Innovative Virginia-Based Biotech Opens with Health Equity & Education at the
Updated: May 27, 2022
Innovative Virginia-Based Biotech Opens with Health Equity & Education at the Root of its Lab Services, Research, & Product Development
STERLING, Va. - Your techy neighbor and health ally Athari Bio is officially open for business and creating multi-faceted solutions to tackle the complex challenges and systemic layers of inequity that Loudoun County and our nation face today. In addition to its broad spectrum of lab capabilities, Athari is supporting the community in combating Covid by offering Covid testing for individuals and groups beginning in November of this year.
Athari Bio is a woman- and minority-owned and operated company driven by doing good. Its leadership team has a proven record of producing powerful outcomes and the company’s genomic tests, immunodiagnostics, and professional development are a wellspring for, and of, health and empowerment. Athari leverages STEM not just for the sake of advancing science, but also because science stands to help us all live healthier, more vibrant lives.
“We’re not just another lab setting up on another Industrial Drive: We’re a health equity accelerator. Yes, we’re keenly interested in your cardiogram and genomic profile, but it’s the overall heart of the Athari team and this community that drives the vision,” CEO Susan Mitchell said. “Our potential for positive change is global, but landing our headquarters in Loudoun County puts us on the map as a center for world-class research and creates a vibrant tech culture, leveraging premiere data centers right in our own backyard.”
Why We Do It
The omission of minority groups and diversity from the research and development ecosystem is the result of—and also results in—a lack of access to innovative medicines and effective care, further widening gaps in health equity and biosciences.
The research outcomes and medicine we all take today were built upon the insights of data yielded overwhelmingly from adult males of European descent. Athari endeavors to expand epidemiological insights with specific attention to ethnicity, race, gender, and age. We will integrate our culturally responsive clinical trial data with external suppliers of population data.
The absence of diversity isn’t just in the data: It also exists amongst trial members, clinical trial investigators, academia, and industry. Athari plans to change the face of “the who and the how” of STEM, eradicating its inherent bias by deploying equity and inclusion across research and development, product commercialization, education, and professional advancement.
A diverse team on a unified mission, Athari’s co-founders also have deep roots in the region:
CEO and founder 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. Ms. Mitchell serves on the board of directors for Virginia Career Works and STEM for Her, is the incoming Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce GovCon Committee chair, and sits on the Cybersecurity CoE advisory board for Northampton Community College and BCT Bank. She earned a master’s degree in Executive Leadership from Liberty University, a graduate certificate from Hampton University, and a B.S. in Mass Communications from Norfolk State University.
Co-founder and Chief Science and Operations Director Dr. Kareem 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 and 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 and gene editing in inherited diseases for 25 years. He has over 10 years of teaching and Genetics Graduate Program Chair expertise.
Co-founder and Chief Operations and Science Officer Dr. Javed 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. Dr. Siddiqi has worked on RandD and product development of non-PCR based rapid detection of human papilloma virus (HPV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) and is founder of two biotech companies: DNA Technologies, Inc. (sold) and Luminous BioSciences, LLC (current). Dr. Siddiqi has over 40 years of experience in research and corporate management.
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.
Athari’s mission is to strengthen communities, develop future leaders, and build generational wealth, health and well-being through bioscience. Athari means “impact” in Swahili. Together, let’s make a lasting one.
Sterling, VA 20166