Crystal R Icenhour, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of Aperiomics, joins Rich Bendis to discuss their Technology, Growth, and position in the BioHealth Capital Region

Crystal R Icenhour, Ph.D., is one of the rising stars of American biotechnology. After more than 25 years in medical research and biotech, she was named the founding CEO of Aperiomics, a company that harnesses the power of Next- Generation Sequencing to identify any known pathogen (bacteria, virus, fungi or parasite) in a single test. Aperiomics is the only company of its kind and scope in the world. Throughout Dr. Icenhour’s career, she has demonstrated strong leadership in business and science and has dedicated herself to “bridging the translational gap between these two worlds.”

Dr. Icenhour is an expert in infectious disease diagnostics, and her mission is to change the entire thinking about pathogen diagnosis. Up to 75% of infections are never accurately diagnosed, leaving millions of people suffering from chronic infection. Aperiomics, under her leadership, has developed a technology that identifies all known pathogens – every bacteria, parasite, virus, and fungus – from clinical samples.

Dr. Icenhour holds two patents, has authored and co-authored numerous research articles and theses, and has been a prolific speaker and presenter at scientific conferences.  She has served on review panels for the National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, and National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants.  She is also an adjunct assistant professor at Duke University Medical Center’s Division of Infectious Diseases in their Department of Medicine.

Before Aperiomics, Dr. Icenhour was president and chief science officer for Phthisis Diagnostics in Charlottesville, VA, a research and development company focused on development of easy-to-use molecular diagnostics for intestinal parasites. While a postdoctoral fellow at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, she was the first to identify and characterize Pneumocystis melanins.

Dr. Icenhour serves as Chairman of VirginiaBIO and was chosen to participate in the SpringBoard Enterprises 2016 class of women-led companies.  She is a member of Sigma Xi, Medical Mycology Society of the Americas, Association for Molecular Pathology, and the American Society for Microbiology. The Kauffman Foundation and Center recognized her as 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year.

Dr. Icenhour received her Ph.D. 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.  She has been involved 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).

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