Research News
November 2013

Distinguished Faculty Lectureship Award Ceremony and Lecture

Monday, December 9,


Kahn Auditorium, BSRB

Honoring John A. Williams, M.D., Ph.D.


Kickoff! Protein Folding Diseases Initiative

Friday, December 13,


Palmer Commons

Join Dean Woolliscroft and other UMMS leaders as we "fast forward" the Protein Folding Diseases Initiative and welcome special guest speaker Aaron Gitler, Ph.D. from Stanford University.  


SAVE THE DATE! MiChart Research Update

Two dates to choose from -Wednesday, January 8, 1:00pm-3:00pm at NCRC Research Auditorium; or Wednesday, January 15, 8:30am-10:30am at Ford Auditorium.

Learn the latest about how MiChart is impacting research in 2014.



Phospho-Proteomics Data Interpretation Workshop

Tuesday, January 21, 1:00pm-2:30pm at MSRB II Room 2548

Find out how to get the most information out of your mass spectrometry data through Identification and localization of phosphorylation sites, quantitation and more. 


Health System Headlines Research Seminars & Events



Internal Submissions


Medical School FAST TRACK Bridging Grant Program

Deadline: Monday, December 16, 2013


BMRC Bridging Support Program for Biomedical Research

Deadline: Monday, December 16, 2013


External Limited Submissions


Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation-Mallinckrodt Scholar Program

Internal Deadline:

Monday, November 25, 2013


St. Baldrick's Foundation Grants / Fellowships / Scholar Awards

Internal Deadline:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Mary Kay Foundation Grants for Innovative Translational Cancer Research

Internal Deadline:

Thursday, December 12, 2013


More Resources


Fact Sheets & Hot Topics
Find UMHS facts & figures for your next proposal!

MBECT Tips & Tricks 


UMMS Office of Research


U-M Medical School


Introducing Fast Forward Medical Innovation

Strategic Research Initiative Becomes Front Door for Biomedical Innovation at U-M
Kevin Ward, M.D.

As more and more discoveries made by University of Michigan Medical School researchers make their way toward becoming products that can help patients and health care providers, the school has named a new leader to accelerate that effort even further. 


Data released this October show that UMMS researchers generated a wealth of technology transfer activity in the last U-M fiscal year, with a record 133 new inventions reported, and a record 41 patents issued. Both figures represent one-third of U-M's total. 


On other measures of how well ideas are moving from the laboratory to the clinical setting, the school posted solid results for FY2013. 


More than three-quarters of U-M FY2013 revenues from past patents and licensing agreements - $11.1 million of $14.4 million - came from technologies that began in the Medical School. 


In addition, 44 of U-M's 148 patent applications, 40 of its 108 new license agreements with industry, and two of its nine new business startups came from the Medical School in 2013. In all, 54 of the 145 U-M inventions currently licensed to industry emerged from the Medical School. 


Now, the school has appointed Kevin Ward, M.D., a professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine with an extensive innovation track record, to lead an effort that will unify Medical School efforts to nurture commercialization and entrepreneurship activity. 


Ward's appointment is part of the school's strategic research initiative, Fast Forward to Tomorrow's Cures. As the first executive director for the new Fast Forward Medical Innovation initiative, Ward will bring together a broad array of efforts to help UMMS biomedical research discoveries make the transition to industry and clinical application. 


The new initiative integrates the Medical School Office of Research's business and commercialization groups - Business Development and the MTRAC for Life Sciences commercialization fund - under the umbrella of Fast Forward Medical Innovation. 

Ward and his team will partner with key units across campus, such as the Office of Technology Transfer, the College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship, the Business Engagement Center, and other schools and colleges -- as well as reaching beyond the university. 


Ward and the medical innovation team will:  

  • Establish a "front door" for supporting biomedical innovation at the Medical School and Health System. 
  • Accelerate innovation and commercialization of research from inception to impact for therapeutics, devices, diagnostics, and health information technology. 
  • Attract commercial partners via novel partnership models. 
  • Create an entrepreneurial ecosystem by enhancing knowledge of technology transfer and entrepreneurship through education. 

"We're setting the stage to dramatically increase the collaborative strength that our faculty and staff bring to commercialization and entrepreneurship efforts at the University," says Steven Kunkel, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean for Research. "As a school, we aim to be renowned not only for our research but also for our innovation and entrepreneurship." 


Ward has an extensive innovation and commercialization track record in the fields of emergency medicine and critical care. He also directs U-M's new Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care, a multidisciplinary effort to tackle key challenges in caring for patients in emergency and intensive care settings. 


"It's a privilege to have the opportunity to lead this exciting new initiative and to serve our faculty innovators," says Ward. "Fast Forward Medical Innovation will create an easily navigable roadmap with a variety of tools and assets to nurture and accelerate the ability of our world-class faculty and staff to move from ideas to impact. We also will strive to bring unprecedented value to industry through creative partnerships leveraging U-M's strengths. Finally, we hope to create a multiplier effect for team science across the University as it relates to biomedical innovation and its potential to impact human health." 


For more information about the Medical School's Strategic Research Initiative, CLICK HERE


New CRAO Leadership

David Browning

The Office of Research recently announced that David Browning has accepted the position of Director of the Clinical Research Calendar Review and Analysis Office (CRAO), and began work on November 18. 


David brings 10+ years of health care business experience to this position, including eight years with the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. While with the Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office, David was lead administrator of the Clinical Translational Resource Allocation Committee and he co-developed the research effort tracking application, which is used to measure budget accuracy, manage workload, and validate complexity scoring of protocols. 


Please join us in welcoming David to his new position as leader of a critical, high-performing team that plays a crucial role in all of our clinical trials. 


Revised Clinical Research Billing and Enrollment Policy Takes Effect Jan 1

A revised Clinical Research Billing and Enrollment Policy takes effect January 1, 2014 requiring the following changes:

  • All clinical research studies that have a billing calendar are required to enroll participants in MBECT. For purposes of clinical research billing, a participant is considered enrolled once signature is obtained on the Informed Consent Form (ICF). 
  • All trials that meet the definition of a UM Clinical Trial are required to enroll in MBECT. This includes clinical trials that are exempt from completing a billing calendar (e.g., those that take place in research space with research staff without charges billed via MiChart billing).
  • Enrollment must occur in the MBECT system no later than the same day the informed consent is signed. The timely submission of enrollment information in conjunction with the final approved billing calendar are essential to compliant routing of charges and insurance claim submission.
  • registration numbers (NCT) must be registered in eRRM prior to the enrollment of participants. NCT numbers will be included on claims for items and services provided in clinical trials.  Without the NCT number, bills will be denied.

You'll find more details and a link to the complete policy on the CRAO websiteThe CRAO team is constantly striving to provide the best customer service to researchers and study teams. If you have any questions about how this new policy will affect your research, please don't hesitate to contact them at 998-6880 or email at [email protected]


Have You Tried Michigan Experts?

Online Tool Highlights U-M Faculty Expertise

Michigan Experts is a faculty profiling and research networking web tool used to highlight the research expertise of over 3,000 faculty members on campus. The database helps users find researchers with specific areas of expertise for collaboration or mentoring, and enables investigators at the University of Michigan to demonstrate their activities to the global research community. Michigan Experts currently includes faculty from the Schools of Dentistry, Kinesiology, Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health, the Colleges of Engineering and Pharmacy, the Life Science Institute, U-M Transportation Research Institute and U-M Dearborn. Other U-M schools, colleges or institutes continue to be added. 


Each faculty member has a page that contains a rich, individualized representation of his or her: 

  • publications (obtained through Elsevier's SciVerse Scopus bibliographic database) 
  • externally funded sponsored projects, e.g., grants (obtained through U-M's electronic proposal management system, eRPM) 
  • patents (obtained through U-M Office of Technology Transfer)

Faculty members can also add tailored research statements and key words. Every researcher profile delivers a list of similar experts and a semantic index, or "fingerprint" visualization, of the researcher's distinctive expertise. The text from the publications, grants, patents, and optional tailored information is combined to develop the "fingerprint," making it easier to find experts and enable collaboration. 


Users can search the database by concept, individual name, or "free text" excerpt (such as an abstract or RFA) to discover researchers, understand research expertise, and visualize connections among researchers. Searching by "concept" includes links to similar experts outside of U-M. 


The database is an Elsevier product and is managed by the Medical School's Office of Research and Medical School Information Services (MSIS). A data warehouse allows a variety of reports to be generated from the aggregated profile data. Please direct any questions or comments to [email protected] 


Download a flyer about Michigan Experts to post in your area.



Enrollment Numbers

In consultation with many other U-M human research administration units, U-M IRBs are adopting one standard definition of "enrolled" as reported in eResearch: "enrolled" generally means "consented and screened, with eligibility verified."  eResearch questions and helptext were updated to incorporate this 10/07/2013. Further guidance is available from your IRB staff or from an information sheet by the Human Research Protection Program.

Holiday & Seasonal Closings

As the weather grows colder and the holiday season approaches, the IRBMED Office would like to remind you that we will be closed on Thursday, November 28th and Friday, November 29th for the Thanksgiving holiday. Additionally, IRBMED will close at the end of business on Tuesday, December 24th and will reopen at start of business on Thursday, January 2, 2014.


New Tool for Foundation Funding

100+ Opportunities Specifically for Junior Faculty

In October, the Office of Foundation Relations and the UMHS Office of Development launched a new web resource for early career faculty seeking foundation support for their research. The Early Career Funding Page outlines more than 100 funding opportunities specifically for junior faculty. 


Foundations provide the university with roughly $50 million annually, more than half of which directly supports faculty research. In fiscal year 2013, the Medical School secured more than $18.4 million in foundation funding. 


Many foundations are strong supporters of junior faculty. Foundations offer researchers the opportunity to fund out-of-the-box ideas, gain proof-of-concept data or pilot funding for future federal grants, and research higher risk ideas than other funders are willing to support. Foundation programs like the Packard Fellowships, the Sloan Scholars Program and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards are meant to launch young faculty members' careers and offer prestige. Foundations in the early career space use funding opportunities to draw talent and federal funding into important research areas that the foundation cares about. 


Funding is available across many disciplines, and opportunities are categorized by bio and medical sciences; disease-specific; cancer; physical sciences and engineering; and social science, health and humanities. 


The Early Career Funding Page is part of a suite of tools on Foundations.Umich.Edu that can help identify funders for faculty research and provide insight in securing foundation funding. Resources include top prospect listings for each school/college/unit, profiles and advice on major funders, and dedicated information on fundraising for work in Detroit. You are also encouraged to explore profiles of faculty for whom foundations have played significant role in their work and visit Foundations 101 to understand the basics of foundation funding for research. 


Foundation Relations works with faculty to help secure foundation funding across the university. They can work with you to identify the right funders, think through strategy and approaching the foundation, and review proposals through a foundation lens. 


Colleen Sherman, Associate Director, Corporate and Foundations Relations in the UMHS Office of Development is available to assist faculty members in securing foundation funding and can help identify potential funders and review proposals. She can be reached at [email protected] or 734-615-0040.


NIH Loan Repayment Programs

The uncertainty of the past few weeks has created many difficult situations due to the government shutdown. However, the National Institutes of Health's Loan Repayment Programs have resumed and the NIH is once again accepting applications for 2014 loan repayment awards. The current cycle has been extended through December 2, 2013. Supplemental materials from colleagues and supervisors will be accepted through December 16, 2013. 


Participants in the NIH Loan Repayment Programs receive up to $35,000 annually to help repay student loans of researchers who are or will be conducting nonprofit biomedical or behavioral research. CLICK HERE for more details.


MICHR Offers Master of Clinical Research

Did you know the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) offers a Master of Clinical Research program through Rackham Graduate School and the School of Public Health? It is designed specifically for students in the schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Social Work, Biomedical Engineering, Public Health, and Kinesiology. 


Students accepted into the program will take time out to complete the intensive, year-long master's program. Those who receive full funding will have a competitive stipend, full tuition support, and limited research funds.


The application deadline is December 16. For more details CLICK HERE.


Summer Research Program Aimed at Students in Professional Degree Programs

The Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) is pleased to offer its Summer Research Program, aimed at students currently enrolled in any health-related professional degree program.


The program is designed to introduce students in health-related professional degree programs to research early in their course of study, and provides hands-on research experiences in health disparities or clinical research. Students who participate in the 10-week program will be exposed to fundamental elements of research through individualized and team-based learning experiences. The program may serve as an internship for students who need to fulfill such requirements. 


The application deadline is February 4. For more details CLICK HERE.


New Chemical Hygiene Plan

The Department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health has released the new U-M Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP), which establishes a standardized program designed to protect laboratory personnel from hazardous chemicals in accordance with the requirements of the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA) Part 431 Hazardous Work in Laboratories Standard. 


CHP policies promote a healthy and safe work environment and provide information on best practices in laboratory health and safety. The new format simplifies the process for Principal In- vestigators (PIs) by eliminating the need to complete a template, ensuring everyone understands the same procedures for similar hazards, and creating a simple compliance document binder to maintain lab specific activities. 


All personnel working in laboratories should read and become familiar with the CHP and its university-wide requirements. Principal Investigators will be required to maintain the compliance document binder with appropriate information and lab specific procedures for any hazards not addressed within the CHP. 


The document is web-based and includes information to ensure that all laboratory personnel have working knowledge about the hazardous chemicals they use. The CHP is available on the OSEH website along with a new compliance document binder and standard operating procedures for chemicals frequently used at U-M.


MSIS IT Survey Fall 2013 Edition

Your Opinion Counts!

All current students, faculty, and staff in the University of Michigan Medical School are encouraged to take a few minutes to complete the Fall 2013 MSIS IT Survey. 


Your feedback is very important in helping MSIS understand how best to invest their resources to improve information technology services for you and the entire UMMS community. And when you finish taking the survey, you'll have the opportunity to enter a drawing to win an iPad mini! 


CLICK HERE to take the survey.


Michigan Brain Bank

Did you know that scientists from around the world contract with the University of Michigan Brain Bank, which contains approximately 1,200 paraffin and 650 frozen brains? 


The University of Michigan Brain Bank was founded by Professor Anne B. Young and Professor J. Penney to collect, store and distribute post-mortem brain tissues and associated clinical history. Established in 1982, the program currently has 350 registered living clinical research participants who have consented to donate after death.  


The Brain Bank has contributed to studies of a number of brain diseases, including studies of Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, ALS, and psychiatric disease.  Active research programs include studies of Alzheimer disease and related diseases, Parkinson disease, ALS, and bipolar disorder.  


For more details about how you can utilize the Brain Bank for your research, CLICK HERE.


Specific Aims Tailored to Your Specifications

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.)


Start with four main components in a NIH Specific Aims page and tailor as you see fit: 


Paragraph 1: Introduction (the critical gap) 

The main purpose of this paragraph is to convince the reviewers of the importance, need and relevance of your ideas. Start by stating the significant problem/need you are addressing within your research niche. Explain the (a) status quo in the field, (b) the gap that you will investigate, and (c) the critical need to fill the gap (i.e., so what?). "Management of XXX disease depends largely on chemotherapy, but the drug treatment has multiple negative consequences." This is a good place to introduce your innovative concepts or approach. 


Paragraph 2: What, Why, How, Whom (where this is going? Why is this such a hot idea?) 

What are your long range goals, i.e., how will this study impact human health? "The long term goal is to develop a safely administered therapeutic..." Your 2 to 4 aims will be driven by a clear, central hypothesis, or perhaps more than one (i.e., one Aim per hypothesis - some investigators imbed "working" hypotheses). Note: some projects do not need a hypothesis (e.g., develop a model or device, retrieve or storing large data); some projects are not ready for a hypothesis (i.e., no extensive previous work). Briefly, what is your rationale for this hypothesis and what interpreted, preliminary findings has your investigative team discovered to support feasibility? "Our published data on work with X support..." 


Paragraph 3: Two to four objectives you will accomplish during the funded period (master plan) 

These are outcome oriented and directly focused on your hypothesis and on the critical gap from paragraph 1. Have endpoints, e.g., not "to study," but "to develop" or "to identify." Do not to make Aims interdependent (e.g., Aim 1 depends on outcomes of Aim 2) in case results do not support the next Aim. Alternative hypotheses may be appropriate. Leave more imaginative/exploratory aims to end. Avoid jargon - not all the reviewers in the Study Section will understand your specialty. You can briefly describe related methodology for each Aim; mixed methods are fine, e.g., clinical and entomological studies.


Paragraph 4: Payoff (when accomplished, knowledge from these Aims will move the field forward!) 

Concentrate on expected outcomes, translation and impact. Tie your study's potential positive impact to health (or the primary mission of your funding agency). "Understanding the pathogenesis of this disease will have a positive impact on the development new therapeutic approaches." This entire page has been a logical progression of ideas and evidence, so this conclusion is inescapable. 



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.