Dr. Tenover has had a long-standing interest in clinical microbiology, mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance and development of rapid diagnostic methods for infectious diseases. After undergraduate studies at the University of Dayton, he completed his Masters and Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology at the University of Rochester and undertook Post Doctoral studies in Clinical Microbiology and Public Health at the University of Washington in Seattle.
He served as Associate Chief of Microbiology at the Seattle Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine at the University of Washington from 1982-90. In 1983, Dr. Tenover took a leave of absence from the Seattle VA Medical Center to work in Ismailia, Egypt, to help establish a clinical microbiology laboratory at Suez Canal University to support their medical school. In 1986, he took another leave of absence to work on rapid diagnostic DNA probes for infectious diseases at the Armed Forces Research Institute for Medical Sciences in Bangkok, Thailand. In 1990, he joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and served for 18 years as Associate Director for Laboratory Science in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion and then as Director of the Office of Antimicrobial Resistance. He also served as Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.
He joined Cepheid, a molecular diagnostics company based in Silicon Valley in California in 2008 as Head of Scientific Affairs. Over the next 14 years, he contributed to the development of over 20 PCR-based diagnostic tests for infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance. During this time, he also served as Consulting Professor of Pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he worked collaboratively with several Stanford faculty members on studies of antimicrobial resistance and the development of rapid diagnostic tests for viral diseases. In 2023, he returned to the University of Dayton as Distinguished Research Professor of Microbiology. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the International Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
Dr. Tenover received the John E. Dlugos, Jr. Memorial Award of Excellence in Biology from the University of Dayton, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Award for Outstanding Performance as a Senior Biomedical Scientist, the National Center for Infectious Diseases Recognition Award for Public Health Research and Service, the Becton Dickinson Award for Outstanding Research in Clinical Microbiology from the American Society for Microbiology, the Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of Dayton and Lifetime achievement awards from the Illinois Society for Microbiology and from the Danaher Corporation, the parent company of Cepheid. He has authored over 350 peer-reviewed publications and edited 11 books.