Taubman Institute Innovation Projects: Phenotyping in the Clinical Setting


The Taubman Institute is seeking to support new or existing teams of scientists to develop novel and impactful approaches to integrate their research programs into the clinic setting. The goal is to perform systematic, multiscale phenotyping to gain insights into individual variation in the susceptibility, progression, course, or outcomes of disease.

The institute will partner with investigators to support the development and implementation of their research programs. This will include, but not be limited to, development of a research plan, identification of research partners within and external to U-M, infrastructure and database development, support for clinician and ancillary personnel in the clinic, clinical data collection, biological specimen collection, remote data collection, initiation of research plan, and data analysis.

Our goal is to make every patient a research subject, and to define the genetic, environmental, behavioral and other components of individuals that contribute to their distinct emergent property related to health and disease. The goal is to also utilize the data to stratified an individual in order apply interventions that lead to the prevention, improved treatment, or cure of disease.

The institute anticipates investing up to $2.5 million per year to support the funded projects.


Present medical care is limited in its ability to provide individualized treatment or prevention of disease. In part, this is due to a relatively small number of clinical measurements that are used to quantify relative health, and to predict disease onset, relapse and response to treatment.

The result can be over- and under-treatment, ineffective and inappropriate interventions resulting in increased medical costs, and frustration among patients and providers. The tremendous advances in our ability to obtain and integrate large amounts of clinical, molecular and biobehavioral data for an individual presents the opportunity to derive novel insights into factors that define the true state of the individual, and how these factors differ in their susceptibility, progression of disease, and response to disease interventions.

The ability to phenotype patients is often limited by space, clinician time, support personnel, clinic demands, phenotyping infrastructure, database availability, bioinformatics support, etc., that are difficult to put into place, but would be important to obtain external funding. The Taubman Institute hopes to help fill these gaps.

Current Taubman Institute Innovation Projects

Personalized Medicine through Integration of Immune Phenotypes in Autoimmune Skin Disease (PerMIPA)

Principal Investigators:
Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD and Johann Gudjonsson, MD, PhD

Dr. Kahlenberg is the Giles G. Bole, MD and Dorothy Mulkey, MD Research Professor of Rheumatology and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine as well as the Taubman Institute’s William U. Parfet Emerging Scholar.
Kahlenberg Laboratory

Dr. Gudjonsson is the Arthur C. Curtis Professor of Skin Molecular Immunology, Associate Professor, Dermatology and the Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Emerging Scholar
Gudjonsson Laboratory

Development of a novel precision medicine approach in solid organ transplantation (ImPrec)

Principal Investigators:
Daniel Goldstein, MD, Vibha Lama, MD, and Fei Wen, PhD

Dr. Goldstein is the Eliza Maria Mosher Collegiate Professor of Internal Medicine, Professor of Internal Medicine, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Research Professor, Institute of Gerontology
Goldstein Laboratory

Dr. Lama is the Henry Sewall Research Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Wen is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Associate Chair, Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering
Wen Laboratory

Dysplasia-Associated Arterial Disease Precision Medicine Network (DAAD)

Principal Investigators: Santhi Ganesh, MD and Dawn Coleman, MD

Dr. Ganesh is the David J. Pinsky, MD Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Associate Professor of Human Genetics
Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Coleman is the Marion and David Handleman Research Professor of Vascular Surgery, Associate Professor of Vascular Surgery and Pediatrics & Communicable Diseases
Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Developmental Origins of Human Disease

Principal Investigator: Donna Martin, MD, PhD

Dr. Martin is the Ravitz Foundation Endowed Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases. Additionally, she was appointed Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Human Genetics

Martin Laboratory

A Comprehensive, Multi-omic Screen to Identify Candidate Biomarkers for Prediction of Cytokine Release Syndrome during CAR-T Therapy

Principal Investigators: Sung Won Choi, MD and Muneesh Tewari, MD

Dr. Choi is the Edith S Briskin and Shirley K Schlafer Foundation Research Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases

Dr. Tewari is the Ray and Ruth Anderson-Laurence M Sprague Memorial Research Professor, Professor of Internal Medicine, Medical School and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Medical School and College of Engineering

Tewari Laboratory

Short Tandem repeats in precision health and human disease

Principal Investigator: Peter Todd, MD, PhD

Dr. Todd is the Bucky and Patti Harris Career Development Professor of Neurology and Associate Professor of Neurology

Todd Laboratory

A Novel Implantable Treatment for Iatrogenic Hypothyroidism in Cancer Patients Utilizing an Autotransplanted Thyroid Organoid Bioscaffold Generated from Adipose-Derived Stem Cells (ADSC)

Principal Investigators: Mark Cohen, MD and David Zopf, MD

Dr. Cohen is a Professor of Surgery and Professor of Pharmacology
Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

Dr. Zopf is an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology, as well as an Affiliate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan.
Zopf Laboratory

Characterization of Non-IgE-Mediated Food Allergies in Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) Patients

Principal Investigator: Mohamad El Zaatari, PhD

Dr. El Zaatari is a Research Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine – Gastroenterology

Dipyridamole to prevent Coronavirus Exacerbation of Respiratory Status (DICER)

Principal Investigators: Yogendra Kanthi, MD and Jason Knight, MD

Dr. Kanthi is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine – Cardiology
Kanthi Laboratory

Dr. Knight is the Marvin and Betty Danto Research Professor of Connective Tissue Research and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Knight Laboratory

Monitoring Healthcare Workers at Risk for COVID-19 Using Wearable Sensors and Smartphone Technology

Principal Investigators: Sung Won Choi, MD and Muneesh Tewari, MD

Understanding the Origins of Early COPD

Principal Investigator: MeiLan Han, MD, MS

Dr. Han is Professor, Internal Medicine – Pulmonary/Critical Care

Link to Dr. Han’s study

Precision Medicine for Ocular Disease

Principal Investigator: Thomas Gardner, MD, MS

Dr. Gardner is Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Professor, Internal Medicine – Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes, Professor, Molecular & Integrative Physiology, Senior Scholar, A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute, and Associate Chair, Research

Michigan Medicine Faculty Profile

The TIIP Application Process

Who should apply?

Only University of Michigan scientists are eligible.

The Taubman Institute welcomes applications from existing teams of active collaborators, newly formed teams, or from individuals who have novel ideas.

What is the review process?

The Taubman Institute envisions an iterative process (see figure). Initial letters of intent will be reviewed by the institute and its appropriate partners, with the teams having the opportunity to provide clarification. Meritorious applications will be asked to submit a more extensive proposal which will provide details of the primary aspects of the project and funding needs.

The projects selected for advancement to the second phase will be invited to work with the institute to develop a plan for potential implementation. These proposals will be evaluated by internal and external experts and other relevant stakeholders prior to final decisions regarding funding.

What are the criteria for funding?

  • Impact on improving the lives of patients
  • Innovation in understanding the variability in onset or progression of disease, and reasons for differential response to treatment
  • Potential for future funding by the NIH or other external agencies
  • Potential for increased reimbursement for care by insurance companies, or cost savings to the medical system
  • Enhanced interactions with basic or other science disciplines (teams)

Letter of intent

  • Description of the proposed program
  • Who is going to work together and what will be their roles? Have you worked together in the past?
  • Where do you want to perform this work?
  • What infrastructure is needed to accomplish the goals?
  • Who will you need to partner with to succeed?
  • What are the present barriers to your success?
  • What are your plans for downstream funding?

Note: not all of these points must be addressed in the LOI. We seek to understand your vision for bringing science into the clinic. The main request here is for an outline of what you want to do and why it will be impactful.

There is no deadline. Letters of intent are accepted on a rolling basis, and should be submitted to managing director Grace Wu (glwu@umich.edu).


We encourage questions. You may contact us with written questions through Grace Wu (glwu@umich.edu). We’re happy to meet with individuals or teams to discuss ideas.