Ryan received his PhD in Immunology and Microbiology from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston in 2005. His PhD thesis was focused on improving the donor pool for solid organ transplants, specifically liver and kidney.
He later received his MBA from the Citadel in 2007 and a Masters of Hospital Administration (MHA) from MUSC in 2008.
After receiving his PhD, Ryan managed the tech transfer office (patent office) for MUSC (~$250MM research expenditures per year), consisting of approximately 100+ Invention Disclosures and 30+ domestic and international patent filings per year. At MUSC, Ryan analyzed all technologies, filed patent applications, assisted faculty start-up companies off the ground, and out-licensed technologies to a number of corporate partners.
In 2010, Ryan founded Immunologix, Inc., a company built on a specialized platform that transformed naïve B-cells to produce 100% human monoclonal antibodies against multiple target antigens. From the company’s commencement in September 2009 through its acquisition by Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON) in October 2011, he served as the Founder and Chief Operating Officer. After the acquisition by Intrexon, he served as the Vice President of Antibody Development until transitioning into the role of Vice President of Therapeutics Business Development, working directly for Intrexon CEO and biotech billionaire, Randal J. (R.J.) Kirk during the 18 months leading up to IPO. Having met his goals with Immunologix and Intrexon, Ryan left Intrexon in April 2013 to spend more time looking for “the next” start-up opportunity, building his biotech consulting company and spending time with his growing family (wife Jennifer, five-year-old Nick, and three-year-old Zach).
In 2014, Ryan found “the next” technology he had been looking for and started Perle Bioscience, Inc. as the President and CEO. Along with the inventor of the technology, Perle licensed a novel combination therapy into the company with the expectation it could reverse type 1 diabetes. Just as in the last companies he started, Ryan raised money from investors ($3M Series A and $3M Series B), hired employees and consultants, and was able to get regulatory approval in three countries to conduct a Phase 2b/3 human clinical trial in only nine months. In February 2016, Ryan stepped down from the role as CEO and appointed the former Director of the Human Genome Project to take his place. The goals he wanted to achieve with Perle had been met, and he again wanted to continue with his passion of starting companies and taking them to the point of sale and/or IPO and liquidity.
Ryan has held adjunct faculty positions at both Trident Technical College and the College of Charleston Department of Biology. He previously served as the Vice President of the Palmetto Biotechnology Alliance Board of Directors from 2007–2009 and was designated by the Charleston Business Journal as one of the “Forty Under Forty” in 2010 in recognition of professional success and community involvement. In August 2014, Ryan was accepted into the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF). He served on the Board of Directors for SIBF and the Executive Leadership Board of Directors for the American Heart Association in South Carolina. Currently, Ryan serves on the Executive Committee for “One Region” with the Charleston Chamber of Commerce and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA). Since 2014, Ryan has mentored 20+ companies with the Harbor Entrepreneur Center in Charleston, SC. The entities range from service-based to retail product-based items in food, high-tech, medical devices, and software. In the summer of 2016, he was chosen to present at Pecha Kucha Charleston, which is a group of presenters on a specific topic (similar to TED Talks).
For fun, Ryan has a private pilot and instrument license and flies an airplane for the love of just going up and enjoying the quiet air. Additionally, Ryan has played ice hockey all his life and is now getting ready for his children to begin playing. With two boys under six years old, the rest of his “free time” is spent chasing them around.