Readme: Welcome to Traverse Science

This is us in 2018, several months before the idea to start Traverse Science would take hold.

Welcome to Traverse Science. Our company was born out of a need discovered by Dr. Ryan Dilger and Dr. Stephen Fleming while working with researchers in industry.

Who are we?

Ryan is a nutrition scientist and hobbyist engineer. Stephen is a neuroscientist and entrepreneur. Ryan has been a faculty member since 2010 and Stephen completed his PhD under Ryan’s guidance in 2019 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Together, they investigated how to examine the safety and efficacy of ingredients in infant formula. Specifically, they wanted to understand if specific carbohydrates, known as human milk oligosaccharides, could influence brain development. Practically, this meant raising pigs in an advanced research facility, measuring cognitive development, putting pigs into an MRI machine, and trying to learn how to think like a pig – it smelled exactly as you might imagine!

Along the way we worked with numerous groups selling feed ingredients for livestock, ingredients for human or pet food, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, commodities groups, and more. We learned most scientists in the industry have the same problem: they can’t check the to-do items off their lists as quickly as they are added. That sounds like everyone’s problem, but we felt we had the skills and experience to help others in the broader nutrition industry fix that.

What do we do?

Put simply: we check off those lists on everyone’s desks! At Traverse Science, we help develop strategic research plans, coordinate research, partner our clients with experts who run clinical and preclinical studies, analyze the data (no matter what state it’s in!), and write reports, including manuscripts, white papers, and guidance documents. In short, we can do everything except run the actual trial, but we will make sure that’s taken care of for you. Many groups are good at performing research, but everything on the front- and back-end takes inordinate amounts of time.

We know that teams are fluid, business plans change, and somehow the results from that million-dollar clinical trial your company invested in, is collecting dust.

That data should be in the hands of your marketing team, consumers, in peer reviewed journals, and in front of regulators and clinicians. We all have those pet projects we never got to finishing, but the scale at which that happens in the industry is greater than we ever imagined.

Traverse Science

We named the company Traverse Science to help others do exactly that – navigate the sometimes frustratingly difficult process of getting science done. We believe it doesn’t have to be hard to do good science, and that’s what we pass to our clients. When clear business goals are in mind, the science should support the endeavors at hand. When the business goals aren’t clear, the science should light the way. We all know we could sink more money and time into one more study, add a few more subjects to a trial, or look at the data another way. At Traverse Science, we’ll help you step back and determine if gathering that data will truly help you meet your goals. Will it make a more compelling sales pitch? Is it needed to prove the safety or simply proof-of-concept of a new ingredient? It’s easy to fall into the “toolbox fallacy” of thinking we need just one more data-point to move to the next level. If that’s true, we can help you gather that data and turn it into something tangible. Otherwise, we’re here to sit at the intersection between business development and science and are ready to offer our scientific expertise to get your business to its next milestone.

What are you working on?

We want to know what you’re interested in. Tell us here and chat with us at engage@traversescience.com to learn how we can help you traverse science.

-Stephen Fleming and Ryan Dilger

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