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Leadership Team

Outstanding Talent, Outstanding Management

Metabolon has assembled a group of talented, experienced managers to develop and execute its business plan. We also have an impressive staff that includes specialists in biochemistry, mass spectrometry and software development.


John Ryals, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer

JohnryalsDr. Ryals has served as president, CEO and a member of the board of directors at Metabolon since April 2002. Prior to founding Metabolon, he was chief executive officer, president and founder of Paradigm Genetics, Inc., a publicly traded agricultural biotechnology company focused on industrializing the process of gene function discovery. Dr. Ryals has 30 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, including senior research positions at Novartis and Ciba-Geigy. He currently serves on the board of directors at AgBiome, a provider of early-stage R&D for agriculture, and the advisory board of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. He earned a B.A. in biology and chemistry from the University of North Texas and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in molecular biology from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Mike Milburn, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer

Mike MilburnDr. Milburn has served as chief scientific officer since 2005 and is responsible for global metabolomics technology development and research operations. Before joining Metabolon, he was senior vice president of research and corporate development at Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, where he led the preclinical/clinical development of drugs in metabolic disease and neurodegeneration. Prior to Sirtris, Dr. Milburn was senior vice president of research at Plexxikon and was responsible for the development of its proprietary high-throughput, scaffold-based chemical technology platform. He also held various research positions at Glaxo and GlaxoWellcome from 1991 to 2001. Dr. Milburn received his Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and was a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Darin S. Leigh
Chief Commercial Officer

Mr. Leigh oversees the commercial strategy for Metabolon's Metabolomics & Biomarker Services, Precision Medicine, and Diagnostics business units. Prior to joining Metabolon in 2015, he was the senior vice president of commercial operations at Asuragen, Inc., a clinical and molecular diagnostics company. He has held senior-level international sales, marketing and operations positions with Luminex Corporation and Abbott Laboratories, where he successfully launched global products and delivered consistent revenue growth. He holds a B.S. in medical laboratory sciences from Paddington College at the University of London.

William A. Pettit
Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Bill PettitMr. Pettit is a human resources executive with proven abilities as a change agent building high-performance organizations and developing management teams. He has in-depth expertise in strategic human resources planning, organization development and talent acquisition and management. After graduating from Amherst College, he began his career with the Bristol Myers Company, where he held progressively more senior roles during an 11-year tenure. He then served as senior vice president of human resources and administration for Pharmacia (now Pfizer) supporting the Americas. He moved into the biotechnology industry in 1996, accepting responsibility as senior vice president of human resources for Ligand Pharmaceuticals. Most recently, he served as vice president of human resources and administration for Intrexon Corporation.

Lisa A. Miller
Vice President & General Manager, Precision Medicine

Robin F 2 Ms. Miller joined Metabolon in November 2015 as Vice President & General Manager of the Precision Medicine business. She has over 25 years of experience delivering commercial and operational success in the medical research, life sciences, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and clinical diagnostic markets. She is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., a Nestlé Health Science company. Prior to that, Ms. Miller served as the Corporate Vice President of Global Commercial Business for Dako, an Agilent Technologies company. In her earlier professional career, she held various positions with increasing responsibility and enjoyed a 20-year tenure at Thermo Fisher Scientific (formerly Fisher Scientific International). She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Campbell University in North Carolina and has served on the board of directors for Dako A/S in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Canada and Brazil.

Jay Tolley, M.B.A.
Vice President & General Manager, Metabolomics & Biomarker Services

Jay TolleyMr. Tolley joined Metabolon in 2015 and has responsibility for its metabolomics and biomarker services business. He is an experienced healthcare executive with a history of exceeding financial targets and a passion for improving lives. He has held a wide variety of general management, sales, marketing and business development leadership positions supporting both the lab services and medical device industries. Prior to joining Metabolon, Mr. Tolley was COO for Medikidz, a VC-backed start-up providing medical education for young people. He has also served as vice president of business operations for BioAgilytix Labs and marketing director for Roche Tissue Diagnostics. Prior to joining Roche, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy (B.S., economics) and holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Robin Fastenau, M.B.A.
Vice President, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations

Robin FastenauMs. Fastenau joined Metabolon in 2014 and has responsibility for its strategic communications and corporate branding. She has almost  20 years of experience in corporate communications, investor relations and public affairs and has held senior-level positions in a number of industries. She has extensive experience in U.S. and global communications in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries from GlaxoSmithKline, Trimeris, Triangle Pharmaceuticals (now Gilead Sciences) and consulting. Prior to her corporate communications roles, she was a vice president in the corporate finance team at an investment banking firm specializing in financial institution clients. Ms. Fastenau earned a B.S. in business administration with an economics concentration from Meredith College and holds an M.B.A. from Wake Forest University. She also completed graduate-level life sciences course work in the D.D.S. program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.