Our People,
for the People

Athari’s spirit of empathy and excellence energizes our culture and allows us to develop and deliver solutions rooted in the needs of patients, providers, our employees, and our families — our communities.

While based in the United States, we research diseases that impact humans across the globe. Awareness of who is most likely to be treated and how they respond to care is essential to improve transformative therapies. Cardiovascular disease, for example, is universally widespread, but disproportionally disturbs certain racial and age groups. Significant scale is required for true understanding, so we need to make sure clinical trial participants embody the disease epidemiology. Health parity is the passion that drives the data we cull from R&D to develop assays, products, and solutions that improve patient care and education for all.

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It is deeply important to make explicit how critical people of color are to the biotech ecosystem and STEM fields as a whole. In our lab practice, we are focused on ensuring racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in the datasets that are the foundation of genomic and other healthcare breakthroughs. The contributions of Black and brown people go beyond anonymized data points, however. Athari expresses great gratitude to indigenous communities and recognizes the rich heritage in the Manahoac tribal land where our lab is located in Sterling, Virginia.

As a diverse team on a unified mission, we also acknowledge and carry forth the roots of science itself, grounded in Egyptian and Mesopotamian soil. Our very namesake honors this truth: Athari means “impact” in Swahili. Together, let's make a lasting one.

Executive Team

Meaningful progress happens when we unite the best and brightest minds through a common purpose.

The values and expertise of our leadership and strategic collaborators empower us to provide life-altering, amplified answers when and where they’re most needed. We are united in our commitment to track, treat, guide, and monitor via R&D, R&E, manufacturing, and outreach.

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Susan Mitchell, MEL

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Susan Mitchell is the co-founder of Guardians of Honor (GOH). Guardians of Honor is a GovCon consulting firm with a 24-year track record of success delivering grants management, research and evaluation, logistics, and technical assistance solutions to government, industry, and the community.

AmeriCorps, Army – Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, the Department of Education, Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of the Treasury are just a few of the clients who find value in GOH’s integrity-based solutions that protect people, programs, and performance.

Susan is committed to improving access to and success in education, healthcare, workforce, and economic development. Prior to GOH, Ms. Mitchell worked in the Office of General Counsel for various public and private organizations, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Elections Commission, the United States Postal Service, Unisys Corporation, and Rolls-Royce North America.

Ms. Mitchell serves on the board of directors for Virginia Career Works and STEM for Her, is a Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce GovCon Committee vice chair, and sits on the Cybersecurity CoE advisory board for Northampton Community College and BCT Bank.

Susan earned a master’s degree in Executive Leadership from Liberty University, a graduate certificate from Hampton University, and a BS in Mass Communications from Norfolk State University.

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Kareem Washington, PhD

Chief Science and Operations Officer

Dr. Washington earned his PhD in Biochemical Genetics from Howard University and trained in Gene Therapy for Molecular and Clinical Hematology at NIDDK/NHLBI, an institute within the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Washington completed his post-doctorate in the Molecular & Clinical Hematology lab, where he helped to develop the lentiviral therapy now in clinical trials. He has conducted research on RNA trans-splicing, a gene therapy.

Dr. Washington has excelled in translational sciences, developing gene therapy & gene editing in inherited diseases for 25 years. He has over 10 years of teaching & Genetics Graduate Program Chair expertise.

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Javed Siddiqi, PhD

Chief Operations and Science Officer

Dr. Siddiqi earned his PhD in Biochemistry from Banaras Hindu University (India). During his PhD, he isolated a new Salmonella bacteriophage named MB78.

Dr. Siddiqi completed his postdoctoral fellowship at MIT and Harvard Medical School, Boston. During his postdoctoral work, he isolated a novel gene for early detection of breast cancer. This gene/protein (DF3-CEA) is shed in any body fluid such as milk, urine, and saliva.

Dr. Siddiqi also worked as a junior faculty at Lombardi Cancer Research Centre, Georgetown University, where he isolated a novel gene that provided resistance to radiation therapy for head and neck cancer.

At Life Technologies (now ThermoFisher), Dr. Siddiqi worked on R&D and product development of non-PCR based rapid detection of human papilloma virus (HPV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV).

Dr. Siddiqi was also founder of two biotech companies: DNA Technologies, Inc. (sold) and Luminous BioSciences, LLC (current). Dr. Siddiqi has over 40 years of experience in research & corporate management.

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Tammey Naab, MD

Chief Clinical and Medical Officer

Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Tammey Naab has a 28-year career as a laboratory director, 20 years as the Director of Laboratory Services at Howard University Hospital, and eight years as the Laboratory Director at a private lab in Maryland. She is triple boarded in anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, and medical microbiology.

She earned her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine and completed her pathology residency, followed by a fellowship in medical microbiology at Cleveland Clinic.

She is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Society for Clinical Pathology, College of American Pathologists, United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, and Association for Molecular Pathology.

During the past decade, she has authored 121 posters, which have been presented at annual national meetings, and has more than 40 peer-reviewed publications. Her areas of clinical expertise include medical microbiology, infectious diseases, molecular genetics, genitourinary pathology, breast pathology, and genogenic immunohistochemistry. She has a special research interest in COVID-19.

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Tshaka Cunningham, PhD

Chief Scientific & Technical Advisor

Dr. Cunningham earned his PhD in Virology and Immunology at Rockefeller University in New York City and holds a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology from Princeton University.

He was an Associate Research Scientist in the Cardiovascular Drug Discovery Division at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and has worked as an independent consultant for both established biotech companies and early-stage startups.

Dr. Cunningham has over 25 years of experience in basic and applied translational research in genomics, molecular, and cellular biology, biotechnology product development, and life sciences consulting.