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Get to Know the 2017 GIA Finalists: Geneoscopy

September 25, 2017

Six ventures will compete in the Global Impact Award finals on Monday, October 23rd. Up to $50,000 will be awarded to one or more ventures.

Since the announcement of the 2017 finalists in April, all finalists have been paired up with industry mentors and have been polishing their pitches and Opportunity Summaries.  Each week leading up to the finals in October, we will introduce one finalist team individually. Check back each week for a new profile!

This week is all about…

Geneoscopy LLC:

GeneoscopyIndustry: Diagnostics

Total Number of Employees: 4

When They Formed: February 2015

Total Funding (as of September 2017): $450,000

What problem are you solving? 

Evaluation of gastrointestinal (GI) health is incredibly difficult, resulting in fewer, less efficacious and less timely treatment options for the 70M Americans suffering from digestive diseases. Existing methodologies to evaluate GI health are costly and have significant clinical limitations due to reliance on visualization, primarily through imaging or endoscopy.

How do you solve the problem?

Geneoscopy has developed a nucleic acid extraction method that amplifies the human signals and degrades bacterial noise in stool, thereby allowing for noninvasive and sensitive extraction of human RNA. These RNA biomarkers can serve as the basis for diagnostic tests to evaluate GI health and aid in the treatment of digestive diseases.


About the Founding Team Members:



Andrew Barnell, Chief Executive Officer of Geneoscopy. Source: Geneoscopy

Andrew Barnell

Chief Executive Officer
Focuses on fundraising, capital budgeting and business development.

Andrew received a BS in Business from Cornell University in 2011 and an MBA in Health Care Management and Entrepreneurship from The Wharton School.



Erica Barnell, Chief Scientific Officer of Geneoscopy. Source: Geneoscopy

Erica Barnell

Chief Scientific Officer
Direct all research initiatives and protocols related to clinical trials.

Erica received a BS in Biology and Business from Cornell University in 2013. She is currently receiving an MD/PhD from the Washington University School of Medicine.



Yiming Kang, Chief Technology Officer of Geneoscopy. Source: Geneoscopy

Yiming Kang

Chief Technology Officer
Develops gene selection and diagnostic algorithms for CRC and IT management.

Yiming received a BS in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Utah in 2012 and a Masters of Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University in 2013. He is currently receiving a PhD in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis.



Elizabeth Wurtzler, Principal Investigator of Geneoscopy. Source: Geneoscopy

Elizabeth Wurtzler

Principal Investigator
Develops and executes research strategies, and manages laboratory operations.

Elizabeth received a BS in Biomedical Engineering from St. Louis University 2010 and a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2016.


What has been your biggest lesson learned since starting Geneoscopy?

Andrew Barnell (AB): You will hear “No” a lot more than you will hear “Yes”. Part of being an entrepreneur is finding a way to turn that “No” into a “Yes.”

Erica Barnell (EB): Always have several back-up plans and assume that everything will go wrong. Even when something goes wrong, that does not necessarily mean it is not working; you just need to pivot.

Yiming Kang (YK): You need to keep eyes wide open, maintain high pace, and be concentrated.

Elizabeth Wurtzler (EW): Having the nimbleness to pivot to different strategies or opportunities is crucial for survival and success.


Which entrepreneur or thought leader do you admire the most?

AB: Elon Musk

EB: Bob Langer

YK: Elon Musk

EW: Jessica Scorpio


What is your favorite entrepreneurial news source? 

EB: St. Louis Business Journal

AB: Wall Street Journal

YK: Bloomberg Technology

EW: St. Louis Business Journal


Like what you see? Follow along Geneoscopy’s journey: