Chief Scientific Officer
Akunna Iheanacho, Ph.D. is the Chief Scientific Officer at Texcell – North America, Inc. where she provides technical and scientific direction for all programs and business units in addition to providing oversight for novel assay development, virus purification efforts, viral safety testing, and custom cell culture projects. She is a subject matter expert with broad biotechnology experience and expertise in areas that include process development for large-scale cGMP manufacture of vaccines, AAV gene therapies, and biopharmaceutical purification. Prior to joining Texcell, Dr. Iheanacho was a Senior Scientist at Paragon Bioservices (now Catalent). While there, she made significant contributions in transitioning projects from basic science discovery to cGMP-ready processes by establishing critical process parameters and quality attributes for biologics and reagents for diagnostics.
Dr. Iheanacho’s graduate work utilized mouse models, molecular endocrinology, and structural biology to study signaling pathways in cancer metabolism, fat metabolism, and type 2 diabetes. In her structural and functional characterization of a diverse set of proteins, she also routinely employed biochemical and biophysical techniques such as differential scanning fluorimetry, isothermal titration calorimetry, and chromatographic separation. Additionally, Dr. Iheanacho also has experience with crystallization and structure determination, small angle x-ray scattering, UV-Vis spectroscopy, mouse husbandry and genotyping, cell culture, recombinant protein expression systems (mammalian, baculoviral, E. coli), and molecular biology. Dr. Iheanacho received her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Physiology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Virginia, and B.S. in Biology from Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL.