The U-M Fast Forward Gastrointestinal (GI) Innovation Fund is a three-year, $500,000+ fund supported by a donation from entrepreneur alumna Mary Petrovich and matched by the U-M Medical School’s Department of Internal Medicine and its Division of Gastroenterology, as well as the College of Engineering, where Ms. Petrovich received her undergraduate degree. The three-year program, which began in 2016, targets discovery and development of future technologies to help patients suffering from gastrointestinal disease.
The U-M Fast Forward GI Innovation Fund supports early-stage research and commercialization activities such as those related to technology validation and establishing proof-of-concept, including pilot funding support for preliminary studies or development activities that will lead to broader GI product applications. Importantly the fund seeks to engage interdisciplinary teams of researchers that leverage ideas and technologies across medicine, engineering, public health and other key units engaged in biomedical research.
Two tiers of funding are available:
Tier I Awards
$25-$50K funding projects that address a discrete milestone that is critical to the advancement of research to the point of product development.
Tier II Awards
$75-$100K funding projects with specific milestones for proof-of-concept and later-stage translational studies. (ranges are estimates and actual funding levels will be project-specific) The FFMI team has assembled a GI Fund Advisory Board of faculty, industry, and commercialization experts who review proposals and provide mentorship for the funded teams.
2017 GI Fund Winner
William Chey, M.D. and Eric Shah, M.D.
Development of an Office-Based, Disposable Device to Screen for Dyssynergic Defecation in Constipated Patients
2016 GI Fund Winners
Shail Govani, M.D. and Akbar Waljee, M.D.
Spray Cap for Chromoendoscopy
Peter Higgins, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc.
Antifibrotic Therapy for Crohn’s Disease
Muneesh Tewari, M.D., Ph.D., and Nils Walter, Ph.D.
A New Technology for Single Molecule Counting of Stool Mutant DNA Biomarkers for Colorectal Cancer
Meredith Barrett, M.D., Jonathan Luntz, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., and Ronald Hirschl, M.D.
Michigan ENdoluminal Distraction (MEND) Device: A Minimally Invasive Cure for Short Bowel Syndrome