In a significant stride towards bridging the gap between cutting-edge research and real-world impact, Dr. Stephen Yi, a distinguished professor at the University of Texas at Austin, along with his dynamic team of researchers, has been accepted into the prestigious National Science Foundation’s National I-Corps program. The acceptance marks a pivotal moment in their journey towards commercializing a groundbreaking technology aimed at revolutionizing cancer treatment through personalized precision medicine.

Rishi Mishra, EL

At the heart of their innovation lies a sophisticated blend of single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and transfer learning techniques. This pioneering technology empowers clinicians to precisely contextualize a patient’s tumor cells, enabling the delivery of highly tailored and effective drug combination therapies. Unlike traditional approaches, which often rely on broad strokes and reference cohorts, Dr. Yi’s team leverages the power of data-driven insights to provide personalized therapeutic recommendations, effectively addressing the complex issue of tumor heterogeneity in oncology.

Michael Zeosky and Rishi Mishra, both entrepreneurial leads on the team, bring a wealth of expertise in computational biology and informatics, respectively. Their technical prowess, coupled with their dedication to advancing personalized medicine, has been instrumental in shaping the commercial potential of their innovation. Under the guidance of Dr. Yi, whose accolades include an NIH Outstanding Investigator Award and a Komen Scholar award, the team has embarked on a journey to translate their research findings into tangible solutions that can benefit cancer patients worldwide.

Michael Zeosky, EL

Dr. Erxi Wu, an esteemed I-Corps mentor with extensive experience in business consulting, cancer research, and computational modeling, has played a pivotal role in guiding the team through the commercialization process. His invaluable insights and strategic guidance have laid the foundation for a robust commercialization plan that aims to not only disrupt the landscape of cancer treatment but also pave the way for future innovations in precision medicine.

Looking ahead, Dr. Yi’s team is poised to make significant strides in their commercialization efforts. With a clear focus on engaging key stakeholders across the healthcare sector, including cancer physicians and industry service providers, they are actively seeking funding and partnerships to bring their technology to market. By leveraging their extensive network and conducting customer interviews as part of the I-Corps program, the team is well-positioned to drive meaningful change in the field of oncology and beyond.

The team is actively seeking feedback from diagnostic companies, analytical instrument suppliers, biomedical researchers, and potential partners to further refine and optimize their technology for market. Those interested in contributing to the team’s customer discovery process can reach out to Michael Zeosky at

Dr. Erxi Wu, Mentor

As they embark on this transformative journey, Dr. Stephen Yi and his team exemplify the spirit of innovation and collaboration that defines the University of Texas at Austin. With their sights set on revolutionizing cancer treatment through personalized precision medicine, they are poised to leave an indelible mark on the future of healthcare.

Learn more about the NSF I-Corps program and apply for the next cohort online. The application process is free, simple, and can be accessed here. For more information and to learn more about the NSF I-Corps program, contact Weston Waldo at