Business Development
April 26, 2013


U-M Business 
Engagement Center

New $7.5 Fund for
Medical Innovation Research

Announcing the launch of U-M MTRAC for Life Sciences
The BusMichigan Economic Development Corporationiness Development team and the UMMS Office of Research recently announced a new $7.5 million fund called U-M MTRAC for Life Sciences that will help medical discoveries make the leap from the laboratory to the market, accelerating their potential to help patients. Funded in part by a new $2.4 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's 21st Century Jobs Fund, the new effort will help the U-M Medical School and U-M Tech Transfer identify, nurture and "fast forward" medical research projects with a high potential of commercial success.
Over the next three years, U-M biomedical researchers will be able to apply for translational research funds to help them pursue early-stage "proof of concept" projects with high commercial potential and value. These projects may yield new treatments, medical devices, diagnostic tools and health care information technologies. An oversight committee that will be largely composed of experts skilled in product development, commercialization and tech transfer will review and select proposals for funding.
The other $5 million for the fund comes from commitments of budget funds from the Medical School, the U-M Vice President for Research office, and the U-M Office of Technology Transfer. It's part of the larger Strategic Research Initiative to help U-M medical researchers "fast forward" their discoveries. "The Medical School's co-investment in this important new program will provide yet another resource to help our faculty prepare their research innovations for translation to the market, with the ultimate goal of impacting patient care," says James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., Dean of the Medical School and Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine.
View more information about U-M MTRAC for Life Sciences.
U-M Medical School Faculty
Present at Novo Nordisk Forum
Proposals for diabetes and obesity research
Novo Nordisk Three U-M pre-proposals were recently presented at the Novo Nordisk Diabetes and Obesity Biologics Science Forum, April 16-17 in Chicago. Underscoring our deep strengths in metabolomics, diabetes, and obesity, these pre-proposals were selected by the pharma leader from a pool of over 150 submissions. The pre-proposals were:
  • "CCL2 Trap for Diabetic Retinopathy," David Antonetti, Ph.D.; Steven F. Abcouwer Ph.D.; and Thomas W. Gardner, Ph.D.
  • "Validating a Novel Biologic in Lowering Blood Glucose and Treating Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease," Jiandie Lin, Ph.D.   
  • "Lipocalin 13's Anti-diabetes and Anti-NAFLD Actions," Liangyou Rui, Ph.D.
An opportunity for $250,000 to $500,000 over a two-year period, these were presented at the Forum and will be part of a competitive process, where U-M will be positioned against other proposals addressing non-clinical research related to new biologic therapeutics and targets amenable to biologic therapeutics or novel effects of known biologics in the field of Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes, including microvascular complications, and obesity.
A sneak peak at redesigned website
MICHR UMClinicalStudies.Org The Michigan Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (MICHR), part of the Medical School's Office of Research, recently posted a sneak peak at the newly redesigned This enhanced website will allow potential participants to easily find studies and let study teams know that they are interested, while at the same time allowing researchers connect and communicate more easily with participants.

Over 12,000 volunteers are already in the pool of participants with their interests and health information in When the site is launched later this spring it will help U-M researchers - including those with industry-sponsored trials - recruit and track study participants more quickly and easily. Researchers will have the opportunity to create their own study-specific web pages to present information to potential volunteers, create screening questionnaires, interact directly with interested participants, and more - all in one easy-to-use web tool.

"Streamlining clinical trials is key part of the Strategic Research Initiative and our ongoing goal of ultimately impacting human health in a positive manner," noted Thomas Shanley, M.D. and UMMS Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research. "This new website will vastly enhance our ability to connect research teams with potential study participants and help our investigators recruit - and communicate with - them and more efficiently than ever before. Furthermore, the people-focused design enables volunteers to much more readily communicate with study teams."

CLICK HERE for more details about
You're Invited!
Fast Forward Forum The University of Michigan Health System launched the Strategic Research Initiative more than a year and a half ago based on a common vision to "fast forward" to tomorrow's cures.

We invite our colleagues in the SE Michigan life sciences community to join us as we share our progress around building infrastructure and enhancing research.

Fast Forward Forum
Tuesday, May 21

3:30 p.m. Networking
4:15 p.m. Presentation by special guest Dr. William Kelley, former UMMS Chair of Internal Medicine
5:15 p.m. Reception

North Campus Research Complex
Building 18, Dining Hall 
2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor map
FREE! RSVP required.
About Us
The Business Development team at the University of Michigan Medical School works to drive innovative industry engagement to support research, develop potential novel funding mechanisms, and foster a culture that supports commercialization activities and entrepreneurship. We help UMMS faculty and strategic partners collaborate, with the ultimate goal of accelerating research and technology to improve human health. To connect, email us or call 734-615-5060.
Office of Research
Business Development is a 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.