School — Medicine WashU Gap Fund

Jiang Receives WashU Gap Fund Award

Shu “Joy” Jiang, PhD, MSc recently received an award from the Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) Gap Fund. The award will enable Jiang and her collaborator, Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH to perform translational work to de-risk and mature technology they developed for identifying pathologic characteristics in histopathology images.

“Pathology has become fundamental to modern medicine and impacts nearly all aspects of patient care.  However, there are significant inefficiencies and inaccuracies in pathology,” says Malcolm Townes, PhD, MBA who serves as innovation fund manager in the Office of Technology Management (OTM) and oversees the Gap Fund. “The technology that Drs. Jiang and Colditz have developed has the potential to minimize these inefficiencies and inaccuracies substantially, which will greatly enhance patient care.”

Shu (Joy) Jiang, PhD, MSc
Graham Colditz
Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH

Jiang, an associate professor of surgery in the Division of Public Health Sciences (PHS) in WashU’s School of Medicine (WUSM), researches precision medicine and life history data analysis. She collaborated with Colditz, PHS division chief and an internationally recognized leader in cancer prevention, to develop technology that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the identification of certain pathological characteristics in digitized histopathology images. The award from the WashU Gap Fund, which is operated by the OTM, will enable them to conduct customer discovery with target users, develop a strategy for obtaining regulatory agency approval, and begin external validation of the technology.

“Receiving the Gap Fund award is a significant validation of our efforts and the potential of our technology. What excites me most is the opportunity this award provides for us to accelerate our research and development. [It] will enable us to bridge the critical gap between concept and commercialization, allowing us to undergo necessary testing, refinement, and scale-up.”

Shu (Joy) Jiang, PhD

The WashU Gap Fund provides financial support for translational work that will increase the quality and value of promising medical, engineering, and physical sciences technologies created by WashU researchers. It aims to increase the chances of these technologies to attract the necessary industry partners to commercialize them into products and services that benefit society.

More information on the Gap Fund can be found on the OTM website or by contacting Dr. Townes at

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