Read Medical School Research News online: View as Webpage
March 18, 2020
With this enewsletter, the Medical School Office of Research is shifting from the monthly publication of “Research News” to a weekly edition. Please bookmark the important links below and consider setting up email alerts to stay abreast of the latest information not only from our organization, but from UMOR.

Events around us are continuously evolving, and our team is committed to keeping you informed and supporting our research community to the utmost of our ability.
News Affecting Your Research Operation
Prepare to Ramp Down by 5pm on Friday, March 20
Earlier today, Rebecca Cunningham, M.D., U-M Interim Vice President for Research, sent a message to the research community that announced the following:

"In an effort to protect the health and safety of the University of Michigan community amid the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation, researchers across all three campuses should ramp down all noncritical research laboratory activities by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20. We will continue to assess the situation at regular intervals.

Faculty, staff and students must ramp down all on-campus laboratory research activities, with the exception of research related to COVID-19. The university will maintain minimal access to laboratories so that critical activities, including the maintenance of animals, unique reagents, and essential equipment and materials, along with research related to COVID-19, can continue. Research and scholarship (e.g., analyzing data, writing and reviewing manuscripts, preparing presentations, developing new grant proposals, convening online discussions with students and lab staff, etc.) that can occur remotely should continue."

Please visit the UMOR Research Operations web page to learn more details about Dr. Cunningham's announcement. Additionally, on that page under the tab labeled "Research Facilities/Laboratory Safety," you'll find downloadable links for:


These are very serious times, and the health and safety of our researchers and staff is of utmost importance. If you have questions, visit the Medical School Office of Research's COVID-19 webpage, or please don't hesitate to reach out to the Medical School Office of Research at ummsresearch@umich.edu.
Guidance from the Facilities Team
Medical School Facilities has posted a webpage dedicated specifically to FAQs that might develop around the ramp down of biomedical research operations. CLICK HERE to learn more about:
  • Emergency contacts
  • Utilities such as power and water will remain on
  • Continuity of services such as cleaning, maintenance, and dining
  • Delivery and receiving
  • And more.

Questions? Contact Medical School Facilities at med.school.facilities@umich.edu.
Donate Supplies to Help Keep Healthcare Workers and Our Community Safe
This morning the clinical enterprise sent an email requesting needed supplies. Unopened materials needed include:

  • Face Masks (e.g. loops around ears)
  • N95 Masks (branded for medical or construction use)
  • Safety eye wear (goggles) (branded for medical or construction use)
  • Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs)
  • PAPR Hoods

Who to Contact
Please e-mail : umh-dock-receivingteam@med.umiche.du to let them know that you will be dropping off supplies

Where to Take Supplies
Michigan Medicine
1500 East Medical Center Drive, Dock 5
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Guidance from the Animal Care & Research Program
On March 16, 2020, all individuals on an active animal use protocol  received an email from the Animal Care & Use Program Leadership Team outlining several important updates and recommended changes for how PIs and their laboratories should organize research projects involving animals amid the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation.

In a follow-up email to the entire animal care and use community on March 17, 2020, U-M's Attending Veterinarian provided additional clarification on several pieces of guidance, including:

  • Continuity of routine daily husbandry and veterinary care
  • Ongoing experiments using animals
  • Cessation of breeding as it pertains to commercially-available species/strains
  • Animal identification
  • Placing orders for animals and other medications/supplies
  • ULAM Training Core classes
  • IACUC protocol reviews
  • And many more.

Please review this information carefully to determine appropriate actions on how to best safeguard your research during this time. Ongoing guidance, information, FAQs, and other updates regarding research involving animals will be posted to the UMOR Research Operations webpage.

Perhaps more than most, we are accustomed to maintaining our poise and carrying out our responsibilities during unusual circumstances. Please know that our entire animal care team remains committed to supporting your research, your staff, and the animals within our care, however possible. With this in mind, please continue to reach out to our team with any questions and concerns at acuoffice@umich.edu; we are here to help safeguard and support your research activities. 
Proposal Submissions and Award Management
The Grant Services & Analysis team wants to remind our research community to review two important sections of the UMOR Research Operations webpage. The "Proposal Submission and Award Management" section on that page includes information about:

  • Proposal deadline extensions
  • How the NIH is responding to the COVID-19 situation
  • When to seek prior approval from a sponsoring agency
  • What happens if the COVID-19 situation slows or halts progress on a project
  • And more.

And the "Costs During the COVID-19 Health Crisis" section on the page addresses:

  • U-M's recommendations on the approach to charging of salaries when no work is performed due to COVID-19
  • Getting reimbursed for the costs incurred during the pause on NIH-funded human subjects research
  • Whether a grant will a grant pay for project-related costs, such as animal per diem, incurred during a ramp down
  • And more.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at msgrants@umich.edu if you have questions.
Study-Specific Planning Guidance
IRBMED has posted information on a Study-Specific Planning Guidance web page, including info about:
  • Initiating new human subject research related to COVID-19
  • Study team procedures for continuity of operations
  • How to submit study-specific questions to the IRBMED staff owner identified for the study in eResearch
  • And more.

Questions? Contact irbmed@umich.edu.
Temporary Restrictions on Human Subject Research
The Clinical Trials Support Office has created a specific webpage to address issues unique to our clinical research community. Visit the CTSO-Specific COVID Updates page for updates, including details about:
  • Temporary restrictions on human subjects research
  • MCRU activities regarding participants and community engagement
  • Study monitoring visits
  • Research Pharmacy FAQs

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions at ctsogroup@umich.edu.
Resources for Remote Working
This is a reminder that HITS has posted a web resource " Tech Guide to Working Remotely," which includes helpful info about:
  • Operating systems
  • Internet connectivity
  • VPN access and Duo preferences
  • Collaboration tools
  • And more.

Also, ITS Central Campus announced yesterday that the university now has an agreement with Zoom, a video conferencing service that offers options for online meetings, chat rooms, webinars, and mobile collaboration. CLICK HERE to learn more.
BlueJeans Dial-In Temporary Change
If you’re dialing in from off campus, new numbers are required

ITS Central Campus sent a message earlier this week indicating that BlueJeans is experiencing a degradation in service, and asking that staff and students stop using the university on-campus number – 763-1841 – immediately, if working off campus.

CLICK HERE to view the alternative numbers, and additional updates. ITS instructs that if you are working on campus, you should still connect to BlueJeans through 3-1841 to minimize the load on outbound calling volume.
Updates from the Medical School Office of Research
Biomedical Research Core Facilities
In an effort to protect the health and safety of the University of Michigan community amid the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation and in compliance with directive from the UMOR, Biomedical Research Core Facilities (BRCF) will switch from normal to emergency operations.

As part of emergency operating procedures, all non-essential activities will be suspended, keeping only critical activities operational. Please visit our website, contact Core Directors for updates regarding specific core access, or contact us at brcf-umms@umich.edu.
Calendar Review & Analysis Office
The Calendar Review and Analysis Office will remain open and conduct business consistent with the most current guidance from the university. We will handle immediate issues that arise on a case-by-case basis and follow prevailing guidance. In recognition of the benefits of social distancing in slowing the potential spread of COVID-19, CRAO staff are working remotely.

The University has released temporary restrictions on human subjects research in an effort to minimize the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 in human participant research interactions and to preserve personal protective equipment for clinical care. You can visit the UMOR Research Operations page under "Research Involving Human Subjects" to learn the full details.

CLICK HERE for our staff directory that includes email and phone numbers, or contact us at cr2-ao@med.umich.edu.
Central Biorepository
In compliance with the directive from UMOR that all labs should ramp down operations, the Central Biorepository (CBR) will switch from normal to emergency operations, no later than March 20, 2020. Non-essential activities will be suspended, keeping only critical activities operational, including:

  • Maintenance of a safe work environment
  • Control of in-transit biospecimens
  • Maintenance of biospecimen temperatures
  • Maintenance of the LabVantage database

CBR has already made arrangements to receive most, if not all, in-transit biospecimens and accession them into the appropriate long-term storage environment. Thank you for your partnership in communicating your needs and working with our team to send samples to CBR.  If you have not yet made arrangements for CBR to receive your samples, please do so now, so that we may receive and accession them by March 20, 2020.

CLICK HERE for more details about CBR operations relative to the COVID-19 situation, or contact us at cbr.requests@umich.edu.
Clinical Trials Support Office
The Clinical Trial Support Office (CTSO) and its units will remain open and conduct business consistent with the most current guidance from the university. We will handle immediate issues that arise on a case-by-case basis and follow prevailing guidance. CLICK HERE to visit our COVID-19 web page, and please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions at ctsogroup@umich.edu.
Data Office
In alignment with the U-M's policy encouraging telecommuting, the Data Office team is currently working from home. We will continue to be available by phone and email, individually and as a unit (click here: https://doctrjira.med.umich.edu/servicedesk/customer/portal/1) so you should continue to experience the service you have come to expect across all our service areas.

Please watch return emails in the event a specific member of the team is out, and if needed, redirect your inquiry here: https://doctrjira.med.umich.edu/servicedesk/customer/portal/1 to be assisted. 
Fast Forward Medical Innovation
The Fast Forward Medical Innovation team is currently working from home, in alignment with the U-M's policy encouraging telecommuting. We will continue to shepherd the biomedical research enterprise's business development, commercialization, and innovation education remotely, so you should not experience any disruption in the services we provide, but we encourage you to contact us via email with any concerns. CLICK HERE for our staff directory that includes email and phone numbers, or contact us at ffmioffice@umich.edu.
Grant Services & Analysis
Grant Services & Analysis team members are available by phone and email, individually and as a unit ( msgrants@umich.edu or CLICK HERE) so you should continue to experience the service you have come to expect across all our areas. Please watch return emails in the event a specific member of the team is out, and if needed, redirect your inquiry to msgrants@umich.edu.
IRBMED
IRBMED encourages study teams to monitor the IRBMED website for any changes in workflows and for additional guidance (especially IRBMED procedures for urgent amendments and study conduct during the research pause). 

The UMOR Research Operations site also contains important responses to frequently asked questions that relate to clinical research at Michigan Medicine. Check that website frequently as questions are updated daily.  

General questions for IRBMED can be submitted to irbmed@umich.edu. The email inbox will be monitored during normal business hours and over the weekend. Responses will be provided within one business day.
Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine
The Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) will maintain mechanisms for providing continued daily care to all animals housed on campus in the event of a natural disaster or other events that may interrupt normal business, including the COVID-19 situation.

This includes veterinary medical care; assessment of animal health and wellbeing; provision of food, water and clean cages; and maintenance of appropriate environmental conditions. All animal care staff (veterinarians, veterinary technicians, husbandry and housing, etc.) are considered mission-critical staff and report to work to ensure the continued health and well-being of all animals.

Questions? Contact us at ulam-questions@umich.edu.
Event & Scheduling Changes
Changes regarding events hosted or co-sponsored by units within the Medical School Office of Research.
The IRBMED team has sent an update indicating that all their courses will be moved to BlueJeans and some dates will change. Registered participants will be notified via email, and registration will remain open. Visit the IRBMED website for their latest news, or contact irbmed@umich.edu with questions.
The Fast Forward Medical Innovation fastPACE final presentation event scheduled for March 20 has been changed to a virtual event. CLICK HERE for details.
The "Working with Industry" event hosted by the Clinical Trial Support Office and scheduled for March 24 has been shifted from in-person to a virtual event. CLICK HERE for more details and the blue jeans login information or contact ctsogroup@umich.edu with questions.
The Data Office Lunch & Learn on March 25 at NCRC has been canceled. The presentations scheduled for this session will be moved to the September installment, and a new date and location will be announced at a later time. Questions or concerns about the event? Email Michelle at michbo@med.umich.edu.
The Central Biorepository has canceled the Open House of their facility scheduled for March 26. The event will be rescheduled at a later date.
Fast Forward Medical Innovation's "Pharmaceutical Industry: Trends, Opportunities, & Challenges" event featuring Paul Hudson, CEO of Sanofi, and scheduled April 2 has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date. Please CLICK HERE for more details.
The "International Mock Board Examination and Laboratory Animal Seminar Series" scheduled for April 15-17 has been postponed. CLICK HERE for more details.
The "Fifth Annual Science of Enrichment Symposium" scheduled for April 22 has been postponed. CLICK HERE for more details.
Looking for additional information about changes to training & events? Visit...
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. The "stops" along this lifecycle are highlighted above, and more information is available online .