The primary mission of the Business Development team at the University of Michigan Medical School is to drive innovative industry engagement to support research, to foster a culture at the Medical School that supports commercialization activities and entrepreneurship, and to develop potential novel funding mechanisms for continued development of biomedical discoveries. We help faculty and strategic partners collaborate, with the ultimate goal of accelerating research and technology to improve human health.
Connie Chang, MBA, Director and Team Leader. In her role as Director, Connie leads efforts in business development between the medical school research enterprise and external partners. A native Michigander, Connie joined the University of Michigan in 2009 after a 15-year career in business in Boston and New York, including nearly 12 years of experience in the pharmaceuticals industry where she worked in the commercial and marketing business functions. Previously Connie worked at Sepracor as Senior Director and brand team leader for the prescription pharmaceutical products Lunesta and Xopenex. Prior to Sepracor, Connie was with Pfizer in New York working on brands such as Zyrtec, Lipitor, Zoloft and Caduet, as well as serving as Director of Regional Marketing for the New England region. She also worked as a consultant at Mercer Management Consulting's New York office. Connie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychobiology from Harvard University and a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. 734-936-1531
Janene Centurione, MBA, Associate Director. Janene comes to the team from the U-M Life Sciences Institute, where she was the Chief of Research Business Development. She came to U-M with over 30 years of experience in academic medical center administration, healthcare marketing, biotechnology operations and is a proven entrepreneur. Janene received a BS in biology and chemistry from Purdue University and a Masters of Business/Health Administration from the University of Kentucky. 734-647-1461
Debra Grega, PhD, MBA, Associate Director. Debra joins the team from Ohio where she led the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (CSCRM) since 2004. She brings over seventeen years of international, commercial biotechnology experience and has worked on both the scientific and business aspects of new biotechnology commercialization. Prior to that at Athersys, Inc., Debra managed strategic alliances with key pharmaceutical partners such as Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer, and she also has R&D and business development experience from Roche. Debra received her M.B.A from Anderson University in Indiana, a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Kentucky, and completed her postdoctoral studies at the University of Michigan and Colorado State University. 734-764-7815
Ann Curtis, Associate Director, Marketing. A University of Michigan alumna, Ann brings 20+ years of marketing experience to the Business Development team. With a career history including positions in marketing management at ProQuest and XanEdu Publishing, as well as independent consulting, her expertise in the higher education and technology arenas and business-to-business acumen have been recognized with awards at the national level, as well as multiple Ann Arbor Ad Club Addys. 734-615-9147Sue Low, Administrative Specialist. Prior to her role supporting the Business Development team, Sue was an Administrative Assistant for the Dean's Office of Shared Services at the School of Literature, Science, and the Arts. She has a strong background in customer service, having worked as Call Center Manager at American Blinds, Wallpaper, and More for over 10 years before joining the staff of the University of Michigan. 734-615-6050