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!

FFMI-Mike BD Innovation Challenge
Spotlight On
New Collaborator Hub for Medical School Faculty

FFMI Business Development has launched a new Collaborator Hub to showcase faculty to potential Industry partners.

This dashboard highlights project ideas, as well as lab and clinical assets that may be of interest to companies.

Interested in being featured on the dashboard? Visit the Business Development web page to learn more.

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, PhD, MBA
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 Nimisha Nankandar Nimisha Nandankar, MS
Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund Analyst

Previously, Nimisha worked as a Venture Intern at Foundation Venture Capital Group (New Jersey Health Foundation) and as a Senior Fellow at the Rutgers Technology Transfer Office.

Nimisha has a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology from UC San Diego and a Master of Science in Physiology and Integrative Biology from Rutgers University. She is set to defend her PhD in Endocrinology and Animal Biosciences this August from Rutgers University.
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.
FFMI Prabhvir Marway fellowship Prabhvir Marway, MD
Innovation Fellow - Commercialization

Prabhvir is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Radiology, and s a part of the research lab of Dr. Nicholas Burris, Director of Aortic Imaging at Michigan Medicine.

He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Cambridge in 2020, and went on to complete his clinical internship in England’s National Health Service.
FFMI Shruti Nagaraja fellowship Shruti Nagaraja, PhD
Innovation Fellow - Business Development

Shruti is a postdoctoral research fellow studying how kinase inhibitors influence protein translation in breast cancer cells.

She received her PhD in 2020 from the Technion-Israel Insitute of Technology located in Haifa, Israel. Prior to this, she obtained her masters in biotechnology and bachelors degree in life sciences from India.
FFMI DJ Geiger MBVF DJ Geiger
Venture Analyst Intern - Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund

Prior to joining FFMI, DJ worked for Nuvasive, a medtech company specializing in spine surgical devices, where his role primarily focused on R&D in the enabling tech side of the business.

DJ received his degree in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State and is currently earning his MBA at U-M.
FFMI Ciara Witt ROMS fellow Ciara Witt, PhD
Research Operations, Management, & Strategy Fellow

Ciara s participating in the Research Operations, Management, & Strategy Fellowship, and is currently working with FFMI.

She attained her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Truman State University, followed by a PhD in chemistry from the University of Michigan.
Innovation Portfolio
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

Get a monthly digest of medical research and innovation, straight to your inbox.

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
Amendments and Continuing Reviews
This course is a follow-up to Initial Project Applications and will examine the process for submitting amendments and scheduled continuing reviews to IRBMED using eResearch once a project’s initial application has been approved.
A woman participating in a zoom event
Data and Safety Monitoring Boards and Data Safety Monitoring Plans
This course will review when studies are required to have a DSMP or DSMB and how to develop an appropriate DSMP. A DSMB is an independent group that advises the study team regarding subject safety, study conduct, and efficacy. The DSMB will also make recommendations concerning the continuation, modification, or termination of the trial. A DSMP outlines how subject safety and data integrity will be maintained to ensure the validity of collected data.
A woman sitting at a desk participating in a zoom event
Microscopy Core: Advanced Biological EM Methods Interest Group
Learn About Advanced Electron Microscopy (EM) Methods.
A close up of a microscope's eye pieces.
Storage and Retention of Data
This course will review the fundamentals of maintaining confidentiality of subject data, including data encryption and protection, using secure environments and external websites, and distinguishing among anonymized, coded, and de- identified datasets.
A person with a laptop and a cup of coffee participating in a zoom event
Bioinformatics Core Summer Workshop Series
Composed of the two companion workshops (Computational Foundations and RNA-Seq Demystified), this virtual workshop series is for researchers who would like to better understand the analysis of differential gene expression in bulk RNA-Seq data.
An illustration of DNA
Introduction to sIRBs
This course will identify the Single IRB model for Multi-Site research, show the regulatory requirements of sIRB review and the exceptions to sIRB requirements, and explain sIRB requests of IRBMED as sIRB (accepting oversight), External IRB as sIRB (ceding oversight), and UofM as the Coordinating Center.
A zoom meeting on a laptop
Flow Cytometry Core FlowJo™ Software Training
Learn how to use the FlowJo™ workspace, including how to load files, evaluate sample quality, draw gates, generate tabular and graphical layouts, and perform compensation. Designed for those new to the software or need a refresher.
" "
Microscopy Core: Advanced Biological EM Methods Interest Group
Learn About Advanced Electron Microscopy (EM) Methods.
A close up of a microscope's eye pieces.
FDA Research Involving Drugs and Devices
This course will review what research is subject to FDA oversight, highlight the differences between OHRP and FDA regulations, learn the responsibilities of sponsors, investigators, and the IRB when conducting and reviewing research involving drugs and devices, and examine the requirements for conducting research with a drug or biologic/medical device.
Someone using a laptop and a smart phone during a zoom meeting
Featured Research News All Office of Research News Fun illustration in red, white, and blue, with the words "fourth of July"
Office of Research
Several Cores Closed for the Holiday
In observance of the Independence Day, several cores will have a change in operations.
Photo of an RN sitting with a patient in the MCRU space
Office of Research
New RN Pool Available to Support MCRU Overnight & Extended Hours
The Michigan Clinical Research Unit (MCRU) is excited to announce the development of an overnight RN pool to support overnight/extended hours. If you have current or upcoming studies that require overnight RN services in MCRU, contact [email protected] for more information.
FFMI fastPACE spring 2024
Office of Research
Register Today! FFMI fastPACE Spring Cohort Begins Friday, May 10
Don't miss your chance to participate in this project-based, experiential course designed to help academics launch new innovations, including medical devices/diagnostics, digital solutions, drugs, educational/training interventions, research tools, and many others.