Project Details


The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project relates to the developments in precision/personalized medicine, and specifically, to much-needed improvements in accuracy and speed of finding genome variants using next-generation sequencing (NGS). The personalized medicine concepts are based on individual genome variants and the personalized medicine market is expected to reach $178 billion in 2022. The cost advantage of a fast and accurate variant-finding product will be proportional to the number of genomes analyzed by users in this market. There has been a recent exponential increase in the size and scope of whole genome sequencing projects from 10,000 publicly available human genomes in 2016 to the UK 100,000 Genomes Project to even larger, though less-clearly defined, sequencing projects involving 1,000,000 participants proposed in the US (Precision Medicine Initiative, and Million Veteran Program) and China. In a likely and important scenario of sequencing the whole US population in the foreseeable future, the cost saving could be several billion dollars, thus making such efforts more feasible.This I-Corps project will enable entrepreneurial education and customer discovery for a software that will be based on a novel comprehensive method of genome variant detection, GROM (Genome Rearrangement Omni-Mapper). GROM boasts lightning-speed runtimes, an order of magnitude faster than state-of-the-art variant detection pipelines. While drastically reducing computational time, GROM provides superior overall variant detection compared to commonly employed algorithms. These unique advantages over available tools both in speed and precision could make GROM a very desirable application in this field (utilized via either licensing or pay-per-use commercial models). This will require a better understanding of a potential market and customer discovery. The process will include an educational component at I-Corps workshops and a discovery component via meetings and active communication with numerous potential users of the technology in commercial and non-commercial entities. The customer discovery effort may result in developing an appropriate business plan for attracting investments in a potential startup that will perform further development and licensing of the product.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date7/1/1812/31/18


  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))


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