Inaugural MCTI Therapeutic Innovation Fund selects six teams


Five teams from the Medical School and one from the College of Pharmacy have won funding to take their research on potential new medicines to the next level.

The funding, announced by the Michigan Center for Therapeutic Innovation and Fast Forward Medical Innovation, comes from the new MCTI Therapeutic Innovation Fund, a five-year, $2.5 million fund to accelerate the discovery and translation of therapeutic candidates at the University of Michigan.

The MCTI Therapeutic Innovation Fund awardees from the Medical School are:

• Dr. Joseph Holoshitz, professor of internal medicine-rheumatology.

• Dr. Peter Higgins, associate professor of internal medicine-gastroenterology.

• Zaneta Nikolovska-Coleska, associate professor of pathology.

• Dr. Peter Arvan, William K. and Delores S. Brehm Professor of Type 1 Diabetes Research and professor of internal medicine, and molecular and integrative physiology, and Ming Liu, adjunct research associate professor-metabolism, endocrinology and diabetes.

• Yali Dou, associate professor of pathology, and biological chemistry.

The College of Pharmacy’s Nouri Neamati, John G. Searle Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and professor of medicinal chemistry, also received funding.

The projects these teams will pursue span a broad therapeutic range from rheumatoid arthritis, intestinal fibrosis, and diabetes to cancer.

“We were very impressed with the high quality of the 17 projects submitted for funding consideration,” says Shaomeng Wang, founding director of MCTI and Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Medicine, and professor of internal medicine, pharmacology and medicinal chemistry.

“Through a rigorous review process by our Advisory Board of external industry experts and internal U-M personnel experienced in drug development, these six outstanding projects were selected for funding in this cycle. We look forward to helping these teams advance their projects from laboratory to clinical development.”

The MCTI Therapeutic Innovation Fund supports the discovery and optimization of small molecule lead compounds for projects with specific, novel, and testable drug discovery hypothesis.

The fund is jointly administered by MCTI and FFMI. MCTI was launched to accelerate the discovery and translation of new small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of human disorder through innovation and scientific collaboration.


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