Research News
May 2014


Wednesday, May 21

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Ford Auditorium,

University Hospital


For additional details, including registration information, click here.



The Innovative

Value Proposition:

Capturing Your

True Customer

Monday, June 16

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

South Atrium,

NCRC Building 10


Details and RSVP for this event here.



Expand Your Research Through Metabolomics

Monday, June 23 -

Thursday, June 26 

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Forum Hall,

Palmer Commons


Additional details, including registration information, available here. 



Catch the Wave of the Digital Medicine Revolution

Wednesday, July 9

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Research Auditorium,

NCRC Building 10


Details and RSVP for this event here.



The Secrets of
Non-Disclosure Agreements

Wednesday, July 30

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

South Atrium,

NCRC Building 10


Details and RSVP for this event here.



Your Research Project Route Map Workshop
for Faculty

Monday, September 8

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

BSRB Seminar Rooms


Free lunch will be included. Seats for this event are limited. Please RSVP to reserve your spot today.


This event is sponsored by the U-M Medical School Faculty Development. 






Wednesday, August 27

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Circle Drive in front of Med Sci I


Protein Folding Diseases Symposium

Friday, September 19

8:30 AM - 6:30 PM

Kahn Auditorium and 

BSRB Seminar Rooms 



Health System Headlines Research Seminars & Events 


Internal Submissions


BMRC Bridging Support Program for Biomedical Research


Monday, June 16


Subsidy funds are available on a rolling basis from the Nathan Shock Center for the Biology of Aging for subsidized use of U-M Research Resource Cores for problems in aging research.


Details here.



Limited Submissions


St. Baldrick's Foundation Infrastructure Grants


Tuesday, June 3


Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation Grant Program


Tuesday, June 10


Searle Scholars Program and Pew Scholars Program


Monday, June 16



Pilot Programs



Monday, May 26


MTRAC Kickstart Award


Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis until available funding has been distributed.


Michigan Diabetes Research Center Pilot/Feasibility Study Grant Program


Monday, August 4


GI SPORE Development Research Program


Friday, September 5




Competition Space

A new online platform for finding, and applying for, internal funding opportunities through the UMMS and limited submission grant opportunities from foundations.


Additional Resources

Fact Sheets &
Hot Topics

Find UMHS facts and figures for your next proposal!

MBECT Tips & Tricks 


UMMS Office of Research


U-M Medical School 


  •  Strength, Strategy & Success: Our UMHStory
  •  MNiMBS Announces Director's Renewed Appointment
  • Funding
  • Policies
  • Training and Professional Development
  • Announcements
  • OoR.Progress
    Office of Research Progress Report
    Supporting Your Research Every Day
    It's proving to be a very busy Spring at the Office of Research, where we are always striving to enable and strengthen biomedical research at the Medical School and across campus.

    Among our recent activities, ULAM has launched the In-Vivo Animal Core and completed the eRAM Phase 3.0 implementation. Also, IRBMED continues to finalize workflows for use of independent (commercial) IRBs.

    And the Strategic Research Initiative continues to "fast forward" science on all cylinders. New developments include...
    • U-M MTRAC awarded funds to 11 projects with high commercialization potential. Kickstart, M-TRAC's rolling funding program for preliminary studies, has also distributed its first awards.
    • The Honest Broker Office is currently testing a new de-identification tool for faculty.
    • The Central Biorepository, as described in the article below, has begun a second round of pilot projects.
    • Also as described below, our Fast Forward Medical Innovation team has launched a CME-credited series of commercialization learning sessions.
    • The R01 Boot Camp yield to date (16 months from the start of the pilot program) is eight R01 proposals that are either funded or in the fundable range (i.e., 9th percentile). From the original group of 40 faculty mentees, 30 are continuing in small groups to work on resubmissions. A new cohort of mentees will start in the Fall.
    • The Protein Folding Diseases and Host Microbiome Initiatives are planning symposiums for the Fall.
    Questions about the Office of Research?
    Contact us via email or phone at 734-615-1332.
    Strength, Strategy & Success:
    Our UMHStory
    Farewell presentation and reception planned for 
    Dr. Ora Pescovitz

    In lieu of a 2014 State of the Health System address, Dr. Ora Pescovitz will present highlights of her five years as Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs (EVPMA) on Wednesday, May 28 from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM in the D. Dan & Betty Kahn Auditorium of the A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building.


    Ora Pescovitz, M.D., became the U-M's first female EVPMA in May 2009. In this role, she oversees $3.2 billion in revenue and $490 million in research funding, and is responsible for leadership and management of the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers, the U-M Medical School, clinical services of the U-M School of Nursing, and the Michigan Health Corp. During her tenure, UMHS created and enacted a strategic plan that has resulted in expanded reach and relationships throughout the state, all the while recording the highest-ever scores in patient satisfaction.


    Dr. Pescovitz is a nationally recognized pediatric endocrinologist and researcher who has published 184 papers and books, and was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2011.


    Prior to taking the U-M post, Dr. Pescovitz had an extensive career serving as executive associate dean for Research Affairs at Indiana University School of Medicine, president and CEO of Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, and interim vice president for Research Administration at Indiana University. 


    This will be her final presentation as EVPMA and it will be followed by a farewell program and reception. All UMHS faculty, staff, and students are invited and encouraged to attend.


    If you are unable to attend the event, it will be live streamed online. Please click here for more information about this event.
    FFMI Launches "i2i: Idea to Impact" Series
    Events with CME Credit Supporting Research & Commercialization
    Breaking new ground in commercialization education here at the University, Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) recently announced its i2i: Idea to Impact series, sessions which have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 credit through the
    U-M Office of Continuous Professional Development. 
    The first session, "Innovative Value Proposition: Capturing Your True Customer" is scheduled for Monday, June 16 at 5:30 PM and will be lead by Jonathan Fay from the COE Center for Entrepreneurship. More details about this class, as well as the other monthly sessions planned for the future, can be found at the FFMI Commercialization webpage.

    "Educating faculty and staff about the multiple paths to successful commercialization is a key component of FFMI," noted Kevin Ward, M.D., Executive Director of FFMI. "i2i: Idea to Impact sessions will be a valuable educational opportunity for the novice and experienced innovator alike." 

    CME-approved educational sessions are just one of many ways that Fast Forward Medical Innovation is working to further deepen understanding of commercialization strategies, helping biomedical faculty at the University of Michigan develop a vision to translate research into an opportunity to impact.

    To ensure that our educational programs meet the needs and busy schedules of biomedical faculty, we are asking that you take a short Needs Assessment Survey. By completing the Needs Assessment Survey, you're telling us exactly what you want to learn and how you want to learn it. 

    Please visit the FFMI Commercialization Education webpage for more information and instructions on how to take the survey.

    Contact Jon Servoss, FFMI Commercialization Education Coordinator, via email or phone at 734-764-2692.
    Research Opportunities with the
    Ford Motor Company 

    Ford Motor Company, as part of its research alliance with U-M, has an open call for proposals related to in-vehicle health and wellness.


    From Ford's topic overview of "In-vehicle health and wellness": There has been a substantial increase in overall interest in health and wellness and this trend is expected to accelerate strongly as the baby boom demographic ages, though the trend is not limited to that demographic cohort. Consumer perceptions of driving have also changed as people spend more unpleasant time on congested roads. The ability to improve the well-being, stress state, and satisfaction of the driver and passengers during the in-vehicle experience is desired. 


    The research alliance includes overhead-bearing (indirect cost) research projects for up to two years and up to $110,000 per year. Projects are co-developed with a Ford Principal Investigator (PI) and provide for mutual intellectual property rights and have a 25-40 percent funding success rate.


    First drafts of proposals are due Monday, June 2 with final proposals due Thursday, August 14. Approval will be communicated by December with payment disbursed in first quarter 2015.


    To identify a Ford PI for your area of research, please contact Ray Aldrich, Business Development Associate Director - Fast Forward Medical Innovation, via email or phone at 734-764-2693.

    UMHS Central Biorepository to Expand Operations through Second Pilot Program

    The UMHS Central Biorepository (CBR), part of the U-M Medical School's Strategic Research Initiative, is expanding operations to include a second round of pilot projects.  


    The CBR is currently in the "build" phase, and working with four existing pilot programs to establish standardized operations and policy creation for the Biorepository.


    We are inviting additional researchers to assist us further in developing Biorepository policies and procedures. These new research programs will be considered a second wave of pilot projects, and will be limited in number. 


    Benefits of pilot participation include:

    • "Outsourced" management of biorepository operations
    • Dedicated, expert staff
    • Regulated, secure environment for storage of human biological materials
    • 24/7 monitoring of storage conditions
    • Standard operating procedures for sample processing
    • Standardized Quality Assurance and reports
    • Biospecimen chain of custody management
    • Detailed biospecimen annotation
    • Reduced recharge rates initially 

    To become a new pilot program, please apply to the UMHS Central Biorepository Pilot 2 Competition on UMMS Competition Space.


    Please review this webpage before applying.



    Please contact Leslie McCormick, who will route you to the appropriate person, via email or phone at 734-763-2520.  

    MSIS Help Me Now Desk Open for Business in Med Sci I

    When you're working with sensitive data, compliance issues arise. The Office of Regulatory Affairs and Medical School Information Services (MSIS) have teamed up to create a fast, friendly, free service to improve UMMS data security.


    Our goal is to create a common culture within the UMHS/UMMS community to bring hand-held devices to MSIS proactively to ensure that they are encrypted and properly set up to follow data security best practices. We cannot turn everyone into specialists, but we can make it easy for everyone to turn to the specialists frequently for preventive care. 

    1. Researchers using flash drives can swap one unencrypted drive for an 8GB encrypted flash drive, FREE thanks to Fostering Innovation Grants!
    2. MSIS will check smart phones, small devices, and laptops to encrypt them and check cloud settings for security while you wait.
    3. MSIS can provide follow up appointments to come to your office to help with other, larger machines.

    The MSIS Help Me Now desk, located in 3112 Med Sci I, will be open Wednesdays from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM.


    To make an appointment, or for further information, call MSIS at 734-763-7770 to ask for the Help Me Now desk or email with "Help Me Now" in the title.

    Reducing risk one Byte at a time.

    Transgenic Animal Model Core to Offer Mouse ES Cell Training 
    Training to take place
    Monday, July 14 - Friday, July 25
    ES Cell-Mouse Chimera (see notes below)

    Embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent cells used to create mouse models of human disease and to study gene function. Genetic modifications made in ES cells can be transmitted to the offspring of ES cell-mouse chimeras to produce new mouse strains (see picture and notes below).


    The training class includes a laboratory component in which trainees will learn to perform every method that the Transgenic Animal Model Core uses to manipulate genes in ES cells for the production of gene-targeted mice.


    The training also includes seminar-style presentation and discussion of key research papers that explore the scientific principles of mouse genome modification. Suggestions for special topics in the afternoon seminars are encouraged.


    Trainees will:

    • Learn how to manipulate mouse embryonic stem cell
      in culture
    • Learn how to perform nuclease-mediated gene modification (CRISPR/Cas9, zinc finger nucleases, TALENs)
    • Learn about Cre/loxP and FLP/FRT recombinase systems in vivo and in vitro
    • Learn the principles of gene targeting design and how to design DNA molecules to effect gene modifications
    • Learn how to access resources from the International Knockout Mouse Consortium
    • Learn about pitfalls in experimental design and how to control for them 

    After the training you will be able to design genetic modifications and produce them in ES cells and mice.


    The class will take place in:

    Room 2578

    Medical Sciences Research Building II (MSRB II) 

    1150 West Medical Center Drive


    Course Instructors are Elizabeth Hughes, M.S., and Thom Saunders, Ph.D., Director of the U-M Transgenic Animal Model Core. If you want to reserve a place in this two-week class, please contact Thom Saunders via email. Places are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a $1,400 fee to participate. 


    A sample syllabus can be downloaded here.


    Image Notes:

    ES Cell-Mouse Chimera. ES cells from black mice were combined with a wild type embryo from a white mouse. The resulting mouse shows contributions from both the ES cells and the embryo. The black fur and eye are made by ES cells. The white fur and red eye are made by the embryo. 

    Discover Technologies to Support Your Research
    BRCF Technology & Services Showcase to be held Thursday, June 5
    Join the Biomedical Research Core Facilities (BRCF) and their partner vendors as they share the latest products and services available in biomedical research.

    The third-annual BRCF Technology & Services Showcase will feature speaking sessions from Thom Saunders, Ph.D., Director of the Transgenic Animal Model Core and Tom Lanigan, Ph.D., Director of the Vector Core.

    Dr. Saunders and Dr. Lanigan will discuss uses of CRISPR/CAS 9 technology as it pertains to mouse models, viral vectors, and more.

    Thursday, June 5
    Palmer Commons, Fourth Floor
    10:00 AM - Speaking Sessions begin 
    11:30 AM - Showcase Hall opens
    Featuring FREE lunch from Zingerman's Deli!

    For more information, please visit the event page.
    'Ask the Experts' Series to Answer Questions from Researchers
    Upcoming series to address investigational new drug applications and investigation device exemptions

    Do you have questions about your Investigational New Drug Application (IND) and Investigation Device Exemption (IDE)?


    Join the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR's) Ask the Expert: MICHR IND/IDE Investigator Assistance Program (MIAP) for an interactive lecture and panel discussion.


    This session will focus on IND/IDE processes and regulations to assist you with your research. There will also be time in the program to speak with someone from MIAP about your specific study questions. 


    Discussion topics include: 

    • When is an IND or IDE needed
    • Requirements for an IND or IDE Application 
    • Information required in an IND and IDE
      application submission
    • Next steps after IND/IDE submission
    • What information to include in your protocol 
    • Services that MIAP offers to research teams 

    Thursday, May 29

    2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

    Room 2C108, U-M Main Hospital 

    1500 E. Medical Center Drive


    More details, including presenter and registration information, available here.

    MICHR to Offer SoCRA Study Session 

    The Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) Study Session, offered by the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR), is intended to provide attendees with a group setting to prepare for the SoCRA Certification Exam.


    These sessions aim to provoke interactive group discussions, facilitate interactive activities, and provide resources to help prepare for the SoCRA Exam. 


    Topics include:  

    • Session 1:
      Protection of Human Subjects (DHHS and FDA) & IRBs
    • Session 2:
      IND, IB, ICH E6 GCP Essential Documents
    • Session 3:
      Electronic Records & Signatures, Financial Disclosure, Monitoring, ICH E6 GCP Glossary
    • Session 4:
      ICH E6 GCP IRB, Investigator, Sponsor, Protocols
    Sessions start in May and run through July.

    Please note: There are two dates for each section. Each duplicate session will focus on the same agenda. 


    Registration is required. Please register here
    eResearch Animal Management (eRAM) Phase 3 is Live!

    The Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) is pleased to announce that eResearch Animal Management (eRAM) Phase 3.0 was implemented the weekend of May 2.


    The following features are NEW within eRAM 3.0:

    • View all barcode information for protocols
    • Request Breeding Sheets and Cage Cards directly
      within eRAM
    • View Statement of Charges directly within eRAM
    • Notification when Statement of Charges are ready
      for viewing
    • Additional designated roles for viewing Statement
      of Charges
    • And much more...see the Summary of Changes (eResearch eRAM Phase 3.0). 

    How to use these new features:

    For Assistance or Questions

    For billing inquiries, contact ULAM via email or phone at 



    For eRAM support, please contact the ITS Service Center 

    Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM via phone or email; or Sunday from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM via email.  


    ITS Service Center Contact Information:

    "Fast Forwarding" Our Understanding of Bacteria in Healthy People
    Host Microbiome Initiative Researchers Publish in Nature 

    As scientists catalog the trillions of bacteria found in every nook and cranny of the human body, new findings by investigators with the UMHS Host Microbiome Initiative show wide variation in the types of bacteria found in healthy people.


    Based on their findings recently published in Nature, there is no single healthy microbiome. Rather, each person harbors a unique and varied collection of bacteria that's the result of life history as well as their interactions with the environment, diet, and medication use.


    "Understanding the diversity of community types and the mechanisms that result in an individual having a particular type or changing types will allow us to use their community type to assess disease risk and to personalize their medical care," says lead study author Patrick D. Schloss, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the U-M Medical School.


    The Host Microbiome Initiative (HMI), part of the Medical School's Strategic Research Initiative, is working to "fast forward" research on the role of microbes in human health and disease. The initiative builds upon long-standing strengths in microbiology, microbial pathogenesis, immunology and clinical medicine.


    The HMI will leverage recent developments in technology and national initiatives such as the NIH Human Microbiome Project to accelerate our understanding of how communities of microbes interact with their host.


    "What our data shows is that just because a person's microbiome is different doesn't make it unhealthy," says Schloss. "It demonstrates there's more to learn about the factors that cause one's microbiome to change." Understanding why community types change will be useful in developing therapies that can alter one's community type using pre- and probiotics, fecal transplants, or antibiotics.


    Click here to learn more about the UMHS Strategic Research Initiative.

    MNiMBS Announces Renewed Appointment of Director
    James Baker, M.D.

    Steven Kunkel, Ph.D., UMMS Senior Associate Dean for Research, recently announced the renewal of the appointment of James Baker, M.D., as Director of the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences (MNiMBS).


    Dr. Baker has over 25 years experience in basic biologic research, concentrating in immunology and host defense. Widely recognized in the field, his work has resulted in the development of a new class of antimicrobial agents which have led to two start-up biotechnology companies, NanoBio Corporation and Avidimer Therapeutics.


    Launched in 2005, MNiMBS researchers focus on the development of therapeutics with a particle size small enough to overcome the barriers to deliver drugs, genetic materials, and vaccines. For more information visit the MNiMBS website

    Discover How U-M Research Gets into the News
    Click image to view
    full graphic
    The UMHS Department of Public Relations and Marketing Communications (PRMC) has developed a DIY Communications Toolkit for faculty and staff to help you communicate professionally both internally and externally.

    Included in this toolkit are several useful media-related resources for UMHS faculty and staff, such as the graphic to the right which presents an overview of How U-M Research Gets into the News.

    Additional News Media resources include:
    • What to do if a reporter calls you - and other reasons to contact Public Relations
    • Tips for talking with the news media
    • Top tips for writing about science & medicine
    • For support staff: What to do when a reporter calls or emails
    Medicine at Michigan, which circulates to more than 43,000 alumni, friends, students, staff, and faculty of the Medical School, is always looking for story ideas about the important medical research at the U-M, and you all are ideally positioned to know what matters most. If you would like to discuss possible stories, please contact the magazine's editor, Patrick Cliff, at

    Visit PRMC's DIY Communications webpage for more helpful tools. You can also view the complete list of PRMC's News Media resources and guidelines here.

    If you have questions about the DIY Communications Toolkit, send an email to
    Now Accepting Nominations for 2014 UMMS Dean's Awards Program for Staff
    Deadline for nominations: Friday, June 13

    The Medical School Dean's Office is soliciting nominations of outstanding staff members in the managerial, professional, and support ranks of the U-M Medical School. The Medical School Dean's Awards for Program Staff is designed to give special recognition for distinctive service to the Medical School.


    Administrator of the Year

    This award is conferred upon the staff member who demonstrates superb leadership in the management of other staff, as well as exceptional operational excellence and stewardship of Medical School resources. This award is open to all staff members in the managerial job role.


    Professional Staff of the Year

    This award is conferred upon a professional staff member who demonstrates excellence in his/her work, contributes to a positive working environment, and is a strong team contributor (where appropriate). This award is open to all staff members in the professional job role who receive a monthly paycheck.


    Support Staff of the Year

    This award is conferred upon the support staff member who demonstrates excellence in his/her work, contributes to a positive working environment, and is mindful of his/her service to the Medical School. This award is open to all staff members classified in the professional job role who receive a bi-weekly paycheck.


    The top award in each category carries a $1,500 prize given to the staff member. Award recipients will also be honored at the annual Faculty and Staff Awards Dinner held in the fall.


    In addition to selecting winners in each category, three honorable mention awards of $500 will be selected in each category.


    Please refer to the Medical School Dean's Awards for Program Staff website for full details on each award, as well as nomination forms and details on the submission process.


    Contact the U-M Medical School's Human Resources Office at 

    734-615-3877 for questions about job classifications; or Connie Bridges at or phone at 734-763-5202 for questions about the awards.
    Finding the Right Study Section
    Sharpening Your 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.)  


    Make sure your National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant application is reviewed by the most appropriate reviewers (who will appreciate both the significance and the science of your study) by carefully examining the member composition of the study sections. Unless requested, the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will assign your application to one of a handful of seemingly appropriate sections. 


    Here are some steps to select a study section:

    • Go to CSR and chose the Integrated Review Group (IRG) that represents your field; this will be a cluster of study sections (e.g., the AIDS IRG has 11 study sections)
    • Examine the rosters of the likely specific study sections:
      • If the area seems right but you don't recognize anyone, read some papers by the members
      • If they seem to be working in very different areas or are likely to have competing perspectives (e.g., quantitative vs. qualitative analysis), go elsewhere
    • Another approach is to go to the NIH Reporter and, using the text field on the search page, identify awarded projects similar to yours. The "details" will indicate what study section reviewed the proposal(s)
    • Conduct some research on the committee members -- visit their websites or read their publications so you can choose the study section that's right for you
    • Optional: Once you have determined a study section, identify a few individuals who may likely be your assigned reviewers. Ask yourself: would this person be enthusiastic about my project?
      • If relevant, consider citing a publication of a likely assigned reviewer (a little flattery never hurts...)
    Request the study section in a cover letter along with your application (the letter is stored in a separate location and not forwarded to reviewers). After submission, check the study section assignments on eRA Commons. You can request a change, if necessary, by contacting CSR.
    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.