Ryan Hili was born in Burlington, Ontario, Canada in 1983. He performed research in nitrene transfer chemistry under the supervision of Professor Andrei K. Yudin at the University of Toronto and graduated with an Honours B.Sc. in Biological Chemistry in 2005. Ryan later pursued graduate studies in the Yudin group at Toronto, focusing on the synthesis and application of a novel class of stable unprotected amino aldehydes. After earning his Ph.D. in 2010, Ryan joined the research group of Professor David. R. Liu at Harvard University as a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow. At Harvard he developed strategies to translate DNA into synthetic polymers ammenable to evolution. In 2013, Ryan became Assistant Professor of Chemistry at The University of Georgia focusing on the evolution of synthetic oligomers and polymers for applications in therapeutics, diagnostics and organic synthesis.