Management Team

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


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

Dr. Ryals received a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to joining Metabolon, Dr. Ryals was CEO, president and founder of Paradigm Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDGM). There, he raised over $100 million in equity financing, including an Initial Public Offering in 2000 and a follow on offering in 2001 and closed on R&D partnerships valued at over $200 million. Dr. Ryals has 20 years of experience in the biotechnology industry including senior research positions at Novartis and Ciba-Geigy and currently serves on the Board of North Carolina State University College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.



John Ryals, Ph.D. - Metabolon
S. Todd Lynch, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Lynch is a certified public accountant with 20 years of executive and financial experience with life science companies and public accounting. Prior to joining Metabolon, Mr. Lynch was vice president, global finance for the clinical division of Inveresk, a contract research organization and subsidiary of Charles River Laboratories. Mr. Lynch also served in various financial roles for GlaxoSmithKline and gained seven years of public accounting experience with Coopers & Lybrand specializing in healthcare and manufacturing.



S. Todd Lynch, CPA - Metabolon
Michael (Mike) Milburn, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Milburn received his Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School for his post-doctoral work.  Before joining Metabolon, Dr. Milburn 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 Plexxikon's proprietary high-throughput scaffold-based chemical technology platform.   Since 2005, Dr. Milburn has been Chief Scientific Officer  at Metabolon and has been responsible for the global metabolomics technology development and research operations. Dr. Milburn’s R&D group works with over 600 clients at Metabolon and has completed over 3000 commercial studies since 2005.   Metabolon’s research group has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles with many of Metabolon’s clients.



Michael (Mike) Milburn, Ph.D. - Metabolon
Chris Bernard
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Mr. Bernard joined Metabolon in August 2009 to direct the expansion and management of its service business. He is a flexible, innovative leader with 15+ years of sales and marketing experience and a proven track record of building high performing teams able to deliver business critical results under aggressive timelines. Mr. Bernard came to Metabolon from Abaxis Inc, where as Vice President of Sales and Marketing he built the sales, marketing, technical and customer service groups for the medical diagnostic business. Prior to that, from 1995 to 2005, Mr. Bernard held various sales and sales management positions at Cytyc Corp, now Hologic. He finished his career at Cytyc as a Regional Business Director. Mr. Bernard holds a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology from Hiram College, is a board certified Cytologist; and is currently on the board of directors for the Hiram College Integrated Entrepreneurship Program.



Chris Bernard - Metabolon
Steve Watkins, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer

Steve Watkins has studied how lipid metabolism is regulated and how nutrition and regulation affect chronic disease for the last 20 years. He received his Ph.D. from UC Davis in 1998 and developed technology for profiling lipid metabolites broadly and quantitatively during his post-doctoral work with Bruce German. Following a post-doc, Steve founded Lipomics Technologies, an early metabolomics company specializing in lipid metabolism. At Lipomics he served as Chief Executive and Chief Scientific Officer, until the acquisition of Lipomics by Tethys Biosciences, a diagnostics company with a focus on the prediction and prevention of diabetes, in 2008. Steve served as Chief Technology Officer for Tethys and was focused on the creation of new diagnostic tests employing both Lipomic and proteomic technologies. In 2011, Steve joined the Harvard School of Public Health as a Senior Visiting Scientist, working in the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases with Gokhan Hotamisligil. Recently, he reacquired the Lipomics technology from Tethys, and merged Lipomics with Metabolon, the industry leading metabolomic profiling company. Steve currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer of Metabolon. Steve has authored over 60 papers on lipids and lipid metabolism along with several book chapters, and is a frequent speaker at national nutrition and metabolic disease meetings.



Steve Watkins - Metabolon
Eric Button, M.Sc., MBA
Senior Vice President, Diagnostics

Eric Button serves as Senior Vice President of Diagnostics at Metabolon, Inc. In this position, Mr. Button has responsibility for all aspects of Metabolon's diagnostics operations. Mr. Button possesses extensive experience in marketing, strategic and business planning, corporate partnering, licensing, R&D management and acquisitions, among other areas, working in both public and privately held companies. Eric brings to Metabolon 20 years of entrepreneurial and leadership skills, as well as experience in all phases of business operations. Most recently, Mr. Button has served as President of GlycoMark, Inc., where he successfullyoversaw the company's GlycoMark joint venture with Toyota and Nippon Kayaku to launch a medical test for diabetes. Previously he was President and CEO of Amplistar, Inc., a company dedicated to pursuing new approaches to cancer diagnostics, and Founder, President and CEO of Innovex Diagnostics/NovaDx, a diagnostics company focused on osteoporosis and arthritis. Earlier in his career he served in various marketing capacities at Hybritech, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly, where he led the business group responsible for the PSA prostate cancer test. Since 2001 he has been an AdjunctProfessor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and has served as guest lecturer on entrepreneurship and marketing to MBA students at Wake Forest University. Mr. Button holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, an MS in molecular genetics from the University of British Columbia-Vancouver and a BA in biology from the University ofNorth Carolina-Greensboro, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.



Eric Button
William A. Pettit
Vice President, Human Resources

Bill 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 VP, Human Resources and Administration for Pharmacia (now Pfizer) supporting the Americas. He moved from big Pharma to Biotech in 1996, accepting responsibility as Senior VP, Human Resources for Ligand Pharmaceuticals. Most recently, he served as Vice President, HR and Administration for Intrexon Corporation.



William A. Pettit