Stephen Fleming, PhD

Co-Founder and CEO

Stephen found his roots first in psychology and later as a neuroscientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Discovering the potential of nutrition to promote brain development led to the formation of Traverse Science. Stephen combines a passion for data science, tech transfer, and entrepreneurship to help accelerate research.

Ryan Dilger, PhD

Co-Founder and Vice President
As a trained animal scientist and nutritionist, Ryan Dilger has long recognized the value of the pig model. An active scientist in nutrition for humans and agricultural species, Ryan has been a key leader in engineering solutions for using the pig in neuroscience. Ryan combines a passion for nutrition, engineering, and industry experience to Traverse.

Kimberly Lackey, PhD


Kimberly is a nutrition and infectious disease expert from Washington State University. She specializes in human milk and parasitology, especially disease transmission between breastfeeding mothers and their infants. Kimberly loves all things human health, but never turns down an opportunity to explore a new pathogenic condition!

Karin Biggs, PhD

Marketing Specialist
Karin has a PhD in biology from Washington State University, where her research work spanned immunology, evolutionary biology, and virology. After completing her degree, she spent several years developing her skills as a communicator and storyteller through teaching pre-health students in anatomy, physiology, and women’s health as adjunct faculty. Karin loves scientific communication, knowledge translation, and breaking down complex topics into digestible pieces. She brings her expertise as a communicator to our inbound efforts as a marketing specialist.

Tristen Paul, MSc

Review Manager
Tristen received her MSc in Animal Science from Stellenbosch University where she performed meta-analyses on the reproductive physiology of various species. She specializes in organizing and administrating client projects related to scientific substantiation and literature review. In almost everything she does, she simply gets it done.

Jenny Morris, PhD

Review Manager
Jenny has an MS and PhD in applied swine production at the University of Illinois, where her research spanned multiple areas within production including nutrition and health. Her PhD research was focused on production management and the environment of the newly-weaned pig and is a fitting cap for her 8 years of experience in the swine industry. Jenny brings her expertise in animal production, and experience in research to the Traverse team as a review manager. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her husband, son, and 2 beagles (who are themselves emeritus members of the University of Illinois research team).

Rachel Fleming, MEd

Administrative Coordinator
Rachel is a former special education teacher with an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction and a MasterTrack certificate in Instructional Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is excited to bring systems and processes to Traverse to enable the team to focus on less admin and more science.

Our Roots

Our journey began when co-founders Ryan Dilger and Stephen Fleming began pioneering the use of cognitive tasks and magnetic resonance imaging to understand early life brain development.
In 2015, together they created a dedicated, high- throughput piglet rearing facility for the testing of nutritional products. What started as in interest in infant formula and brain development led to a broader interest in the role of nutrition and health. We created Traverse to get science out of the lab and on the market.
We like science and it doesn’t have to be hard. Let’s get science done, together.

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