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JULY 15, 2019
Training & Events
Save the Date! Researchpalooza is Thursday, August 15
Join Fast Forward Medical Innovation at this year's Researchpalooza on Thursday, August 15, from 11:0am - 2:00pm,
in the circle drive in front of Med Sci I. This is a fun event that spotlights the labs and offices here to serve you at U-M. There will be ice cream, popcorn, games, and lots of giveaways!

Be sure to stop by our table and talk to us about U-M's wide variety of biomedical commercialization programs and funding opportunities.
U-M Therapeutic Innovation Fund RFP Deadline Extended
The Michigan Center for Therapeutic Innovation (MCTI) and FFMI offer the  U-M Therapeutic Innovation Fund, a five-year, $2.5 million fund created to accelerate the discovery and translation of therapeutic candidates at the University of Michigan. The fund supports the discovery and optimization of small molecule lead compounds for projects with a specific, novel, and testable drug discovery hypothesis. Selected projects receive funding and resources to support medicinal chemistry efforts through MCTI and funding for drug design, assay development, cell biology, structural biology, and pharmacology (up to $150,000 in value for each award for a period of 18 months with the funds being dispersed in two stages). The fund is jointly administered by MCTI and FFMI.

Deadline Extended! A pre-submission application and meeting must be completed on or before July 26, 2019. The submission deadline for the full proposal is August 16, 2019, at 5pm.
Cheers to the Latest Mi-Kickstart Awardees
FFMI recently announced the latest awardees for the Mi-Kickstart early-stage funding program.

The new Mi-Kickstart teams are:
David Fox, M.D.
U-M - Rheumatology
Attenuation of Checkpoint Inhibitor Autoimmune Toxicity by Anti-CD6

Mats Ljungman, Ph.D.
U-M - Radiation Oncology
Using CRISPR Technology to Target Chromosome Rearrangement Junctions in Cancer

Yannis Paulus, M.D., FACS & Xueding Wang, Ph.D.
U-M - Ophthalmology
U-M - Radiology
U-M - Biomedical Engineering
Novel Laser and Ultrasound to Treat Pigmentation

William Roberts, M.D.
U-M - Urology
Suction Cone

Arthur Weber, Ph.D.
Michigan State University - Physiology
Variable Inductor-Based Passive IOP Sensor
FFMI is now accepting proposals for the next round of
Mi-Kickstart Applications, due Thursday, August 1.
Questions? Contact Sara Risch, Biomedical Innovation Specialist, at or 734-764-5598.
Next Round for Mi-TRAC for Life Sciences Proposals
Due October 10
Have a hot concept in the realm of biomedical devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, or digital health/IT that would be a great candidate for commercialization?

and the U-M Office of Technology Transfer, the awards provide
mid-stage, translational research funding and resources for
proof-of-concept and late-stage translational studies with a high potential of commercial success. We're excited to kick off the third year of this statewide research innovation and commercialization program with the recent renewal of funding from the MEDC.

Innovators from all schools at the University of Michigan, other institutions of higher education, non-profit research centers, and hospital systems across Michigan are eligible to submit projects for funding consideration.

Questions? Contact Michelle Larkin, MTRAC Program Director and Senior Biomedical Innovation Specialist, at or 734-615-7886.
Commercialization Education
Sign Up Today for the FFMI fast PACE 4-Week Course for
Early-Stage Projects
Do you have an innovative idea? Are you looking for funding, collaboration, and mentorship? The 11th cohort of the  FFMI  fast PACE course kicks off on September 20, 2019.
The 4-week course is designed to equip biomedical faculty and researchers with the knowledge and tools to navigate the initial process of commercialization.
MI-Pitch Club Offers Unique Learning Opportunity
More than 65 people attended the June MI-Pitch Club, which was sponsored by the Michigan Surgical Innovation Accelerator (MSIA) Program and featured winners of the 2019 MSIA Program. The participating MI-Pitch Club teams were tasked with solving the problem of how to get rid of wires and cords in the OR.

The next MI-Pitch Club event is:
Tomorrow! Tuesday, July 16
Pizza House
618 Church Street
Food & non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. Cash bar.
The Design Challenge Competition will begin at 5:00pm.

At the next MI-Pitch Club, teams from the Path of Excellence in Innovation & Entrepreneurship M1 cohort will pitch their innovative ideas for the better management and treatment of Lymphedema. Everyone is welcome to attend. Prizes are given to Design Challenge winners.
Business Development
Research Collaboration Between U-M and Atomwise
to Accelerate Drug Discovery Using Innovative Artificial Intelligence Approach
From making pain management safer and more effective to identifying inhibitors for a fibrosis target protein and more, researchers from Michigan Medicine, as well as the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy and U-M Life Sciences Institute, are looking to advance their projects through Atomwise's Artificial Intelligence Molecular Screen (AIMS) Awards program, which uses AI-powered screening technology employed by large pharmaceutical companies.

Michigan Medicine researchers Alan Smrcka, Ph.D., U-M Department of Pharmacology and Daniel Lawrence, Ph.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, are two of the four researchers working with Atomwise and Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI), a unit within the U-M Medical School Office of Research, to accelerate their drug discovery programs.
Out & About with FFMI
Debra Grega, Business Development Director, recently attended World Pharma Week in Boston, a pharma-focused event designed for networking, collaboration, and enrichment.

To better understand and connect with pharmas' programs in digital healthcare, Debra attended the Digital Health track, in addition to meeting with program leaders from companies including Novartis, Janssen, Pfizer, and Otsuka.
Bulletin Board
2019 Precision Health Scholars Announced
Precision Health at the University of Michigan has selected the recipients for its 2019 Scholars Awards. These grants of up to $80,000 each support the innovative projects of early-career researchers.

The 2019 Scholars Awards recipients are:
  • Lauren Beesley 
  • Sarah Gagliano Taliun 
  • Jessica Golbus 
  • Alyse Krausz 
  • Shariq Mohammed 
  • Matthew Patrick 
  • Yujing Song 
  • Jeffrey Tosoian 
  • Ziwen Zhu

Request for Proposals! Make the Move to the Newly-Renovated Research Space at NCRC
Michigan Medicine is now accepting submissions for research programs to take advantage of 75,000 square feet of newly renovated space at the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC).  Final applications are due on Monday, September 9.

“Over 3,500 research faculty and staff already call NCRC home,” said Steven Kunkel, Ph.D., Medical School Interim Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Associate Dean for Research. “Our goal is to bring together highly collaborative faculty and their teams, leveraging NCRC’s already robust research environment and Michigan Medicine’s strengths by aligning interests, expertise, and technologies.”
Our Collaborators
U-M Tech Transfer
To better navigate the complexities of the U-M biomedical research enterprise, visit the Research Project Lifecycle . This interactive tool provides an overview of the resources available to you, not only within the Medical School Office of Research but also across the University of Michigan.
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.