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Future is Now ~ Transforming Pathogen Diagnostics by @Aperiomcis’ Dr. Icenhour

By | 2017-08-17T04:40:28+00:00 August 1st, 2016|

By: Crystal Icenhour   July 20, 2016

Original article: http://www.mlo-online.com/the-transformation-of-pathogen-diagnostics-through-next-generation-sequencing

Crystal R Icenhour, PhD ~ Aperiomics CEO

Dr. Crystal R Icenhour

Clinical laboratories have multiple methods for diagnosing infectious disease, but the fact remains that despite culture, microscopy, antibody-based testing, and molecular testing such as PCR, up to 75 percent of infections are not diagnosed in a timely manner, if at all.1,2 One of the biggest issues is that a target is needed to know which test(s) can lead to an accurate diagnosis; the laboratorian must know what pathogen is suspected. And since many pathogens exhibit common symptoms, it is often difficult to determine an appropriate target.

The diagnostic challenges have resulted in a reliance on differential diagnosis and can result in spread of infectious diseases, longer hospital stays, more critical illnesses, longer recoveries, and compromised outcomes related to delayed or ineffective treatment. In addition, partly due to ineffective diagnostics, antibiotics are significantly overused in the United States. Such misuse of antibiotics is creating drug-resistant pathogens. According to the Centers for Disease Control  and Prevention (CDC), “Each year in the United States, at least two million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.”3

In the midst of these concerns is the reality that infectious disease outbreaks are no longer “local.” As large populations travel internationally, local authorities are often under-resourced in coping with identified outbreaks, and inadequate diagnostics and treatments leave us all more vulnerable. News headlines alert us to the Lyme disease season and to the risk of the Zika virus, while not so long ago people in Africa were dying by the thousands from Ebola. The confluence of all these factors makes it more important than ever to develop accurate and timely diagnostics for infectious diseases.

NGS: consider the possibilities….

Read more here: http://www.mlo-online.com/the-transformation-of-pathogen-diagnostics-through-next-generation-sequencing

Aperiomics is the only company identifying every bacteria, virus, parasite, and fungus in one test.  Visit www.aperiomics.com to learn more.

CRYSTAL ICENHOUR, PhD ELECTED FIRST WOMAN CHAIRMAN OF VIRGINIABIO

By | 2017-08-17T02:10:36+00:00 July 26th, 2016|

Crystal R Icenhour, PhD ~ Aperiomics CEO

Dr. Crystal R Icenhour

Crystal Icenhour, PhD, has just become Board Chairman for VirginiaBio, the first woman in the organization’s 24-year history to hold this position.

Dr. Icenhour has served on the 24-member Board since 2007 and as Vice Chairman for the past two years, focusing much of her energies toward capital formation for the association’s member companies. She has worked with VirginiaBio staff and Board of Directors to develop greater awareness in the Commonwealth of Virginia about the importance of the biotech industry and to advance supportive policies and funding.

She will continue efforts to engage the investment community and to “help the world appreciate what a great resource the Commonwealth of Virginia is for companies in the biotechnology industry.” Citing a positive confluence of proximity to federal government agencies and resources, of some of the best higher education institutions in the world, and of earnest support from Governor Terry McAuliffe and state agencies, Dr. Icenhour sees Virginia as a biotech hub that will continue to develop and create products, jobs, and a healthy economy to benefit the state, the nation, and the world. “It’s been a great pleasure to work with our staff and my fellow volunteers with VirginiaBio for the past several years. I am excited to continue our work at a new level for my two-year term as Chairman.”

“Dr. Icenhour’s experience and success in translating science from university research to the clinic and marketplace, and building high-tech biotech companies provides great perspective and insights into our membership and the opportunities ahead for Virginia,” said Jeff Gallagher, CEO of Virginia Bio. “We are so fortunate to have a Chairman who is not only a consummate entrepreneur, but also a believer in working collectively to ‘grow the pie’ – across the industry, the Commonwealth and the region.”

As she looks ahead to her first year as Chairman, Dr. Icenhour is especially excited about the upcoming Women Building Bio: The XX Factor event to be held September 29, 2016 at the Inova Center for Personalized Health in Fairfax, VA. This first-time event in Virginia will showcase women leaders in the bioscience industry in a day-long event focused on building inclusive and stronger research, companies, institutions, teams, and individuals. The intended audience is for all stakeholders (men and women) in the BioHealth Capital Region. With topics ranging from diversity and inclusion to identifying sources of capital, conference leaders come from the highest echelons of biotech companies, research institutions and government.

ABOUT CRYSTAL ICENHOUR, PhD

Crystal Icenhour, PhD, was recruited as the founding Chief Executive Officer of Aperiomics, a biotech firm based in Ashburn, VA. Before joining Aperiomics in 2014, she was President and Chief Science Officer of Charlottesville-based Phthisis Diagnostics, where she was a co-founder and led the company until it was acquired in 2013. She also created the consulting firm of Icenhour Biotech in 2014.

She was recently invited to participate in the White House Microbiome Initiative hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Aperiomics was selected this spring by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce as the 2016 Health & Life Sciences Innovator of the Year in their annual Greater Washington Innovation Awards competition. She was a finalist for the 2016 Women in Technology’s Annual Leadership Awards in the category of Small Business Entrepreneur. In addition, Aperiomics was selected as a member of this year’s competitive Springboard Enterprises Health Innovation Hub which accepts only ten companies each year for a concentrated mentoring program designed to serve as an ongoing accelerator program for women-led entrepreneurial companies.

Aperiomics has developed technology that pairs next generation sequencing with data analysis to provide accurate pathogen identification; from a single test their process can detect the presence of over 16,000 microbial species, including bacteria, virus, fungus, and parasites.

Dr. Icenhour holds a PhD in Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a BS in Biology from the University of Tulsa. She was a Research Fellow at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and a Senior Research Fellow at Duke University Medical Center. In 2007, she was Chair of the National Postdoctoral Association.

ABOUT VirginiaBio

Founded in 1992, the Virginia Biotechnology Association (VirginiaBio) is the statewide trade group that promotes the scientific and economic impact of the biotechnology industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is the official state affiliate of the Biotechnology Industry Association and one of the three founding partners of Mid-Atlantic Bio, the first regional bioscience convention that combines academia, the commercial bioscience industry, and the venture capital community in one event. Headquartered in Richmond, VirginiaBio sponsors student internships, workforce development initiatives, and serves as the primary contact point for the media, government officials, researchers and students regarding the bioscience industry in Virginia.

Aperiomics is the only company identifying every bacteria, virus, parasite, and fungus in one test.  Visit www.aperiomics.com to learn more.

MEDICAL LABORATORY OBSERVER HIGHLIGHT

By | 2017-08-17T02:16:07+00:00 July 11th, 2016|

Medical Laboratory Observer

MLO

Aperiomics’ Dr. Icenhour was recently profiled in Medical Laboratory Observer.  Dr. Icenhour highlights next generation sequencing and how it can be paired with advanced data analysis for accurate pathogen identification.  Aperiomics’ unique data analytics are able to identify over 19,000 microbial species, which includes all sequenced pathogens.

To read this article, click here: http://www.mlo-online.com/next-generation-sequencing-paired-with-data-analysis-provides-accurate-pathogen-identification.

Aperiomics is the only company identifying every bacteria, virus, parasite, and fungus in one test.  Visit www.aperiomics.com to learn more.

APERIOMICS “HEALTH & LIFE SCIENCES INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR”

By | 2017-08-17T02:21:29+00:00 July 8th, 2016|

Greater Washington Innovation Awards Winner

Innovation Awards Winner

Aperiomics was selected from among five finalists as the Health & Life Sciences Innovator of the Year by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce in their 2PndP Annual Greater Washington Innovation Awards. According to Northern Virginia Chamber President and CEO, Jim Corcoran, these award winners “represent the most forward thinking companies in our region. They are shaping the future of business as we know it.”

Aperiomics CEO Crystal Icenhour, PhD, commented, “We were honored to be named among the other finalists and are indeed proud to be selected for this award. We hope this recognition of our young company will help to boost awareness of our revolutionary technology that has the potential to transform diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.”

The Northern Virginia Chamber represents local employers with more than 500,000 regional employees and has been a partner of local businesses for over 90 years.

About Aperiomics

Based in Ashburn, VA, Aperiomics was founded in October 2013 as a spinoff from the Computational Biology Institute at George Washington University’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Sterling. The company combines genomics and informatics in an innovative way to produce faster and more accurate results than culture-based or even other molecular-based diagnostic approaches.

From a single test, Aperiomics can simultaneously test for all pathogens whether bacteria, virus, fungus or parasite. The sample can be tissue, plant, animal, or environmental. Based on its unique process that capitalizes on high-throughput Next-generation sequencing and advanced Bayesian statistics, Aperiomics can not only find a “needle in a haystack” but can also reveal that a “needle” is lurking there – even if it is a formerly unknown pathogen. This effective system translates into improved human and animal health, reduced risk to public health, and significant health care cost savings.

Recently, Aperiomics announced its second National Science Foundation Award in a year. With this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant, the company’s NSF funding through a total of three grants has now reached nearly a million dollars. In addition to support from the National Science Foundation’s SBIR and iCORP programs, Aperiomics has also received funding from the Center for Innovative Technologies of Herndon, VA, and from private investments.

For more information, please visit www.aperiomics.com or look for the company on LinkedIn, Twitter and AngelList.

APERIOMICS LAUNCHES CROWDFUNDING FOR LYME DISEASE PROJECT

By | 2017-08-17T02:25:09+00:00 April 22nd, 2016|

Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease

Aperiomics is offering even non-scientists an opportunity to improve human health. The company has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support an adaptation of their technology to develop a faster and more accurate test for Lyme Disease than any currently available. Existing tests for this disease have up to a 70% diagnostic failure rate, a major problem considering that there are over 300,000 cases of Lyme Disease in this country alone, with many patients suffering from chronic infection.

A Better Way to Test for Lyme Disease in Ticks from Endemic Areas launched on April 22 and allows anyone to participate by contributing to the fund; donations can be for any dollar amount. All donors can share every step of the research process through the crowdfunding site, getting updates on study design, project data, and even being able to ask questions of the scientists. The site also has links to information about Lyme Disease and bios of the scientific team.

To participate in the crowdfunding project, donors are urged to contribute directly at www.experiment.com/lymedisease; share the link with family and friends through email, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn; and to check back periodically as lab notes keep participants posted on progress.

According to Aperiomics CEO Crystal Icenhour, PhD, “We’re excited about the potential of this crowdfunding campaign which can both raise the funding we need to move our research forward, as well as educate the public about Lyme Disease and how to address it. What we are striving for is a transformation in Lyme Disease testing, not just an incremental advancement.” Aperiomics is seeking $14,575 to pay for sample collection, sequencing, materials and data analysis. Working through Experiment.com, the company has 30 days to reach its goal; donors are not charged unless the goal is reached.

In addition to its scientific work, Aperiomics is participating in the Sixth Annual Loudon Lyme 5K/10K and 1K Fun Run event on May 15. This event intends to “drive awareness and raise money to help find a cure for Lyme Disease – the number one tick-borne illness in the United States.”

About Aperiomics

Based in Ashburn, VA, Aperiomics was founded in October 2013 as a spinoff from the Computational Biology Institute at George Washington University’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Sterling. The company combines genomics and informatics in an innovative way to produce faster and more accurate results than culture-based or even other molecular-based diagnostic approaches.

From a single test, Aperiomics can simultaneously test for all pathogens whether bacteria, virus, fungus or parasite. The sample can be tissue, plant, animal, or environmental. Based on its unique process that capitalizes on high-throughput next-generation sequencing and advanced Bayesian statistics, Aperiomics can not only find a “needle in a haystack” but can also reveal that a “needle” is lurking there – even if it is a formerly unknown pathogen. This effective system translates into improved human and animal health, reduced risk to public health, and significant health care cost savings.

Recently, Aperiomics announced its second National Science Foundation Award in a year. With this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant, the company’s NSF funding through a total of three grants has now reached nearly a million dollars. In addition to support from the National Science Foundation’s SBIR and iCORP programs, Aperiomics has also received funding from the Center for Innovative Technologies of Herndon, VA, and from private investments.

Aperiomics was just announced as the Health & Life Sciences Innovator of the Year in the 2016 Greater Washington Innovation Awards competition sponsored by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, please visit www.aperiomics.com or look for the company on LinkedIn, Twitter and AngelList.

APERIOMICS IS NAMED A FINALIST IN TWO AWARD COMPETITIONS

By | 2017-08-17T02:27:18+00:00 April 5th, 2016|

Women in Technology

WIT

Innovation Badge

Innovation Awards

In a recent span of two weeks, Aperiomics has been named a finalist in two Greater Washington, DC, award competitions.

The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce selected Aperiomics as a finalist in the Health & Life Sciences Innovator of the Year category for the 2nd Annual Greater Washington Innovation Awards. Winners will be announced live at an awards ceremony on Thursday, April 21, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Reston. These awards honor the people and organizations “who introduce new methods, ideas and products to improve our lives and challenge the status quo. Their innovations create new consumers and markets, and ultimately transform the way we do business.”

Women in Technology (WIT) announced Aperiomics and CEO Crystal Icenhour as one of five finalists in the Small Business Entrepreneur category for its 17th Annual Leadership Awards. Based in Falls Church, VA, WIT conducts this awards program to highlight women working in the Greater Washington, DC region who “have exemplified unique vision, leadership and profound success in the technology industry.” The awards program recognizes women leaders in nine categories; the winners will be announced live at the Leadership Awards Banquet on May 19, 2016, also at the Hyatt Regency Reston.

As Aperiomics CEO Crystal Icenhour, PhD, notes, “It’s highly gratifying for our young company to be recognized by these two organizations. We’re proud to be in the company of our fellow honorees and pleased that this award process can help to raise awareness of our innovative technology that holds so much potential for improving health.”

About Aperiomics

Based in Sterling, VA, Aperiomics was founded in October 2013 as a spinoff from the Computational Biology Institute at George Washington University’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Sterling. The company combines genomics and informatics in an innovative way to produce faster and more accurate results than culture-based or even other molecular-based diagnostic approaches.

From a single test, Aperiomics can simultaneously test for all pathogens whether bacteria, virus, fungus or parasite. The sample can be tissue, plant, animal, or environmental. Based on its unique process that capitalizes on high-throughput Next-generation sequencing and advanced Bayesian statistics, Aperiomics can not only find a “needle in a haystack” but can also reveal that a “needle” is lurking there – even if it is a formerly unknown pathogen. This effective system translates into improved human and animal health, reduced risk to public health, and significant health care cost savings.

Recently, Aperiomics announced its second National Science Foundation Award in a year. With this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant, the company’s NSF funding through a total of three grants has now reached nearly a million dollars. In addition to support from the National Science Foundation’s SBIR and iCORP programs, Aperiomics has also received funding from the Center for Innovative Technologies of Herndon, VA, and from private investments.

For more information, please visit www.aperiomics.com or look for the company on LinkedIn, Twitter and AngelList.

APERIOMICS EXPANDS TEAM THROUGH NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION PROGRAM

By | 2017-08-17T02:32:09+00:00 March 15th, 2016|

Cory Strope

Cory Strope

Cory L. Strope, PhD, has joined Aperiomics as a new Bioinformatic Scientist in one of 50 positions nationwide that is funded through a special National Science Foundation initiative.

The Small Business Postdoctoral Research Diversity Fellowship serves entrepreneurial companies who have received funding through the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. According to the NSF, this fellowship is intended to assist these companies in attracting “top scientific and technological talent at a fraction of the usual cost” while also providing “postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented groups” the opportunity to “work for at least a year outside an academic setting, contributing to cutting-edge research aimed at promoting scientific excellence and strengthening our nation’s technological prowess.” The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) administers the program.

Dr. Strope holds a PhD from the University of Nebraska in Computer Science with a specialty in Bioinformatics; he received his MS from the same university in Computer Science with a focus on Machine Learning. He has co-authored 10 publications and 11 presentations and posters. As his background in computer science deepened, he found himself increasingly drawn to applications, especially in the biomedical field.

His interest began with comparative biology and the statistical application of evolution to bio sequences and later on the way bioinformatics centered on genomics. That led him to the area of computational toxicology, where he began dealing with big data and how to maximize its value. Following the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he examined the spread of toxins, including carcinogens, to fish populations.

His work on this project made it a personal priority to consider all the data collected instead of “cherry picking” only those data that pertained to certain issues. To use a fishing analogy, he saw the value of casting a wide net to learn what all might be present, instead of fishing with a single hook to search for a specific target. To proceed otherwise seemed a waste of potentially valuable and enlightening data.

He sees the Aperiomics approach as especially appealing since the company uses Bayesian statistics in its analytical process rather than using strictly empirical data as several leading methods do. “Now it’s as if the restraints are off and I’m excited that I can do something new and different,” he notes. “Now I finally get to work deeply with big data and bioinformatics.” His goal is to optimize the innovative Aperiomics technology to make it even easier to understand and more interactive and accessible than competing programs in the marketplace that are difficult to use, hard to install, are system specific and time consuming.

Aperiomics CEO Crystal Icenhour, PhD, is eager to welcome Dr. Strope to the Aperiomics team – “It is exciting to continue to build Aperiomics’ team! We have such important work ahead of us and we are thrilled to have Cory join us. NSF continues to provide significant value for us as we move through our early stages – this support is invaluable.”. As a former Board Chair of the National Postdoctoral Association, she will be an ideal mentor for her new team member.

About Aperiomics

Based in Sterling, VA, Aperiomics was founded in October 2013 as a spinoff from the Computational Biology Institute at George Washington University’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Sterling. The company combines genomics and informatics in an innovative way to produce faster and more accurate results than culture-based or even other molecular-based diagnostic approaches.

From a single test, Aperiomics can simultaneously test for all pathogens whether bacteria, virus, fungus or parasite. The sample can be tissue, plant, animal, or environmental. Based on its unique process that capitalizes on high-throughput Next-generation sequencing and advanced Bayesian statistics, Aperiomics can not only find a “needle in a haystack” but can also reveal that a “needle” is lurking there – even if it is a formerly unknown pathogen. This effective system translates into improved human and animal health, reduced risk to public health, and significant health care cost savings.

Recently, Aperiomics announced its second National Science Foundation Award in a year. With this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant, the company’s NSF funding through a total of three grants has now reached nearly a million dollars. In addition to support from the National Science Foundation’s SBIR and iCORP programs, Aperiomics has also received funding from the Center for Innovative Technologies of Herndon, VA, and from private investments.

For more information, please visit www.aperiomics.com or look for the company on LinkedIn, Twitter and AngelList.

APERIOMICS NAMES NEW VP OF RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

By | 2017-08-17T02:40:36+00:00 November 24th, 2015|

Alvin Yuan Chen, PhD

Dr. Alvin Yuan Chen

Aperiomics has named Yuan Chen, PhD, as its new vice president of Research and Development.  

Dr. Chen is a Bioinformatics scientist with a strong interest in infectious disease. He received his PhD from the Chinese Academy of Science and recently completed a post-doctorate research fellowship at Duke University Health System. He has authored and co-authored 14 articles for professional journals and has a special interest in high-throughput automated Next- generation sequencing, data analysis, personalized medicine, disease related variants, machine learning and big data.

While he comes from a background in academia, Dr. Chen says he found this position to be especially appealing since “I like to work on things that help people. Research is very important, but it is often more remote and takes longer to see results in ways that affect people’s daily lives.” He is also excited by Aperiomics’ big market potential across industry segments. “This is still an early-stage start-up company, but our business can play a significant role in the areas of human health, food safety, agriculture, and through monitoring animal populations for outbreak control.”

Coincidently, Dr. Chen shared a mentor at Duke with his new boss. Aperiomics CEO Crystal Icenhour, PhD, was a senior research fellow at Duke working with the same mentor nine years earlier. It was when she recently gave a post-doctoral retreat presentation about career paths for young scientists at Janelia Research Campus that Dr. Chen heard about her from his wife who had attended the program.

According to Dr. Icenhour, “Dr. Chen brings an outstanding bioinformatics capability, pathogen knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit to Aperiomics. He complements our scientific team and adds a new level of enthusiasm for our technologies that are crucial for success as he leads our R&D efforts forward.”

Based in Sterling, VA, Aperiomics was founded in October 2013 as a spinoff from the Computational Biology Institute at George Washington University’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Sterling. The company combines genomics and informatics in an innovative way to produce faster and more accurate results than culture-based or even other molecular-based diagnostic approaches.

From a single test, Aperiomics can simultaneously test for all pathogens whether bacteria, virus, fungus or parasite. The sample can be tissue, plant, animal, or environmental. Based on its unique process that capitalizes on high-throughput Next-generation sequencing and advanced Bayesian statistics, Aperiomics can not only find a “needle in a haystack” but can also reveal that a “needle” is lurking there – even if it is a formerly unknown pathogen. This effective system translates into improved human and animal health, reduced risk to public health, and significant health care cost savings.

Recently, Aperiomics announced its second National Science Foundation Award in a year. With this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant, the company’s NSF funding through a total of three grants has now reached nearly a million dollars. In addition to support from the National Science Foundation’s SBIR and iCORP programs, Aperiomics has also received funding from the Center for Innovative Technologies of Herndon, VA, and from private investments.

For more information, please visit www.aperiomics.com or look for the company on LinkedIn, Twitter and AngelList.

APERIOMICS RECEIVES NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AWARD

By | 2017-08-17T02:47:22+00:00 September 16th, 2015|

National Science Foundation

NSF

SBIR Phase II Grant Brings Company’s NSF Awards Total to Nearly $1 Million

 Aperiomics has won its second award in a year through the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This new SBIR Phase II grant of nearly $737,000 follows earlier feasibility funding from the NSF through Phase I and Phase Ib grants intended to help early-stage companies fund research and development. With the new award, Aperiomics has received nearly $1 million in support from the NSF. The SBIR program aims to make entrepreneurial science companies more attractive to investors and to future strategic partners and customers by reducing risk.

 Phase II awards are designed to allow companies to focus on scale and development in the process of bringing their product or service to market. For Aperiomics, the grant will mean further development of next-generation sequencing analytics for infectious diseases. The company combines genomics and informatics in an innovative way to produce faster and more accurate results than culture-based or even other molecular-based diagnostic approaches. This efficient system translates into improved human and livestock health, reduced risk to public health, and significant health care cost savings.

 From a single test, Aperiomics can simultaneously test for all pathogens whether bacteria, virus, fungus or parasite. The sample can be tissue, blood, plant matter, animal or environmental. The company’s unique process capitalizes on high-throughput next-generation sequencing and advanced Bayesian statistics. Their system not only finds the “needle in the haystack,” but also can reveal that “a needle” is lurking there – even if it is a formerly unknown pathogen.

In a climate of international concern about such public health threats as Ebola, influenza, and drug resistant infections, Aperiomics offers breakthrough capabilities in pathogen discovery. Their technology provides diagnoses in difficult cases of unknown etiology, pathogen surveillance, and monitoring of livestock and of natural animal populations, as well as more routine pathogen detection. It could be a life-saving tool for physicians who are forced by long lab processing times to rely on differential diagnoses while treating a critically ill patient and it could help prevent over-use of antibiotics as a provider tries various types in hopes that one will prove effective quickly enough. As Aperiomics CEO Crystal Icenhour, PhD, observes, “The majority of pathogens are currently never identified; upwards of 75% go undiagnosed, leading to significant issues within public health.”

 Based in Sterling, VA, Aperiomics was founded in October 2013 as the result of a collaboration by three of the firm’s co-founders, a team including some of the best minds in genomics and bioinformatics, and was a spinoff from the Computational Biology Institute at George Washington University’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Sterling. In November 2014, the firm announced the launch of its first commercial services. In addition to the company’s support from the National Science Foundation’s SBIR and iCORP programs, it also has received CRCF funding from the Center for Innovative Technologies of Herndon, VA, and private investments.

 For more information, please visit www.aperiomics.com or look for the company on LinkedIn, Twitter and AngelList.

 Crystal R Icenhour, PhD – Chief Executive Officer: Crystal R Icenhour, PhD received her doctorate in Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine from the University of Cincinnati Medical School of Graduate Studies in 2002. She conducted postdoctoral research in the Thoracic Diseases Research Unit at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine from 2002-2005 and in the Department of Infectious Diseases at Duke University Medical Center from 2005-2006. Dr. Icenhour has held leadership positions in local and national postdoctoral associations including the Mayo Research Fellows Association Executive Committee (President), the Duke University Postdoctoral Association (chair of membership committee), and the National Postdoctoral Association (2008 Chair). Dr. Icenhour was President & Chief Science Officer for Phthisis Diagnostics, a biotechnology company located in Charlottesville, Virginia from 2007-2013. In 2014 Dr. Icenhour was recruited as cofounder and CEO of Aperiomics.

 Keith A. Crandall, PhD President: Keith Crandall is a cofounder of Aperiomics and Director of the Computational Biology Institute at the George Washington University. A prolific researcher, Dr. Crandall has published over 220 papers and 3 books, including “The Evolution of HIV” published by Johns Hopkins University Press. In 2010, he was designated a “Highly Cited” researcher, a distinction reserved for the top one-half of one percent of all publishing scholars. His research covers subjects ranging from the evolution of HIV and other infectious diseases to bacterial genome evolution to the biogeography of freshwater crayfish. Dr. Crandall was a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University, a recent recipient of the Edward O. Wilson Naturalist Award, and was recently elected as a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Crandall earned his BA degree in Mathematics and Biology from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan and MA (Statistics) and PhD (Biology and Biomedical Sciences) from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Puyo, Ecuador.

Evan Johnson, PhD Chief Technology Officer: Evan Johnson is a cofounder and CTO for Aperiomics. He is currently an assistant professor of Medicine, Biostatistics, and Bioinformatics at the Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Johnson’s research is focused on the development and application of statistical and computational methodology for the analysis and integration of Big Data generated from biological samples. His work has led to discovery and publications in a wide variety of applications including molecular genetics, cancer, and pathogen detection. He has also developed several widely used analytical methods and software for analyzing high-throughput genetic, genomic, and epigenomic profiling datasets. Dr. Johnson received a BS degree in Mathematics at Southern Utah University, an MS degree in Statistics at Brigham Young University, and MA and PhD degrees in Biostatistics from Harvard University.

 Eduardo Castro-Nallar, PhD Chief Science Officer: Eduardo Castro-Nallar is a cofounder and CSO for Aperiomics. He received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the Universidad de Santiago de Chile and his PhD from the Biological Sciences PhD program at The George Washington University. Dr. Castro-Nallar has extensive experience in microbiology and microbiological techniques as well as molecular techniques associated with pathogen detection. He served as the head of the diagnostic lab in Diagnotec in Chile implementing international quality certifications (ISO 9001/17025) and developing diagnostic assays for the aquaculture and swine industries based on qPCR, cell culture, and immunofluorescence. During his graduate work, Dr. Castro-Nallar has studied population genetics, phylogenetics, genomics, and epidemiology of pathogens of public health importance. He is skilled in genetic analysis of genes and genomes, generation and analysis of high-throughput sequencing data on high-performance computing platforms.

 

APHL 2015 POSTER: Emerging virus discovery through meta-transcriptomics

By | 2017-08-17T02:50:44+00:00 May 19th, 2015|

Aperiomics ~ All pathogens, one test

Aperiomics

Association for Public Health Labs 2015 Annual Meeting

Poster Presentation

Emerging virus discovery through meta-transcriptomics: a novel virus impacting Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) farming in Chile

ABSTRACT

Viral pathogen discovery is critically important to clinical microbiology, infectious diseases, and public health. During 2012-13 there was an outbreak of unknown etiology affecting farmed rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in southern Chile. Clinical inspection and conventional diagnostic methods (PCR, cell and bacterial culture, immunofluorescence) failed to detect any known infectious agents, and transmission microscopy micrographs suggested the presence of viral particles in many organs. Here we present the results of a meta-transcriptomics analysis of two infected individuals and one control on spleen, muscle, heart, and brain tissues. Using high-throughput sequencing and our Absolute*Discovery pipeline on rRNA depleted Total RNA preparations, we found the presence of a new salmonid alphavirus described for the first time in Chile. This study demonstrates the utility of high-throughput sequencing and novel computational techniques to the study of emerging infectious agents in animal production.

APHL 2015 Poster 20150518