects to the class and a panel of judges. Eleven project teams graduated from the 4-week program that is designed to provide the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the initial process of innovation and commercialization. 

Congratulations to the winning project teams!

Health Track IT Winner:
Vaibhav Sahai, M.B.B.S., Assistant Professor, Medical Oncology
Frank Manion, Ph.D., Chief Informatics Officer, Comprehensive Cancer Center
John Harju, M.S., M.B.A., Senior IT Planning Manager, Cancer Center Informatics
Rocky Fischer, M.S., App Programmer, Sr. Analyst, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Katie Hersberger, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of Michigan
TRAC Software; a tumor response assessment core (TRAC) software standardizing tumor assessments for imaging-based clinical trials paired with a quick turnaround time for data analysis

Medical Device Track Winner:
David Zopf, M.D., Assistant Professor, Otolaryngology
Camila Luciano, Student, Biomedical Engineering
Brittany Gadigian, Student, Biomedical Engineering
Teddy Sallen, Student, Biomedical Engineering
Franklin Qui, Student, Biomedical Engineering
David Sniecinski, Student, Biomedical Engineering
University of Michigan
Sleep Apnea Shirt; an affordable HST that is integrated into a comfortable children's sleep shirt comprised of concealed physiological sensors capable of acquiring data for OSA diagnosis

Therapeutics/Diagnostic Track Winner:
Megan Varnum, Ph.D., Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Spartan Innovations
Michigan State University
FibrosIX; a compound that has demonstrated efficacy in blocking the progression of brosis in mice treated with the chemotherapeutic agent

Crowd Favorite:
Jennifer Meddings, M.D., Associate Professor, Internal Medicine
Jessica Armeling, M.P.H., Research Specialist
University of Michigan
Female Foley Facilitator; a Female Foley Facilitator (F3) to facilitate the sterile placement of 2 types of urinary catheters into bladders of female patients

FFMI Train-the-Trainer Program Spreads Commercialization Education to Biomedical Innovators Across the Country 
Groundbreaking program equips partner academic institutions with proven tools to offer innovation programs to busy clinician-researchers

Click the arrow above to learn more
about Train-the-Trainer
FFMI works in close partnership with U-M's CTSA organization, Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, to support educational programs for all learners on the commercialization of biomedical research and innovation. 

Last month, FFMI welcomed participating CTSA organizations from 10 institutions across the United States for the second Train-the-Trainer program, in parallel to the FFMI fastPACE course. Train-the-Trainer gives participants the opportunity to observe FFMI's expert teaching team and learn how to launch the FFMI fastPACE program at their home institutions, providing their biomedical faculty with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the initial process of innovation and commercialization. 

Participating institutions included:
  • Beaumont Health
  • Columbia University
  • Michigan State University
  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • UC Irvine
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of Missouri - Kansas City
  • Wake Forest University
  • Wayne State University
  • Western Michigan University
For more information on Train-the-Trainer or FFMI fastPACE, contact FFMI Commercialization Education Manager,  Jon Servoss
Career Exploration Panel Explores Non-Academic Career Options
Participants get an inside look at many aspects of biotechnology-related careers 

The first Biotech Career Panel took place on Friday, March 23. About 60 attendees heard experts from University administration, staff, and support positions share how they transitioned from the lab bench to where they are now. 

The next panel will take place on Friday, April 20 from 9:30-10:30am, and will focus on consultant/nonprofit and government/other related fields. 

This panel is part of a series from the Biotech Career Exploration Program provided by Fast Forward Medical Innovation, the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, and the UMMS Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

For more information, contact Jon Servoss, FFMI Commercialization Program Manager.
On the Road With FFMI

Kevin Ward, FFMI Executive Director, was a judge at the Gupta Family Hackathon for Health Communication on March 23-25. The event centered around innovation and was aimed at generating new ideas and tools to improve health communication.  CLICK HERE  to learn about the winners.

Brad Martin, MTRAC for Life Sciences Commercialization Program Director, was a moderator for the panel discussion "Strategies for Advancing RNA Biosciences Into Medicine" at the Center for RNA Biomedicine's Third Annual Symposium - Advancing RNA Biosciences into Medicine.

Hirak Parikh, M.S., Ph.D., Monroe-Brown Biomedical Seed Fund Manager, participated in the MCVA 12 at 12, an ongoing bi-monthly event series from the Michigan Venture Capital Association. At the bi-monthly event, a select group of Michigan's entrepreneurial and investment community members who have first-hand knowledge and experience on seed investing met to identify what actionable steps need to be made to improve the investment process. CLICK HERE to read more. 
Latest News from Project Teams Who Received FFMI Funding, Training, and Support

Parabricks, a biomedical startup who received funding from the Monroe-Brown Seed Fund, was featured in a VentureBeat article for being one of 12 finalists in Nvidia's Inception contest, a pitch competition seeking to identify the best AI startups in key areas. The top three finalists will share a $1 million prize, and winners will be picked at the company's GPU Technology Conference on March 27 in San Jose, California. CLICK HERE to read the full article. 

MTRAC awardee and 2017 Biomedical Innovation Cup winner, Tyson Kim, M.D., Ph.D., was one of 24 people selected by the Heed Ophthalmic Fellowship Foundation to receive a 2018-2019 Heed Fellowship Award. The Award provides talented young ophthalmologists with funding for postgraduate studies in ophthalmology and the ophthalmic sciences. Congratulation, Tyson!

FFMI  fastPACE participants, Lee Schroeder, M.D., Ph.D., and MTRAC awardee Ulysses Balis, M.D., were featured in an article spotlighting their project to expand laboratory testing capacity in Ghana through ride-sharing that would deliver samples for testing. CLICK HERE
to read the full article. 

Several Path of Excellence in Innovation & Entrepreneurship M4 students received University of Michigan Medical School Commencement Awards 2018 - Congratulations!
  • Graham Ives - Graduation with Distinction
  • Alexander Blaty - Graduation with Distinction in Medical Education
  • David Cron - Graduation with Distinction in Research (also recommended for the Dean's Award for Research Excellence)
  • Bipin Sunkara - Graduation with Distinction in Research
In Other News

The University's Precision Health Initiative announced the first round of grant competition and is accepting applications for Investigators Awards of up to $300,000 each over two years to support research projects that advance the field of precision health. The initiative seeks projects that use or enrich Precision Health data and tools, methods, and techniques. Precision Health expects to fund up to 12 Investigators Awards
in 2018. An open call for pre-proposals, due April 30, has been issued. 

CLICK HERE to read the full article.
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Fast Forward Medical Innovation is part of the Office of Research, where our mission is to foster an environment of innovation and efficiency that serves the U-M Medical School community and supports biomedical science from insight to impact.