Connect with Experts in Nutrition Science
Helping You Traverse Science
Stephen Fleming, PhD
Co-Founder and President
Stephen found his roots first in psychology and later as a neuroscientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Discovering the potential of the pig to transform preclinical research in his graduate studies on nutrition and cognition 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 A. Lackey, PhD
Clinical Research Specialist
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!
Vinh Vu, PhD
Vinh is a Biochemist and Statistician specializing in the use of biophysical techniques such as single-cell manipulation, quantitative fluorescence imaging, and computational modelling to understand membrane bound proteins. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of his research, he has gained a wealth of experience in chemistry, immunology, statistical analysis, and computing.
Sharon Donovan, PhD, RD
Sharon is a Professor and the Melissa M. Noel Endowed Chair in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and member of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee. Her laboratory conducts basic and translational research in the area of pediatric nutrition, focusing on optimizing intestinal, microbiome, and cognitive development of neonates through dietary interventions.
Christine Pelkman, PhD
Christine is a nutrition scientist with a unique skill set that includes a deep understanding of the science of nutrition combined with pragmatic business acumen and excellent teaching and communication abilities. She has decades of experience from her roles at Ingredion and Campbell Soup managing clinical research programs and navigating the regulatory environment. She brings a keen eye for leveraging the science with regulatory precedence while keeping business goals at the forefront.
Kelly Swanson, PhD
Kelly is a Professor and the Kraft Heinz Company Endowed Professor in Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kelly is an expert in human and companion animal nutrition, nutrigenomics, and microbiomics. His research is focused on the effects of nutritional intervention on gastrointestinal microbiota, host gene expression, and host physiology, with a primary emphasis on gastrointestinal health and obesity.
Dr. Robbie Burns is an Adjunct Professor of Practice at the Indiana University Bloomington School of Public Health, where he assists with strategic planning and development. His past career has spanned Vice President for Health and Nutrition Policy at Grocery Manufacturers Association, Global Head of Nutrition and Scientific Affairs at Cadbury Schweppes, and Director of Nutrition Science and Policy at Mead Johnson Nutrition.
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.