The Michigan Center for Therapeutic Innovation (MCTI) and Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) offer a five-year, $2.5 million fund created to accelerate the discovery and translation of therapeutic candidates at the University of Michigan.
The fund supports the discovery and optimization of small molecule lead compounds for projects with a specific, novel, and testable drug discovery hypothesis. Selected projects receive funding and resources from MCTI in the areas of drug design, cell biology, medicinal chemistry, structural biology, and pharmacology (up to $150,000 in value for each award for a period of 18 months with the funds being disbursed in two stages). The fund is jointly administered by MCTI and FFMI.
An advisory committee of recognized drug discovery and development experts review and select projects for funding, and MCTI and FFMI will solicit experienced mentors to help guide funded project teams as required.
Joseph Holoshitz, Internal Medicine – Rheumatology
Orally available small molecule lead for rheumatoid arthritis and other bone-damaging conditions
Peter Higgins, Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology
Optimization of novel Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibitors for anti-fibrotic activity and gut selectivity in the mouse Salmonella model of intestinal fibrosis
Zaneta Nikolovska-Coleska, Pathology
Small molecule Mcl-1 inhibitors for the treatment of cancer
Peter Arvan & Ming Liu, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology, & Diabetes (MEND)
Pro-insulin Dimerization Surface Protectors (PDSPs)
Yali Dou, Pathology
Targeting SET domain of MLL family histone methyltransferases
Nouri Neamati, Pharmacy/Med Chem
Development of First-in-Class SHMT2 and MTHFD2 inhibitors
Cagri Besirli, Ophthalmology and Visual Services
Photoreceptor metabolic reprogramming to prevent apoptosis and vision loss in several ocular diseases
Mukesh Nyati and Theodore Lawrence, Radiation Oncology
Optimization and characterization of a novel agent for tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistant lung cancers
Alan Smrcka, Pharmacology
Development of a small molecule modulator as a co-therapy to improve the therapeutic profile of opioid analgesics
Duxin Sun, Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy
Drug discovery to modulate epigenetics and boost targeted immunotherapy in triple negative breast cancer and other cancers