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!

Spotlight On
Apply Today! Biotech Career Development Program

The Biotech Career Development Program (BCDP) is a structured, cohort-based career development program for STEM graduate students and postdocs that guides participants through self-reflection, skill-building, and career exploration strategies in advance of seeking full-time employment or an internship/externship.

Participation is by application only. Applications are due Wednesday, April 10, by 5:00 PM. We accept applications from graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.), postdoctoral fellows, and early-career researchers in STEM disciplines at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor campus.

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.
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

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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
In this two-week long hands-on session trainees will design, build, and validate CRISPR/Cas9 reagents in mouse ES cells. Trainees will learn how to work with mouse embryonic stem cells in culture, to clone CRISPR/Cas9 reagents in plasmids, and to purify and analyze DNA from cultured cells.
Data and Safety Monitoring Boards and Data Safety Monitoring Plans
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. This course will review when studies are required to have a DSMP or DSMB and how to develop an appropriate DSMP.
Metabolic approaches to the preservation of cardiac function
Michigan Biology of Cardiovascular Aging offers a multidisciplinary science program with the goal of fostering research collaborations, mentoring, networking, and education in the area of aging and cardiovascular disease via monthly public lecture series, visiting speakers, annual symposium, and more.
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.
Storage and Retention of Data (Level I)
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.
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.
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.
FDA Regulation of Cardiovascular Medical Devices
This webinar will discuss FDA regulation of cardiovascular medical devices.
Not Regulated, Secondary Use, Umbrella Applications
This course will review the Not Regulated, Secondary Use, and Umbrella application types in eResearch and when these application types are applicable.
Featured Research News All Office of Research News a closeup image of a laptop
Office of Research
Information Assurance Guidelines for Using Applications and Technologies in Research
Before seeking approval for a research project, it is crucial to ensure that the work complies with Information Assurance guidelines.
climber on a rocky outcrop at dusk
Office of Research
Call for R01 Boot Camp Mentees and Coaches
R01 Boot Camp is an intensive mentorship program designed to help early career faculty receive their first NIH Research Project Grants (R01, or equivalent). While developing proposals over the 9-month course, mentees attend a variety of workshops on topics such as grant writing, budgeting, and constructing components of the grant application.
Dr. Prasov and one of his team members in the lab
Office of Research
Research Scouts Program Closes First Year of Funding
Research Scouts supports the Bold Science area of the Medical School's strategic research plan, "Great Minds, Greater Discoveries." The program makes awards of up to $150,000 to novel and visionary projects, and recently closed it's first year of funding.