The Domain Expert Program (DEP) was developed in 2021 by the Office of Technology Management to help de-risk early stage WashU technologies and spur innovation in the St. Louis ecosystem.

DEP’s key objectives include:

  • Provide actionable, “just-in-time” guidance by an advisory board to mitigate early-stage technology risk.
  • Enhance market connectivity and foster an innovation mindset.
  • Elevate WashU’s brand in the innovation ecosystem.

Since DEP’s inception, robust partnering opportunities have developed between advisory board members and labs, enhancing the technology transfer process at WashU.

Participating WashU researchers receive guidance from curated, industry-specific domain experts in areas such as:

  • Regulatory considerations
  • Feasibility studies
  • Building market connectivity
  • Asset development planning
  • Building collaboration opportunities with accelerators, incubators and industry partners
  • Access to management talent and business acumen

DEP Process

The Domain Expert Program convenes periodically with a pre-selected cohort of WashU technologies within a specific vertical market. The Office of Technology Management assembles an expert advisory board customized to that vertical market. The program consists of pitch presentations delivered by each participating PI to the advisory board. Each PI then receives custom guidance and actionable de-risking steps followed by connections to resources and ongoing progress feedback.

Advisory Board

The DEP advisory board of experts includes venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, accelerator partners, industry representatives, etc. who volunteer their time to help assess the commercialization potential of WashU technologies by providing strategic guidance on participating principal investigator technologies.

DEP Verticals

Currently, OTM offers the Domain Expert Program in vertical markets including therapeutics, medtech and diagnostics.


For more information about the Domain Expert Program, contact:

DeP Operations Lead
DEP Therapeutics Lead
DEP Medtech and therapeutics Lead
Leena Prabhu, PhD, MBA

Leena Prabhu, PhD, MBA

Director of Business Development and Licensing

DEP Medtech lead

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