Dr Crystal Icenhour Elected First Woman Chairman of VirginiaBio

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.


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.