Working with Us

The Wake Forest Innovations team has extensive experience in translational science, product development, commercialization, entrepreneurship, business development, contract law, licensing, capital formation, and incubating and building private and publicly traded companies.

We have adopted industry best-practices to ensure fair agreements with our partners as they seek both to license technologies and to access our unique scientific research assets and capabilities.

Innovation Leadership Team

Eric Tomlinson, DSc, PhD
Chief Innovation Officer, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
President, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter
Professor, Physiology & Pharmacology

Eric Tomlinson leads the Wake Forest Innovations enterprise that focuses on accelerating the creation and commercialization of innovative products, discoveries and services arising from the clinical and academic base at the Medical Center and Wake Forest University.

Tomlinson has a background as a scientific and business leader working both in early-stage and clinical stage biotechnology companies and within a global pharmaceutical company. He has built companies and teams from their inception and fundraising to their development of biological and small drug/device combination products and gene therapy products. He has transacted mergers of publicly traded companies and raised private and public equity corporate financings, in addition to broad-based product licensing and commercialization agreements with major pharmaceutical companies.

Jeff Brennan
Vice President, Technology Innovation & Commercialization

As Vice President, Technology Innovation & Commercialization, Jeff Brennan has direct responsibility for several core services including: Technology Innovation, Business Development, Market Analytics, Intellectual Property Management, Technology Licensing, New Company Formation and Incubation, and Contract Research & Development Services Sales.

Brennan joined Wake Forest Innovations in January 2015. He comes to Wake Forest Innovations after a career in industry with senior business development responsibility at several organizations including Sanofi, Inc., and most recently at Targacept, Inc. He has successfully developed and negotiated major product licensing and commercialization agreements with industry, established start-ups, and executed major research agreements between academia and industry, which made him the ideal candidate to lead the Center for Innovation and Commercialization that supports our open innovation engagement model with industry.

Christopher Jerome, B.Vet.Med., Ph.D.
Associate Vice President, Industry Research Collaboration

Dr. Jerome leads industry research collaboration for Wake Forest Innovations, including the newly formed Center for Industry Research Collaboration which includes Preclinical Translational Services and Alliance Management Services and the Center for Applied Learning.

Previously, Jerome held senior leadership roles at several contract research organizations (CROs), including as co-founder and CEO of SkeleTech, and most recently as Scientific Director at Numira. Jerome is a former Associate Professor of Comparative Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Jim Johnson, PhD
Director, Center for Applied Learning

James Johnson, PhD, associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest School of Medicine, is the executive director and founder of the Center for Applied Learning (CAL). He uses his passion for education to lead the Center, which provides unique, hands-on training and education for medical professionals and consults with industry on medical devices and procedures in order to improve patient care.

James Patterson
Director, Marketing & Communications

James Patterson leads all communications and marketing efforts for Wake Forest Innovations. He oversees branding and messaging, digital marketing, web properties, events promotion, media relations and materials creation.

In addition to his work at Wake Forest Innovations, Patterson has provided strategic communications counsel and digital and creative direction to organizations such as AARP Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Education and more.

Chad Nolan
Director, Operations

Chad Nolan oversees finance, accounting and operations management, including human resources, legal contracting and performance metrics management.

Previously, Nolan was Director of External Agencies and Affairs for Piedmont Triad Research Park, Manager of Wake Forest University Health Sciences Subsidiaries & External Agencies, and the principal Business Officer for the Center for Applied Learning.

Learn more about partnering with Wake Forest Innovations at +1.336.716.8508 or

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