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PathoGenetix Hires Food Safety Testing Expert John W. Czajka as Vice President of Business Development

Woburn, MA (PRWEB) December 12, 2012

PathoGenetix, Inc., a commercial-stage developer of an automated system for rapid identification and typing of bacteria strains, today announced that John W. Czajka, Ph.D., M.B.A. has joined the company as Vice President of Business Development. Dr. Czajka will coordinate the commercial application of the company’s proprietary Genome Sequence Scanning™ (GSS™) technology for food safety testing and outbreak investigation. The automated benchtop GSS system will identify foodborne pathogens to strain level, directly from complex mixtures such as food and clinical enrichment cultures, in four hours.

Dr. Czajka has more than 15 years of experience in the field of molecular diagnostics, with expertise in foodborne pathogen and biowarfare threat identification, as well as veterinary and human clinical diagnostics. He joins PathoGenetix after nine years of progressive leadership positions at Smiths Detection as a research scientist, R&D Program Manager, Vice President of Technology Assessment and Acquisition, and Director of Business Development for Smiths Detection Diagnostics. Prior to Smiths Detection, Dr. Czajka developed PCR assays and molecular typing technologies for foodborne pathogens with DuPont Qualicon. Dr. Czajka holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, Department of Food Science with a focus on foodborne pathogen detection and molecular diagnostics, and an M.B.A. in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix.

“John’s successful track record in the development of new technologies and products is a perfect match for PathoGenetix as we seek to bring our innovative bacterial identification technology to the food safety market,” said Ann Merrifield, President and CEO of PathoGenetix.

Food companies and government agencies conduct regular food safety testing on raw materials, production facilities and finished products, to ensure food quality and detect potentially dangerous organisms like Salmonella, Listeria or E. coli in food imports and food products. At the same time, government agencies and public health labs track pathogens that are making people sick during outbreaks. When a pathogen is detected in a food production facility, or is affecting people in multiple locations or states, an investigation is undertaken to identify the organism and trace it back to its source.

Current microbial typing systems require time-consuming sample preparation to culture and isolate bacteria, followed by complex protocols that often produce inconsistent results even when run by the most skilled operators. Genome Sequence Scanning is a breakthrough in rapid bacterial identification and typing that offers new levels of speed, automation and accuracy for food safety testing and public health investigations of foodborne pathogen outbreaks. Because GSS works directly from complex samples, it can provide strain-level identification in just four hours, days sooner than other methods.

“PathoGenetix’s Genome Sequence Scanning is a breakthrough identification technology for food companies and government agencies working to ensure food safety,” said Dr. Czajka. “Rapid, accurate and cost-effective identification and strain typing of foodborne pathogens allows for better source tracking and faster outbreak investigations, and that means safer food, fewer foodborne illnesses, and subsequently fewer deaths.”

Genome Sequence Scanning utilizes an automated system that extracts and analyzes microbial DNA from enriched food or clinical samples to confirm and characterize foodborne pathogens. The strain information provided is comparable to pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), the current gold standard for food pathogen typing in outbreak investigations. Yet, because GSS does not require a cultured isolate, it is compatible with sample preparation protocols that are often used with the newer, rapid detection methods that are increasingly in use in clinical and food safety testing laboratories. Its automated platform and simplified protocol require minimal training and ensure consistent, accurate results.

About PathoGenetix, Inc.
PathoGenetix, Inc., is a commercial-stage developer of a rapid, single-molecule analysis technology for bacterial strain typing and identification. Proprietary Genome Sequence Scanning™ (GSS™) is a breakthrough in microbial identification that works directly from complex samples and provides results in just four hours—days faster than current microbiological identification methods. The simplified protocol and automated platform require minimal training and ensure consistent results. PathoGenetix is currently developing a compact, benchtop GSS system for use in food safety testing and outbreak investigation, which will be available in 2013. Learn more at

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