Fast Forward Medical Innovation

We offer resources, support, and mentorship to world-class biomedical researchers at the University of Michigan, and across the state. 

Schedule an Idea Consultation
FFMI nikolovska-coleska landing
Commercialization Education

Dynamic educational resources for biomedical innovators to nurture entrepreneurship and groundbreaking research

Mentorship & Funding

Idea consultations to explore how your research can translate out of the university, including opportunities for funding

Business Development

Business catalyst, building successful relationships between U-M biomedical researchers and corporate partners

Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund

Investments in biomedical startup companies with U-M licensed IP in the domain of therapeutics, devices, diagnostics or health IT

The Front Door to Biomedical Commercialization

Our mission at Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) is to provide the expertise and knowledge to help access and navigate the unparalleled biomedical innovation resources at the University of Michigan.

Whether you’re a student, faculty, potential collaborator, or industry partner, we encourage you to connect with a Fast Forward Medical Innovation team member to explore our program's unique offerings and find your path to groundbreaking innovation.

FFMI is part of a rich ecosystem of opportunities available to biomedical researchers at the University of Michigan. Together with our collaborators, we work to create a robust network of resources that help drive innovation to successful commercialization. The FFMI team is here to provide mentorship and guidance to the abundant funding, education, and support structure resources that will benefit your research. We look forward to working with you!

fcvc innovation challenge presentation
Spotlight On
Deadline Extended! 2024 Frankel Cardiovascular Center Innovation Challenge Open for Submissions Until February 16

Now in its eighth year, the Frankel Cardiovascular Center (FCVC) Innovation Challenge is an annual pitch competition where teams can win funds for ideas impacting cardiovascular care. In addition, "Just Do It Awards" are selected for low-cost, low-complexity ideas. This year's challenge will take place on Thursday, May 9, from 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Ideas are welcome from anyone with a cardiovascular innovation: faculty, staff, trainees, patients, and family members. Submissions will be accepted until Friday, February 9, through video or text format.

aerial photo of the medical school campus Fast Forward Medical Innovation
Our Impact
2023 was another record-breaking year of biomedical innovation at the University of Michigan, and Fast Forward Medical Innovation is thrilled to be part of the rich ecosystem of innovation resources that contributed to this impressive accomplishment.
View Our 2023 Impact Report
U-M Faculty, Staff, and Trainees Participated in Education Programs in 2023
Industry Research Awards
Invention Reports
MBVF Follow-On Funding
Meet the Team
FFMI-Brad Martin Bradley Martin, PhD

Prior to becoming Director of FFMI, Brad led the MTRAC Hub for Life Sciences. He has served as a Mentor in Residence for U-M Innovation Partnerships, was the Director of Product Development at Aastrom Biosciences, and the Director of Cardiac Research at Osiris Therapeutics Inc. He also spent several years as a Principal Scientist with Pfizer’s Esperion Division. Brad has 15-plus years of experience in the development of drugs and biologics, and particular expertise in preclinical development and translational research in the field of cardiovascular physiology and regenerative medicine.

Brad received in PhD in Physiology in 1993 from the University of Michigan, and completed post-doctoral fellowships in the departments of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Physiology at the University of Wisconsin.
FFMI Mike Ranella Mike Ranella, MBA, MPH
Senior Director, Business Development

Mike leads the FFMI Business Development team. The team works with Industry partners and U-M faculty to enable and catalyze productive academic-industry partnerships, leveraging innovations to improve healthcare. He utilizes over 15 years of healthcare research experience to establish mutually beneficial deals with industry to further the mission of the healthcare system.
FFMI-Jon Servoss headshot Jon Servoss, EdD
Director of Education

Jon joined the FFMI team in 2014 as the Director of Commercialization Education where he develops and leads biomedical innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialization education and training programs for U-M Medical School faculty, staff, and trainees – resulting in education and development training for more than 1,000 participants and 50 emerging biomedical technologies per year.

He has a doctorate in education from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, as well as a master’s in education from East Carolina University and a bachelor’s degree from Adrian College.
John Seamans headshot John Seamans, MSE
Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund Manager

John joins U-M after 17 years in the med tech industry. Most recently, he was the Director of Clinical Engineering at a breast cancer screening startup (Delphinus), leading the development of medical image review and analysis software. John started his career at GE Healthcare, with roles in advanced applications, clinical research, molecular imaging, and led the development of features for non-invasive coronary artery CT imaging.

John worked as a Venture Associate evaluating startups for the Zell-Lurie Fund, and is pursuing a part-time MBA at U-M/Ross. HE holds a BSE in Electrical Engineering and MSE in Biomedical Engineering.
FFMI BD Emilija Mitrikeska Emilija Mitrikeska, MD
Associate Director, Business Development

Prior to joining FFMI, Emilija worked for the U-M Rogel Cancer Center since 2006. She brings over 10 years of experience working with oncology clinical trials.

Emilija received her M.D. from the Medical School at the University St. Cyril and Methodius in Macedonia.
FFMI Shelby Unsworth Shelby Unsworth, PhD
Associate Director, Business Development

Prior to joining FFMI, Shelby worked with both FFMI and the Cancer Center through her participation in the Research Administration Fellowship Program based in the Medical School Office of Research.

Shelby completed her Ph.D. and Postdoctoral research training in cancer research at the University of Michigan.
FFMI Ingrid Qemo Ingrid Qemo, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Industry Alliance Manager, Business Development

Prior to joining FFMI, Ingrid worked at the Hospital for Sick Children in industry partnerships and commercialization, and the University of Windsor’s Office of Research and Innovation overseeing the health research portfolio.

Ingrid completed her Ph.D. in molecular biology and M.B.A. at the University of Windsor.
FFMI-Ashley Schork Ashley Schork, MNM
Program Manager, FCVC Innovation Program

Ashley Schork joins FFMI after spending over six years working at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute (LSI) administratively managing several research centers in the areas of structural biology, cryo-electron microscopy, drug discovery, and high-throughput screening. Prior to the position at LSI, Ashley worked at Arbor Research Collaborative for Health providing administrative support to NIH and PCORI funded nephrology studies.

Ashley has both her BA and a Masters in Non-Profit Management from DePaul University.
FFMI-Katherine Schultz headshot Katherine Schultz, MA
Commercialization Education Program Coordinator

Katherine joins FFMI from the Center for Academic Innovation (CAI), where she served as a Learning Experience Design Student Resident and Online Student Services Fellow during her graduate program. Prior to her work at CAI, she worked at U-M’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions where she was involved in developing training opportunities and materials.

Katherine holds a bachelors, masters, and graduate certificate from the University of Michigan.
FFMI-Charlotte Brayman Charlotte Brayman
Senior Administrative Assistant

Charlotte comes to FFMI from Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation MedRehab, where she was an administrative assistant for the ACU manager.

Charlotte holds a master’s in health administration from Southern New Hampshire University, and an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University.
Hundreds of researchers across the University of Michigan are a part of our biomedical innovation ecosystem. Michigan Experts offers profiles for faculty at the University of Michigan, where you’ll find publications, social media activity, and potential collaborators among the world’s academic leaders and best.
See More
portrait of Ariella Shikanov Ariella Shikanov, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Project: Novel cell therapy targets premature ovarian insufficiency
FFMI-Aditya Pandey Aditya Pandey
Professor, Neurosurgery
Medical Director, Neurosurgery
Professor, Otorhinolaryngology
Project: Device to Help Stroke Patients
FFMI-John Charpie John Charpie, MD., PhD
Clinical Professor, Pediatrics-Cardiology
Medical Director, Pediatrics-Cardiology
Section Head, Pediatrics-Cardiology
Project: Nerve-Controlled Prosthesis
FFMII-Molly Stout Molly Stout, MD, MSCI
Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Section Head, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Project: Device to Predict Preterm and Term Birth
FFMI-Howard Petty Howard Petty, PhD
Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Services
Project: Prediction of Cancer Recurrences with Biomarkers
FFMI-Jianping Fu Jianping Fu, PhD
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Project: Novel human developmental toxicity testing platform
FFMI-Maria Cascalho Marilia Cascalho, MD, PhD
Professor, Transplant Surgery
Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
Project: C3d Immunotherapies: A Novel Platform to Treat Cancer
FFMI-Lola Eniola Adefeso Lola Eniola-Adefeso, PhD
Associate Dean, College of Engineering Office of Graduate Education
Professor, Chemical Engineering
Professor, Macromolecular Science and Engineering
Project: Novel targeted treatment for lung injury
FFMI- Jun Hee Lee Jun Hee Lee, PhD
Professor, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Associate Director of Academic Programs - Molecular and Physiology
Research Professor - Internal Medicine - Institute of Gerontology
Project: Seq-Scope - Providing finer spatial resolutions for basic and clinical researchers
FFMI-David Markovitz David Markovitz, MD
Professor, Internal Medicine - Infectious Diseases
Project: Novel treatment for osteoarthritis
FFMI-Susan Shore Susan Shore, PhD
Professor Emeritus/a, Otorhinolaryngology
Project: Michigan Tinnitus Device
FFMI-Paul Cederna Paul Cederna, MD
Professor, Surgery, Plastic Surgery
Service Chief, Surgery, Plastic Surgery
Section Head, Surgery, Plastic Surgery
Project: Nerve-Controlled Prosthesis
FFMI-Hitinder Gurm Hitinder Gurm, MD
Chief Clinical Officer, Michigan Medicine
Professor, Internal Medicine - Cardiology
Project: Novel Strategy Offers Improved Treatment for Arterial Plaque Calcifications
FFMI-Anna Schwendeman Anna Schwendeman, PhD
Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Project: EVOQ Therapeutics- Delivering immunotherapies to improve the lives of individuals fighting autoimmune disease

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Contact Us
North Campus Research Complex (NCRC)
Building 520, 3rd Floor
2800 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2800
Phone: 734-615-5060
About Us
Fast Forward Medical Innovation is a unit of the Medical School Office of Research, where our mission is to foster an environment of innovation and efficiency that serves the Michigan Medicine research community and supports biomedical science from insight to impact.
Upcoming Research Events All Office of Research Events
Bioinformatics Core Workshop: Single-Cell Analysis - Discount
This workshop is targeted toward researchers who would like to better understand the analysis of single-cell RNA-Seq data.
Michigan Clinical Research Unit Open House
Over the past year, the Michigan Clinical Research Unit has undergone an expansive construction project to accommodate the required corridor for the new patient tower. The team is now thrilled to share the results at an upcoming Open House to tour the new space.
Nodexus Lunch and Learn
Join Nodexus and the Flow Cytometry Core for a Lunch and Learn about gentle and contamination-free cell sorting and high viability of sorted and recovered samples.
Principal Investigator: Understanding Your Role as a Manager
Learn the essentials of managing a research team from Dr. Anna Kratz of the University of Michigan's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Investment Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine
Kenneth Nelson, Partner at MedTech Advantage Fund, will discuss Investment trends in cardiovascular medicine.
Enter a new era of spatial discovery with Visium HD
Join the Advanced Genomics Core and 10X Genomics to learn about Visium HD introduction and availability (Part 1) and Visium and Visium HD data analysis (Part 2).
Research Foundations for Investigators: Designing Strong Pilot & Feasibility Studies
Presented by the Clinical Trials Support Office, a unit of the Medical School Office of Research, the Research Foundations for Investigators series is for early-career investigators and their teams that are looking to develop their skills and grow their research portfolio. Session 1 focuses on the basics of designing strong pilot and feasibility studies.
FDA Regulation of Cardiovascular Medical Devices
This webinar will discuss FDA regulation of cardiovascular medical devices.
Research Foundations for Investigators: The What, Why, and How of Protocol Documents
Presented by the Clinical Trials Support Office, a unit of the Medical School Office of Research, the Research Foundations for Investigators series is for early-career investigators and their teams that are looking to develop their skills and grow their research portfolio. Session 2 focuses on writing protocol documents.
Featured Research News All Office of Research News FFMI fellowship
Office of Research
Fast Forward Medical Innovation Fellowship Program
The Fast Forward Medical Innovation Fellowship Program is a 6-12 month, part-time, action-based training program that educates U-M doctoral students and postdocs on the business elements of commercializing biomedical technologies.
fcvc innovation challenge presentation
Office of Research
Apply Today! 2024 Frankel Cardiovascular Center Innovation Challenge Open for Submissions
Now in its eighth year, the Frankel Cardiovascular Center (FCVC) Innovation Challenge is an annual pitch competition where teams can win funds for ideas impacting cardiovascular care.
Office of Research
Fast Forward Medical Innovation Releases 2023 Annual Report
Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) recently released their 2023 Annual Report, reflecting FY23 activity across the U-M Medical School. The highlights included 249 invention reports (up from 188 last year), 165 U-M Medical School faculty, staff, and trainee participants in 2023 education programs, and 16 startups funded (1 exited) by the Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund since launch.