Research News
Monthly Newsletter
May 2013

Securing and Implementing NIH R01s with International Partners - Views from Two PIs 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013  


Other Sources for Seminars + Events


Calendars at Health System Headlines 


To find seminars throughout campus on basic, clinical and translational research, view the "Research Seminars and Events"...


Announcement Category - Subscribe to the feed for this category to receive emails containing complete information.



View additional resources.


Internal Submissions


Call for Research Projects: Alzheimer's Disease Center Research Grant Proposal 

Deadline: June 15, 2013


Third Century Initiative - Transforming Learning for a Third Century (TLTC)

Deadline: July 15, 2013


U-M Diabetes Interdisciplinary Study Program (DISP)

Deadline: August 5, 2013


Michigan Diabetes Research Center (MDRC) and Michigan Center for Diabetes Translational Research (MCDTR) Pilot/Feasibility Study Grant Program 

Deadline: August 5, 2013


Third Century Initiative - Global Challenges for a Third Century (GCTC)

Deadline: September 9, 2013


External Limited Submissions

(Require an internal competition because the sponsor limits the number of proposals allowed from U-M.)


Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation Grant Program

Internal Deadline:

June 10, 2013


The Hartwell Foundation Individual Biomedical Research Award

Internal Deadline:

June 15, 2013

Foundation Deadline:

September 16, 2013


American Diabetes Association: Pathway to Stop Diabetes

Internal Deadline:

June 18, 2013


External Open  Submissions


Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program

Deadline: June 24, 2013



Available through the SciVal Experts tool.


MBECT Tips & Tricks 


UMMS Office of Research


U-M Medical School

 Links marked with a key can only be accessed via the U-M Ann Arbor campus network or VPN.


"Fast Forward" Strategic Research Effort Yields New Focus on Protein Folding, Microbiome, Epigenetics & More

What do misfolded proteins, microbes in our bodies, and DNA "switches" have in common?


They're all important to human health and disease - and the Medical School's researchers are among the world's leaders in studying all of them.


Now, all three areas of research will get an added boost starting July 1, through funding from the Medical School's Strategic Research Initiative.


Known as "Fast Forward" for its emphasis on accelerating progress by fostering collaboration among researchers, the initiative has helped the school's researchers come together in new ways to work on important areas of biomedical science - even beyond those chosen for initial funding.


At a May 21 forum, senior associate dean for research Steve Kunkel , Ph.D., described how the Fast Forward process begun one year ago with 10 concepts inspired by hundreds of researchers from many fields to work together on proposals for funding.


An external review panel, and the Research Board of Directors made up of the school's department chairs and center/institute directors, examined each proposal carefully and recommended that three receive funding. They are:

  • Protein Folding Diseases: An initiative led by Henry Paulson, M.D., Ph.D., and Andrew Lieberman, M.D., Ph.D., that involves many researchers across U-M who study how many different diseases arise from abnormal protein accumulation and disturbances in protein "quality control" within the body. The funding will help them work together in new ways, provide tools to aid their work, and bring new researchers to U-M to round out the expertise already here.
  • Host Microbiome initiative: This effort will build on U-M's already strong effort to study the bacteria and other microbes that live inside the human body and the health care environment. Led by Harry Mobley, Ph.D., and Vincent Young, M.D., Ph.D., and involving 51 researchers from a wide variety of areas, the initiative will use its Fast Forward funding to support specific research projects, and create tools and training to support existing and newly recruited researchers.
  • Epigenetics core: During the proposal review process, the importance of enhanced resources for epigenetics work became clear. So, to help UMMS scientists from all areas study why and how gene activity is turned "on" and "off" in different diseases, part of the Fast Forward funding will support the creation of a new shared research resource, called an Epigenetics "core."

 Even as these three initiatives take shape, Kunkel noted, researchers who put forth other proposals are leveraging that work to apply for external funding based on their newfound collaboration. "All ten scientific concepts became seed crystals, coalescing faculty to draft proposals, and moving them forward toward submitting multi-investigator proposals," he noted.


Dean James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., says, "University of Michigan Medical School faculty are nationally and internationally renowned for their scientific expertise. Building on this foundation, Fast Forward is envisioned as a means to establish UMMS as the international leaders in selected areas of great scientific promise."


Kunkel also pointed to other efforts by the Medical School Office of Research to facilitate all research, including streamlining the clinical trials process, strengthening research cores and information technology resources for researchers, and mentoring researchers applying for grants from the National Institutes of Health.


In the face of cutbacks in available federal research funding, these strategic investments position the Medical School's research community to make the most of opportunities.


The keynote speaker at the May 21 forum, former Department of Internal Medicine chair and University of Pennsylvania professor Bill Kelley, M.D. (right), who served on the Fast Forward review panel, echoed the hopeful sentiment. He also looked back on another chapter in UMHS history, when he was directly involved in the effort to build what is now called University Hospital as a strategic investment in the institution's future.


"Despite the dark clouds, the hardships, and the recessions, all of which will come and go, your course is set to move into the most elite" among academic medical centers, Kelley said. "You have the resources, the talent, and are empowered."


Beyond the Hype: The Impact and Potential of Personalized Medicine

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

5:00 - 7:00 PM 

(5:00 PM - Networking,
6:00 PM - Program)

Ann Arbor SPARK Central 

330 E. Liberty Street (Lower level)


Two thought leaders in personalized medicine, Dr. Richard Douglas (formerly of Genzyme) and Dr. Robert Penny (CEO of Paradigm) will be special guest panelists at BioArbor on Wednesday, June 5. They'll look at how the last decade has seen considerable progress in integrating genetic and molecular information with traditional clinical knowledge. Emerging data on the human genome are providing insights into the molecular basis of inherited disease and creating opportunities to improve human health through new approaches to diagnostics and therapy. These advances will impact all aspects of human health, including cancer, orphan diseases, as well as chronic conditions.


But the real impact of personalized medicine is not far away, and in fact is quickly becoming a part of today's medical reality. New drugs and diagnostics for identifying patients most likely to realize their benefits are already revolutionizing healthcare. Novel molecularly targeted cancer therapies are making significant impacts. Other new therapies are being developed with an understanding of a patient's individual genetics. Massive new sequencing initiatives will continue this shift by advancing our knowledge of genetics and molecular biology at a rate heretofore unseen. As the availability of genomic data increases, we'll move onto new problems to solve, such as how to draw meaning from the massive amount of new genomic data we gather.


Dr. Douglas and Dr. Penny will discuss this new personalized medicine world from where the science has led us, to what hurdles need to be overcome, and the policies that are required so that personalized medicine becomes a more widely adopted part of our approach to addressing global health issues. More details and RSVP at


Michigan Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Call for Applications from Faculty with Biomedical Technologies and Inventions!

Moving your research technology forward

Do you want to take your research technology to the point of positive patient impact? Sometimes the answer is to create a new startup, or a partnership with industry, or a license to an existing start-up company. Regardless of what path you take, you must understand your customers first. Being part of the Michigan I-Corps can help you do this.


The I-Corps entails seven weeks of part time team effort, so the burden is not on one researcher or inventor alone. In this team based learning program a student, post-doc or researcher from your lab is there to work with you throughout. And we provide you with a Mentor who works as a team member to lessen the burden on you even more.


Research teams must apply online by using the application at Once accepted, all costs are covered by this NSF-funded program. Please contact Norm Rapino to find out more information about the application process (734-647-7459,


Past I-Corps teams have benefited from...

  • Greater understanding of why their technology has value and to whom.
  • New potential markets for their technology, ones that they might not have considered.
  • Learning what it takes to commercialize technology and the barriers to its adoption.
  • Gaining a toolset that can apply to many situations, including making their research better.
  • Greater self-confidence and presentation skills.
  • Valuable and long lasting interaction with teachers, investors, customers, and mentors.
  • Saving valuable time by accelerating their team's understanding.

Remember, once you have gone through the program, you can better identify and attract follow on funding, work with others to help form a company, or explore other ways to move your tech forward.


IRBMED Policy Change for Watermarking and Updating Expiration Dates

Compliance Corner - Human Research

IRBMED has a modified policy on watermarking and updating expiration dates on recruitment materials and informed consent documents at the time of scheduled continuing review (SCR). For studies where enrollment has concluded, IRBMED will no longer watermark or update expiration dates on recruitment materials at SCR. For studies where interaction/intervention with subjects has concluded, IRBMED will no longer watermark or update expiration dates on informed consent documents at SCR.


Please note that this modified policy does not apply when U-M is the coordinating center for a multi-site trial, even if recruitment or interaction/intervention is completed at U-M.


If you have questions about this policy, please contact IRBMED at or 734-763-4768.


Why Should I Worry About Expiration Dates of Materials When Working with Animals?

Compliance Corner - Animal Research

Most medical materials (e.g., drugs, antibiotics, fluids, saline bags, disinfectant solutions, catheters, sutures) are labeled with an expiration date. This signifies that the manufacturer does not guarantee the efficacy, sterility, safety, or stability of the product beyond the date indicated. The USDA Animal Welfare Act, PHS Policy, and Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals all consistently state that expired materials may not be used in laboratory animals. Some materials (e.g., sutures, fluids) can be used for non-recovery procedures; however they need to be labeled as such and must be stored separately from non-expired medical materials. Expired anesthetics, analgesics, and euthanasia agents may never be used in laboratory animals.


It is a good idea to regularly inspect your medical materials and discard any expired substances. During regular UCUCA, USDA, and other inspections, the presence of expired substances can result in citations for the laboratory. By regularly clearing out expired materials, you can help ensure that your research and the welfare of your animals are of the highest quality! If you have any questions or concerns regarding drug storage or expiration dates, please do not hesitate to contact the UCUCA Office (763-8028 or


Basic Budget Blunders

Sharpening the Focus: Tips on Grant Proposal Preparation

By Chris Black, M.L.S., Assistant Director for Research Development Support, Office of Research

(One in a series of tips published in UMMS Research News about writing proposals.)


After talking to investigators, surfing the web, and reading articles, here is a list of some of the common mistakes PIs make when developing research grant proposal budgets:

  • Squeezing a size XL project into a size M NIH modular budget; if modular is your goal, reduce the scope of your XL project!
  • Underbudgeting for animal use, e.g., number of animals, number of days, care of animals
  • Underbudgeting for data collection, cleaning, entry, analyzing, and interpreting  
  • Underbudgeting for costs of GSRA, e.g. tuition, insurance, stipend
  • Not accounting for potential tenure or promotion rates
  • Budgeting/justifying equipment in Year 1, but not budgeting for maintenance (if needed) for subsequent years
  • An annual cost of living rate increase puts an investigator over the NIH cap
  • Wrong indirect rate cost, e.g., a foundation may cover 8% vs. 55%

Questions? Be sure to contact your talented department research administrator


Animal Research Saves Lives - New Website Shows How

When you take medicine, or have a medical procedure, you're probably not thinking about the research and training that it took to develop the drugs, devices and medical techniques that you're relying on. That includes research involving laboratory animals. U-M is committed to treating our research animals humanely and ethically - and communicating about both our practices and the potentially lifesaving discoveries that stem from them.


Now, a newly revamped website showcases animal use at U-M better than ever before. Located at, it offers stories, facts, links and resources. Designed to be understandable to the general public, but also useful to the University community, the site replaces an earlier one at the same address.


The team behind the website is eager to hear from the U-M community about more stories that can be added to the site. Email to suggest a topic or give feedback on the site.


IRBMED Has Moved!

As of May 24, 2013, our new address will be:

2800 Plymouth Road
Building 520, Room 3214
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800


Our phone number and main email address will remain the same:



Any mail directed to our current address will be forwarded to our new location.


IRBMED is NOT requesting amendments to update Informed Consent Documents (ICD) with the new address information. However, if you are submitting an amendment to modify some other aspect of the ICD, we request that you also update the address.

Office of Research
Our mission in the Office of Research 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.