Ryan Lanier, Ph.D.

Director, Clinical Development and Abuse Liability


Ryan Lanier has 20 years’ experience conducting preclinical and clinical research supporting the development of a variety of CNS-active drugs, including over a decade working in the pharmaceutical, cannabinoid, and dietary supplement industries. At PinneyAssociates, Ryan supports clients with:

  • Assessment of abuse potential, including interpretation of nonclinical and clinical abuse potential studies, and assessing potential abuse-related events in clinical trials and postmarketing
  • Regulatory meeting interactions (including FDA type A, B and C meetings, and Advisory Committee meetings) from preparation to direct participation
  • Strategic input into clinical development plans, clinical trial design, and the assessment of market opportunities, with particular expertise in analgesic drugs
  • Scientific and regulatory strategies for the development and marketing of dietary supplements and cannabinoid-based products


Ryan began his career in the pharmaceutical industry as a clinical research scientist at Javelin Pharmaceuticals, where he assisted in the development of reformulated analgesic drug products intended to treat acute pain syndromes, including novel intranasal formulations of ketamine and morphine.

He then joined Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he oversaw the development of CNS-active dietary supplements and modified risk non-combustible tobacco products.
Ryan went on to lead the consulting team at Analgesic Solutions, Inc., providing strategic scientific and regulatory counsel to companies developing new analgesic therapies. He was the scientific lead for the validation and implementation of MADDERS®, a novel standardized system for prospectively identifying and assessing potentially abuse-related adverse events in clinical trials of CNS-active drugs to better estimate a drug’s true abuse potential.
Just prior to joining PinneyAssociates, Ryan worked on the early clinical development (phase 1 through 2a) of cannabinoid-based medicines and novel cannabinoid formulations for treating pain and other indications. He also led the assessment of market opportunities and created development plans for new products which could address unmet medical needs, including orphan indications. He counseled AusCann and worked as Associate Director, Pain and Abuse Liability for Spectrum Therapeutics (a Canopy Growth Corporation Company).

Ryan has authored or co-authored more than 30 papers and book chapters, and has presented his research findings at a wide variety of prestigious scientific meetings.

Education and Training

  • Completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit
  • Earned a doctorate in biological psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Earned dual bachelor’s degrees with distinction in biology and psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill