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About Us

On May 27, 2020, the University of Michigan and healthcare investment firm Deerfield Management entered into an agreement to partner in the development and commercialization of therapeutic projects that hold promise in solving unmet medical needs. Deerfield has created a company named Great Lakes Discovery through which it will work with the University of Michigan, and committed up to $130 million over the next decade to invest in biomedical research at U-M with the aim of developing potentially life-saving drugs and disease treatments.

Projects selected by Great Lakes Discovery will be provided funding and operational support by Deerfield for a development plan aimed at achieving Investigational New Drug (IND) readiness. Successful projects that achieve IND-enabled status may be eligible for additional capital from Deerfield. Great Lakes Discovery, in exchange for funding, would receive an option to license intellectual property that is developed at U-M under this agreement. www.deerfield.com

Deerfield is a healthcare investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy.

One of the nation’s top public universities, the University of Michigan has been a leader in research, learning and teaching for more than 200 years. U-M’s alumni body is one of the largest in the world and includes a U.S. president, scientists, actors, astronauts and inventors. The university, which also boasts a world-renowned intercollegiate athletics program, has been the site of many important events in U.S. history, including JFK’s announcement of the Peace Corps, LBJ’s “Great Society” speech, and the clinical trials of the Salk polio vaccine. The main campus in Ann Arbor comprises 19 schools and colleges; there are also regional campuses in Dearborn and Flint, and a nationally ranked health system, Michigan Medicine. In 2017, U-M celebrated its bicentennial, marking 200 years since its founding in the city of Detroit.

 

Joint Steering Committee

Steven L. Kunkel
Peter A. Ward Distinguished University Professor

Dr. Steven Kunkel is the Peter A. Ward Distinguished University Professor, Endowed Professor of Pathology Research, and Chief Scientific Officer/Executive Vice-Dean for Research at the University of Michigan Medical School. He received his PhD at the University of Kansas in microbiology and did his post-doctoral training at the University of Connecticut Health Sciences. His areas of research have
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centered on assessing molecular mechanisms of lung inflammation by investigating cytokine directed cell-to-cell communication circuits. A significant amount of this work helped to launch and define the field of chemokine biology. In his current administrative role, he oversees the entire spectrum of biomedical research from basic investigations to human subject/clinical trial research in the Medical School. His past administrative duties include: Interim Associate Vice President for Research, University of Michigan; Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Michigan Horace H. Rackham Graduate School; Interim Dean, Horace H. Rackham Graduate School; and Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. He has served on numerous National Institute of Health peer review study sections, organized a variety of international conferences on inflammation (Gordon and Keystone Conferences), is an associate editor for various professional scientific journals, and is a past recipient of an NIH MERIT Award. In addition, he is the chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the NIAID-NIH, a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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Steven L. Kunkel

Dr. Steven Kunkel is the Peter A. Ward Distinguished University Professor, Endowed Professor of Pathology Research, and Chief Scientific Officer/Executive Vice-Dean for Research at the University of Michigan Medical School. He received his PhD at the University of Kansas in microbiology and did his post-doctoral training at the University of Connecticut Health Sciences. His areas of research have centered on assessing molecular mechanisms of lung inflammation by investigating cytokine directed cell-to-cell communication circuits. A significant amount of this work helped to launch and define the field of chemokine biology. In his current administrative role, he oversees the entire spectrum of biomedical research from basic investigations to human subject/clinical trial research in the Medical School. His past administrative duties include: Interim Associate Vice President for Research, University of Michigan; Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Michigan Horace H. Rackham Graduate School; Interim Dean, Horace H. Rackham Graduate School; and Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. He has served on numerous National Institute of Health peer review study sections, organized a variety of international conferences on inflammation (Gordon and Keystone Conferences), is an associate editor for various professional scientific journals, and is a past recipient of an NIH MERIT Award. In addition, he is the chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the NIAID-NIH, a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Ed Pagani

Ed Pagani, Ph.D., works with faculty and researchers at the University of Michigan School of Medicine to promote, protect and commercialize new discoveries in his role as Associate Director of Licensing, Health Technologies at U-M Tech Transfer. Ed gained extensive licensing and R&D experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries as
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Assistant Director, Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology, at Sterling Winthrop; Senior Director, Strategic Alliance at Pfizer; and Vice President, Molecular Diagnostics, at Beckman Coulter. Immediately prior to joining the Office of Technology Transfer, Ed held the position of CEO, North America at LGC, LTD, a private, equity-backed company headquartered in London, England. Ed holds an AB degree from Columbia University, a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and completed 3 years of post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women’s Hospital.
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Ed Pagani

Ed Pagani, Ph.D., works with faculty and researchers at the University of Michigan School of Medicine to promote, protect and commercialize new discoveries in his role as Associate Director of Licensing, Health Technologies at U-M Tech Transfer. Ed gained extensive licensing and R&D experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries as Assistant Director, Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology, at Sterling Winthrop; Senior Director, Strategic Alliance at Pfizer; and Vice President, Molecular Diagnostics, at Beckman Coulter. Immediately prior to joining the Office of Technology Transfer, Ed held the position of CEO, North America at LGC, LTD, a private, equity-backed company headquartered in London, England. Ed holds an AB degree from Columbia University, a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and completed 3 years of post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

Peter Toogood

Peter Toogood is Director of Michigan Drug Discovery, a campus-wide initiative to translate academic discoveries into new advances in medicine at the University of Michigan. He previously held the position of Senior Vice President for Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Lycera, an Ann Arbor based drug discovery company that he joined in 2007. In this role, he was a member of
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the executive team and was a key scientific leader, helping to advance multiple compounds to the clinic. Prior to joining Lycera, Dr Toogood worked at Parke-Davis/Pfizer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His drug discovery experience encompasses the fields of immunology/inflammation, infectious diseases and cancer. He was a co-inventor of the cyclin-dependent kinase-4 inhibitor Ibrance® (palbociclib), for which he has been recognized by the American Chemical Society with both a Heroes in Chemistry Award (2016) and a Team Innovation Award (2017). Before joining Parke-Davis, Dr. Toogood served on the chemistry faculty of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he established an NIH and NSF funded research program in natural products total synthesis and chemical biology. He received his Ph.D. from Imperial College, London, working with Professor Steven V. Ley, and was a NATO postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Jeremy R. Knowles at Harvard.
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Peter Toogood

Peter Toogood is Director of Michigan Drug Discovery, a campus-wide initiative to translate academic discoveries into new advances in medicine at the University of Michigan. He previously held the position of Senior Vice President for Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Lycera, an Ann Arbor based drug discovery company that he joined in 2007. In this role, he was a member of the executive team and was a key scientific leader, helping to advance multiple compounds to the clinic. Prior to joining Lycera, Dr Toogood worked at Parke-Davis/Pfizer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His drug discovery experience encompasses the fields of immunology/inflammation, infectious diseases and cancer. He was a co-inventor of the cyclin-dependent kinase-4 inhibitor Ibrance® (palbociclib), for which he has been recognized by the American Chemical Society with both a Heroes in Chemistry Award (2016) and a Team Innovation Award (2017). Before joining Parke-Davis, Dr. Toogood served on the chemistry faculty of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he established an NIH and NSF funded research program in natural products total synthesis and chemical biology. He received his Ph.D. from Imperial College, London, working with Professor Steven V. Ley, and was a NATO postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Jeremy R. Knowles at Harvard.

Andy Stamford

Andrew (Andy) Stamford, Ph.D., is Vice President, Chemistry, Deerfield Discovery and Development, and joined Deerfield in 2020. Prior to Deerfield, Dr. Stamford spent more than three years at Bridge Medicines as Vice President, Chemistry, and then as Senior Vice President of Research and Development. During this
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time, he also served as Vice President, Chemistry at the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute. Dr. Stamford has over 25 years of combined experience at Merck and Schering-Plough Research Institute working in small molecule drug discovery from hit-to-lead to clinical candidate. He is the co-author of more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and an inventor on over 100 issued U.S. patents. Dr. Stamford holds a B.Sc. in Organic Chemistry from University of Tasmania and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University of Sydney.
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Andy Stamford

Andrew (Andy) Stamford, Ph.D., is Vice President, Chemistry, Deerfield Discovery and Development, and joined Deerfield in 2020. Prior to Deerfield, Dr. Stamford spent more than three years at Bridge Medicines as Vice President, Chemistry, and then as Senior Vice President of Research and Development. During this time, he also served as Vice President, Chemistry at the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute. Dr. Stamford has over 25 years of combined experience at Merck and Schering-Plough Research Institute working in small molecule drug discovery from hit-to-lead to clinical candidate. He is the co-author of more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and an inventor on over 100 issued U.S. patents. Dr. Stamford holds a B.Sc. in Organic Chemistry from University of Tasmania and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University of Sydney.

William Slattery

William Slattery is a Partner on the Biotherapeutics group at Deerfield and joined the Firm in 2000. Prior to Deerfield, Mr. Slattery was a senior healthcare analyst for ten years at Amerindo Investment Advisors, where he oversaw biotechnology investments. He has held various positions in research including those at National Medical Enterprises, Johnson & Johnson, and HMSS. Mr. Slattery is
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the Chairman of Gilda’s Club New York City, a non-profit organization supporting cancer patients and their families. He holds an undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from State University of New York at Albany and completed coursework in Immunology at the Graduate School-New Brunswick, Rutgers University.
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William Slattery

William Slattery is a Partner on the Biotherapeutics group at Deerfield and joined the Firm in 2000. Prior to Deerfield, Mr. Slattery was a senior healthcare analyst for ten years at Amerindo Investment Advisors, where he oversaw biotechnology investments. He has held various positions in research including those at National Medical Enterprises, Johnson & Johnson, and HMSS. Mr. Slattery is the Chairman of Gilda’s Club New York City, a non-profit organization supporting cancer patients and their families. He holds an undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry from State University of New York at Albany and completed coursework in Immunology at the Graduate School-New Brunswick, Rutgers University.

Peter Steelman

Peter Steelman is a Partner on the Pharmaceuticals group at Deerfield and joined the Firm in 2013. Mr. Steelman was a co-founder of FSC Laboratories, Inc., a pediatric-focused specialty pharmaceutical company acquired by Deerfield in 2013, where Mr. Steelman had been President and CEO from 2004 through its sale in 2016. Prior to FSC, he spent 12 years in
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healthcare corporate and investment banking at Wachovia Capital Markets, Bank of Montreal and Citicorp. Before receiving his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, Mr. Steelman was an equity research associate at Kidder, Peabody & Co. covering commercial banks. Mr. Steelman received his B.A. from DePauw University.
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Peter Steelman

Peter Steelman is a Partner on the Pharmaceuticals group at Deerfield and joined the Firm in 2013. Mr. Steelman was a co-founder of FSC Laboratories, Inc., a pediatric-focused specialty pharmaceutical company acquired by Deerfield in 2013, where Mr. Steelman had been President and CEO from 2004 through its sale in 2016. Prior to FSC, he spent 12 years in healthcare corporate and investment banking at Wachovia Capital Markets, Bank of Montreal and Citicorp. Before receiving his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, Mr. Steelman was an equity research associate at Kidder, Peabody & Co. covering commercial banks. Mr. Steelman received his B.A. from DePauw University.

Kelly B. Sexton, Ph.D.
Alliance Ambassador

As associate vice president for research – technology transfer and innovation partnerships, Kelly works closely with the vice president for research as well as other leaders across the university to provide visionary and strategic leadership of UM’s innovation, business engagement and technology transfer activities, including the Office of Technology Transfer and the Business Engagement Center. In this role, she supports and encourages university-wide programs for intellectual property development, innovation, and engagement with business and venture communities in the region, across the nation, and around the globe.
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As Alliance Ambassador for Great Lakes Discovery, Kelly works to ensure that the U-M therapeutics research community is aware of the resources available through Great Lakes Discovery, and that the alliance has the support of the U-M research and technology transfer infrastructure to ensure the successful translation of funded U-M projects.

Kelly holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Molecular Pathology from the University of California, San Diego where she was supported by a fellowship from the California Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Kelly completed her postdoctoral studies at Stanford University where she was awarded a fellowship from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Kelly serves as co-chair of the U-M Roundtable on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, on the Advisory Board for the Detroit Chapter of Venture for America, and the Executive Committee of Ann Arbor SPARK.
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Kelly B. Sexton, Ph.D.

As associate vice president for research – technology transfer and innovation partnerships, Kelly works closely with the vice president for research as well as other leaders across the university to provide visionary and strategic leadership of UM’s innovation, business engagement and technology transfer activities, including the Office of Technology Transfer and the Business Engagement Center. In this role, she supports and encourages university-wide programs for intellectual property development, innovation, and engagement with business and venture communities in the region, across the nation, and around the globe.

As Alliance Ambassador for Great Lakes Discovery, Kelly works to ensure that the U-M therapeutics research community is aware of the resources available through Great Lakes Discovery, and that the alliance has the support of the U-M research and technology transfer infrastructure to ensure the successful translation of funded U-M projects.

Kelly holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Molecular Pathology from the University of California, San Diego where she was supported by a fellowship from the California Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Kelly completed her postdoctoral studies at Stanford University where she was awarded a fellowship from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Kelly serves as co-chair of the U-M Roundtable on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, on the Advisory Board for the Detroit Chapter of Venture for America, and the Executive Committee of Ann Arbor SPARK.

Scientific Collaboration Manager

Seohee You, Ph.D.
Great Lakes Discovery Scientific Collaboration Manager

Seohee You, Ph.D., brings a wealth of experience to Great Lakes Discovery, including over 10 years in academic and corporate therapeutic research and drug development. As Scientific Collaboration Manager, she works closely with U-M faculty and with the broader Deerfield drug discovery and development team to ensure a robust pipeline of projects and to develop a research plan aimed to achieve Investigational New Drug (IND) readiness. She joins Great Lake Discovery from U-M Tech Transfer, where she worked with Life Sciences faculty to protect and commercialize intellectual property developed at U-M, while also significantly augmenting the research tools licensing program.
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Before joining U-M Tech Transfer, she worked as a scientist at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Through this position, she gained significant experience in various stages of both small and large molecule drug development. She co-led a Target Investigation and Target Validation project and advanced it through the Hit-to-Lead and Lead Optimization stages. She also served as a lead-preclinical scientist and successfully advanced a therapeutic agent to the NME (New Molecular Entity) nomination. Prior to this, she worked as a Senior Research Investigator and received her post-doctoral training at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

She holds a Ph. D. in Molecular & Cellular Biology from the University of Massachusetts and an M.S. in Biotechnology from Korea University. She is a registered dietitian with the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare.
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Seohee You, Ph.D.

Seohee You, Ph.D., brings a wealth of experience to Great Lakes Discovery, including over 10 years in academic and corporate therapeutic research and drug development. As Scientific Collaboration Manager, she works closely with U-M faculty and with the broader Deerfield drug discovery and development team to ensure a robust pipeline of projects and to develop a research plan aimed to achieve Investigational New Drug (IND) readiness. She joins Great Lake Discovery from U-M Tech Transfer, where she worked with Life Sciences faculty to protect and commercialize intellectual property developed at U-M, while also significantly augmenting the research tools licensing program.

Before joining U-M Tech Transfer, she worked as a scientist at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Through this position, she gained significant experience in various stages of both small and large molecule drug development. She co-led a Target Investigation and Target Validation project and advanced it through the Hit-to-Lead and Lead Optimization stages. She also served as a lead-preclinical scientist and successfully advanced a therapeutic agent to the NME (New Molecular Entity) nomination. Prior to this, she worked as a Senior Research Investigator and received her post-doctoral training at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

She holds a Ph. D. in Molecular & Cellular Biology from the University of Massachusetts and an M.S. in Biotechnology from Korea University. She is a registered dietitian with the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare.

 

News

Deerfield Commits Up to $130 Million to Commercialize Drug Discovery at University of Michigan

Past Events

Virtual Information Session
Wednesday October 21st at 3:30 PM ET
 

Request for Proposal

Collaboration
Proposal
  • Applicant completes an on-line Letter of Intent addressing: Novelty, Genetics, Biologic Rationale, Preclinical Models and Clinical Development
Pitch to Scientific
Review Team
  • Scientific Evaluation to assess supporting material and genetic validation
Full Proposal
Workstream
  • Scientific team reviews PI’s materials
  • Work plan and budget are drafted
  • IP Evaluation
  • Commercial Evaluation
Investment
Evaluation
  • Investment Team reviews Full Proposal Package
  • Recommendation is determined
Collaboration Proposal
  • Applicant completes an on-line Letter of Intent addressing: Novelty, Genetics, Biologic Rationale, Preclinical Models and Clinical Development
Pitch to Scientific Review Team
  • Scientific Evaluation to assess supporting material and genetic validation
Full Proposal Workstream
  • Scientific team reviews PI’s materials
  • Work plan and budget are drafted
  • IP Evaluation
  • Commercial Evaluation
Investment Evaluation
  • Investment Team reviews Full Proposal Package
  • Recommendation is determined
Timeline
  • Letter of Intent (LOI) application open: September 29, 2020
  • Deadline for LOI application submission: November 30, 2020

To submit an application, please register below to create a Great Lakes Discovery profile or email U-M Office of Technology Transfer at techtransfer@umich.edu. If you already have an account, you can access it here.

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