U-M Trio Win $40K for Developing Cancer Tracking Software


Three pathologists at the University of Michigan who developed software that could improve cancer diagnosis and treatment have won the Michigan Collegiate Innovation Prize.

Called Team Genomenon — consisting of Mark Kiel, a pathology resident at the University of Michigan Medical School and pathology professors Megan Lim and Kojo Elenitoba-Johnson — was one of more than 81 teams that participated in the six-month competition that enables businesses to go from an idea to venture launch. In Team Genomenon’s case, they developed a software program that automates the process and focuses on significant mutations, thus helping medical researchers determine cancer type, how advanced it is, and what the most effective treatment might be.

“We realized our technology had potential as a business, but we had no idea where to start,” Kiel said. “The program has really illuminated the process for us, and it’s only been three months; we are already on the verge of producing a commercially viable product.”

Judges awarded teams with more than $100,000 in prize money — $40,000 of which went to Team Genomenon. The trio also received support from the U-M’s Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization for Life Sciences program.

Other awards included the Michigan Energy Institute prize, which was given to Black Pine, which aims to increase the efficiency of geothermal power; the Web/IT prize, awarded to DragAroundMe, an easy way to share documents with lots of people in the immediate vicinity; and Best Product, which went to Berry Logistics for developing a sensor that tracks when consumer products are mishandled during shipping and handling Team Fluition also took home the MASCO undergraduate prize for creating a device that aid hospital patients in moving from sitting on the edge of the bed to standing.

To learn more about the Michigan Collegiate Innovation Prize, click here.