Company | Karius

About Us - Hero

Enabling Precision Medicine for Infectious Disease

Our mission: To improve patient outcomes by transforming infectious disease diagnosis through precision genomics.

About Karius

The continuing global impact of infectious diseases is profound. Infections cause roughly 20% of all human deaths each year. This includes patients we commonly encounter with sepsis, compromised immune systems, and undiagnosed infections.

As experts in microbial genomics, we give doctors rapid diagnostic insights to help them make informed treatment decisions for the benefit of their patients. We are a team of clinicians, molecular biologists, data scientists, software engineers, and commercial experts drawn together by a shared commitment to improve patient health.



Karius is a life sciences company transforming infectious disease diagnostics with genomics. It began with work on microbial cell-free DNA at Stanford University and was inspired by one child’s story.

The Karius® Test is a comprehensive tool capable of identifying more than 1,000 pathogens directly from blood. With this next-generation sequencing-based test, we are helping clinicians improve patient outcomes and helping industry accelerate drug development.

Karius CEO Mickey Kertesz

"Infectious diseases are a leading cause of global mortality and an enormous area of unmet need. Clinical results from our Early Access Program demonstrate that the Karius Test allows clinicians to diagnose infections more rapidly and accurately, helping them to devise precise and effective treatment plans for patients with the objective of speeding their recovery times.
I’m excited for future applications of our technology to combat infectious diseases worldwide."

Karius CEO Mickey Kertesz

Leadership Team

Mickey Kertesz, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Kertesz co-founded Karius in 2014 to bring the pathogen detection technology he and colleagues developed at Stanford closer to the bedside. Prior to that, he was the CEO and co-founder of Moleculo, a long-reads DNA sequencing company, which was acquired by Illumina in late 2012. Dr. Kertesz earned an MS in computer science from Tel Aviv University and a PhD in computational biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Tim Blauwkamp, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Blauwkamp, a co-founder of Karius, is a biomedical scientist with 15 years experience managing and conducting research in molecular biology, regenerative medicine, and next-generation sequencing. He was previously Head of Molecular Biology at Moleculo, where he ran scientific research and lab operations until the company’s acquisition by Illumina. He continued to lead a technology development group within Illumina, creating new genomics tools and authoring several patent applications.

Sivan Bercovici, PhD

Chief Technology Officer

Throughout his academic career, Dr. Bercovici has been developing novel mathematical models and algorithms that address broad challenges in genetics and the study of human disease, with immediate implications for preventive and therapeutic solutions. Prior to Karius, Dr. Bercovici was a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Lifecode, where he led the development of Lifecode’s analytical platform and validation of several clinical assays based on next-generation sequencing. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

Michael Mercer

Chief Commercial Officer

Michael is a commercially-focused life science executive who has built and led high performing companies, launched disruptive technologies which have changed clinical practice. He helped build and led Berkeley HeartLab, with IP from UC-Berkeley, first sold to Celera and subsequently to Quest Diagnostics. He was president/CEO of CSI Laboratories and a medication monitoring laboratory startup. He received an MBA, in Marketing and Corporate Finance from USC.

David K. Hong, MD

VP Medical Affairs and Clinical Development

Dr. Hong joined Karius after 14 years at Stanford University, where he was Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. He also served as chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the Stanford-affiliated Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. His prior studies in respiratory virus infections in children focused on host–pathogen interactions and novel adjuvants for respiratory virus vaccines. He obtained his MD from Northwestern University Medical School and trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Judith Wilber, PhD

Laboratory Director

Dr. Wilber has broad experience in technology development and clinical utilization of new biomarkers and technologies, having held positions as Vice President of Technical Operations and Clinical Laboratory Director at CareDx (formerly XDx); Vice President of Research in Nucleic Acid Diagnostics at Bayer Healthcare (formerly Chiron Diagnostics), where she established in-house clinical reference laboratories in the US and Europe and led studies to prove the clinical value of viral load measurement.

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Steven Quake

Dr. Steven Quake

Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University and renowned genomics pioneer

Professor Quake is the Lee Otterson Professor in the School of Engineering and a professor of bioengineering of applied physics and physics at Stanford University. His group pioneered the development of microfluidic large-scale integration.

Dr. Russ Altman

Dr. Russ Altman

Professor of Bioengineering, Genetics, and Medicine at Stanford

Dr. Altman is a professor of bioengineering, genetics, and medicine, and past chairman of the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University. His research interests include the application of computing and informatics technologies to problems relevant to medicine. For example, uncovering methods for understanding drug action at the molecular, cellular, organism, and population levels, discovering how human genetic variation impacts drug response, and analyzing biological molecules to understand the actions, interactions, and adverse events of drugs.

Dr. Iwijn De Vlaminck

Dr. Iwijn De Vlaminck

Robert N. Noyce Assistant Professor in Life Science and Technology at Cornell University and cell-free DNA-based diagnostics expert

Dr. De Vlaminck is the Robert Noyce Assistant Professor in Life Science and Technology at the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University. He is also Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University. His research at Cornell focuses on cell-free DNA-based diagnostics of rejection and infection in transplantation and on developing techniques in single-cell genomics. Dr. De Vlaminck did postdoctoral work in the lab of Steve Quake at Stanford University.

Dr. David Relman

Dr. David Relman

Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan Professor and Professor in the Departments of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University and Chief of Infectious Diseases at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System

Dr. Relman is the Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan Professor in the departments of Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University. He is chief of infectious diseases at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation, and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.

Dr. Christopher Mason

Dr. Christopher Mason

Associate Professor of Computational Genomics in Computational Biomedicine at Cornell University and Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Brain and Mind Institute

Dr. Christopher Mason is Associate Professor, Weill Cornell Medicine and Director of the WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction. He holds appointments at the Tri-Institutional Program on Computational Biology and Medicine between Cornell, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University, the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, and the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute. His laboratory develops and deploys new biochemical and computational methods in functional genomics to elucidate the genetic basis of human disease and human physiology.

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