Genetics testing and research have come a long way, but those visionary strides aren’t really reflected in day-to-day healthcare for most Americans today. The team of leaders, scientists, and technicians at iQ Genetix are working on changing that—and connecting patients and physicians to genetic information that can improve patients’ health overall.
After more than 25 years of experience in the molecular research and molecular diagnostic industry, Jeff Mohler, iQ Genetix Co-Founder & CEO, continues his work of molecular testing for infectious diseases, but also looks forward to the near future when his company can offer AI-supported testing for cancer, mental health, and other inherited diseases.
“This company is the evolution of an idea that needed both investors from other businesses and a specific environment to find its footing,” said Mohler.
That specific and necessary environment, unfortunately, was the COVID-19 pandemic. But much like the rest of the life sciences and biotechnology industry, the pandemic accelerated global scientific demand, including groundbreaking work on the diagnostics.
After cofounding the new company in July 2020 with Chief Commerical Officer Mike Ray, they chose to locate initially at a wet lab bench in the Prince William County Science Accelerator. They hired their first lab technician, Saidu Tholley.
“Jeff and I believe that we need to have the environment to sell a product, but to scale and grow a business, you have to have dedicated staff,” said Ray. “Saidu has been a pivotal part of our growth because he understands where we are going. Despite anyone’s background or personality, if your employees get the vision, they stick with you.”
That vision—and commitment to workforce—paid off. Less than two years after founding, iQ Genetix relocated and upgraded to more than 7000 square feet in Prince William County’s new Northern Virginia Bioscience Center. In addition, the staff swelled to more than 25 technicians, and Tholley is now lab operations manager and molecular technical supervisor.
While there are obvious benefits of a larger space, new equipment, and an ideal location with quick access to Dulles airport, one of the greatest assets Mohler has found is the ability to scale workforce in Prince William County.
“Although cultivating a team and fostering an environment for learning has been our goal, Prince William County is rich with professionals who are highly experienced in the bioscience field,” said Mohler. “Access to George Mason University makes it easy to staff up during a busy season without heartburn."
Scaling Curiosity, from the Prince William County Department of Economic Development (PWCDED), is a life sciences video channelthat explores the county’s more than 25-year history developing a bioscience hub at the heart of Innovation Park in Manassas, Virginia. This video essay explores the life cycle of life science companies, featuring real county businesses owners at all stages of growth.