Leadership Team

Diversigen is a microbiome sequencing and analysis provider run by microbiome scientists.Our mission is to accelerate the entire microbiome industry toward breakthrough discoveries – paving the way for innovation. 

Driven. Passionate. Innovative.

Lisa Rich-Milan

General Manager, Vice President, Diversigen

Lisa has over 30 years of healthcare experience with 8+ years as a CEO/VP/GM in pharmaceuticals, biotech, diagnostics and generics/biosimilars industries. Lisa joined Diversigen in early 2022 as the Vice President and General Manager and will lead innovation for clinical and drug research focused on microbiomes and multiomics. In this role, Lisa owns and leads the responsibilities for delivering the P & L for revenue, driving company strategy and ensuring achievement of growth targets, operation efficiencies, and working with cross functional departments to help develop new market value propositions and branding through new alternative vertical market channels.

Her past roles include Chief Executive Officer of Caligor Coghlan Pharma Services (CCPS) where she held a seat on the Caligor Coghlan Pharma Services Board of Directors. She was responsible for leading the growth of Caligor Coghlan’s Pharma Services Clinical Trial Services, Packaging and Labeling, and Global Access Program Services internationally.

Prior to assuming the role of CEO with Caligor Coghlan, Rich-Milan served as the CEO of CompuNet Clinical Laboratories located here in Dayton, Ohio, a Quest Diagnostic Joint Venture for laboratory services leading over 635 employees. with responsibilities for driving company revenue and EBITDA, strategy and ensuring achievement of growth targets, operation efficiencies, and new market branding through new alternative sales channels. She also led the commercial teams for Quest Diagnostics Clinical Informatics nationally.

Prior to Quest Diagnostics, Lisa held sales and marketing executive leadership roles where she led commercial teams and alliance partnerships, sales, marketing, operations, and payer teams across the U.S. Other organizations were Bristol-Myers Squibb, UCB, Synthon Pharmaceuticals, and Roche Diagnostics.

Her community based Board roles and Committee Chairs included organizations such as the University of Dayton Business Advisory Board, American Heart Association where she was the Chair of Women Go Red, American Cancer Society, WOCIP, Dayton Chamber of Commerce, Clothes That Work, GDAHA, a 2016 graduate of Leadership Dayton, and a current member of the graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Lisa Rich-Milan is a 1985 graduate from the University of Dayton. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting/Finance.

Dan Knights

Dan Knights, PhD

Senior Scientific Advisor, Diversigen (Former CSO and Founder CoreBiome)

Dr. Dan Knights is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Biotechnology Institute at the University of Minnesota. Dan received his PhD from the University of Colorado in Computer Science, and went on to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School. In his multidisciplinary research lab, his team applies machine learning techniques to study gut microbes and disease, building bioinformatics tools for microbiome-targeted drug discovery and analysis of diet-microbiome interactions. Dan is co-author on over 100 peer-reviewed articles on the microbiome and machine learning Throughout his career, Dan has developed computational methods that researchers use to study the human microbiome. These methods are used in his lab to discover new ways the microbiome is linked to human health, including investigations in obesity, hospital-acquired infections, inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. Dan has also been an active participant in community-based work, where has discovered significant changes that occur in the human gut microbiome of immigrants as they experience ‘Westernization’ changes towards microbiomes linked to obesity. In 2017 Dan, along with Drs. Kenny Beckman and Daryl Gohl from the University of Minnesota Genomics Center founded CoreBiome, now Diversigen, a microbiome analysis company bringing together cutting-edge machine learning and genomics. Dan is now co-leading Diversigen with Joy Nassif, where together they are accelerating the translation of the microbiome in healthcare, agriculture, and industrial monitoring with large-scale data generation and big data analysis using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Daryl Gohl

Daryl Gohl, PhD

Senior Scientific Advisor, Diversigen (Former CSO and Founder CoreBiome)

Daryl Gohl, Ph.D., is head of the University of Minnesota Genomics Center’s Innovation Lab and is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell biology, and Development at the University of Minnesota. After obtaining a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, he went onto complete postdoctoral studies at Stanford University in the Department of Neurobiology, where he began his work on next-generation sequencing methods. Daryl’s work has improved the accuracy and resolution of next-generation sequencing, while expanding scope and scale of measurements. His years of research have contributed to the development of amplicon-based microbiome profiling methods and a novel shallow shotgun sequencing approach. These improvements in next-generation sequencing enable dense sampling and increased power, resolution, and through-put in large-scale microbiome studies. In 2017 Daryl, along with Drs. Kenny Beckman and Dan Knights from the University of Minnesota Genomics Center founded CoreBiome, now Diversigen, a microbiome analysis company bringing together cutting-edge machine learning and genomics.

Kenny Beckman

Kenny Beckman, PhD

Senior Scientific Advisor, Diversigen (Former CSO and Founder CoreBiome)

Kenneth Beckman, Ph.D. is the Director of the University of Minnesota Genomics Center (UMGC), a 40-person core facility which provides genomic technology and consulting, carries out technology innovation, and delivers clinical (CLIA) next-generation sequencing in collaboration with Fairview Health System / MHeath. Dr. Beckman earned his B.A. from Cornell University, majoring in Biology. After his undergraduate work, he won a Keasbey Scholarship to pursue a PhD at the University of Cambridge (UK), from which he graduated with a degree in Molecular Plant Pathology. Moving to the University of California, Berkeley, Beckman was a postdoc, and then staff scientist, in the laboratory of Bruce Ames, where he worked on the biochemistry of DNA damage, and its role in aging and mitochondrial function. In the late 1990s, he left academia to work in a number of Bay Area start-up companies and was co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Gorilla Genomics, Inc. from 1999-2003. Returning to the academic track in 2003, Beckman was Principal Investigator and founding Director of the Functional Genomics Core at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) in Oakland, CA, before coming to the University of Minnesota in 2009 to take on the directorship of the Genomics Center. Between 2009 and the present, Beckman modernized and grew the UMGC from a 10-person services unit with an annual budget of around $2M to a 40-person unit with a $12M annual budget, an active research program. This re-structuring included the addition of cutting-edge next-generation sequencing instrumentation and services including microbiome profiling for academic researchers. In 2017 Kenny, along with Drs. Daryl Gohl and Dan Knights founded CoreBiome, now Diversigen, a microbiome analysis company bringing together cutting-edge machine learning and genomics. Kenny is now COO of Diversigen.

Emily Hollister

Emily Hollister, PHD

Director, R&D, Computational Biology

Dr. Emily Hollister is a microbial ecologist with training in bioinformatics and statistics. Dr. Hollister holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biological and Chemical Sciences from Wells College and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences from Texas A&M University. She also completed her postdoctoral training in Molecular Microbial Ecology in the Department of Soil & Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University. Her microbiome experience ranges from soils and biofuel production systems to the human microbiome, built environment, and pre-clinical models of disease.

Tonya Ward

Tonya Ward, PHD


Tonya Ward is an accomplished microbiome scientist with expertise in molecular biology, next generation sequencing, microbiome informatics and data visualization. Dr. Ward joined CoreBiome, now Diversigen, in 2018 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the academic lab of Dr. Knights at the University of Minnesota. Her postdoctoral work included creating tools for microbiome analysis, leading local clinical microbiome research studies and collaborating on numerous multi-center microbiome initiatives. Ward received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University Ottawa where she studied the human milk metagenome and immune proteins in human milk.

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Diversigen provides services and generates data for research purposes only.  Not all services are available in all regions.