Innovations Leadership

Meet Our Team Leaders

The leadership team at Wake Forest Innovations is comprised of executives with expertise in technology innovation and commercialization, and industry research collaboration—and the departments of operations and marketing & communications.

Leading Innovation

Our leadership team has extensive experience in translational science, product development, commercialization, entrepreneurship, business development, licensing, capital formation, marketing & communications, and incubating and building private and publicly traded companies. We believe in open and collaborative innovation and encourage you to reach out to our executive team.
Greg Burke

Greg Burke, MD, MS

Chief Science Officer

Greg Burke, MD, MS, leads Wake Forest Innovations in its mission to improve health through collaborative innovation between industry and the faculty and staff of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. A part of Wake Forest Baptist since 1990, he has helped advance scientific discovery through numerous roles. For 18 years, Burke directed the division of Public Health Sciences, a multidisciplinary research group that identifies ways to reduce chronic disease in the community, helping to build the division into one of the largest research groups in the Medical Center. Now he provides guidance for the promotion of innovation and research across the whole Medical Center in his current roles of chief science officer and senior associate dean for research.

In addition to his roles in institutional leadership, Burke is also nationally recognized as a leader in population research on cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. His research focuses on how to best prevent the onset of chronic disease in order to increase lifespan and improve quality of life. He has played a leadership role in several national organizations, including the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the American Heart Association.

Chris Jerome

Chris Jerome, BVetMed, PhD

Associate Vice President

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Chris Jerome, BVetMed, PhD, leads the Innovations group at Wake Forest Innovations, responsible for research collaborations, technology development and commercialization, and Operational Medicine, our combat medicine training team. His focus is to facilitate technology development and deployment through nurturing entrepreneurial activity and collaborative research. His teams strive to provide excellent customer service to our faculty and to our external clients.

Previously, Jerome held senior leadership roles at several contract research organizations (CROs), serving 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.

Julie Watson

Julie Watson, JD

Chief Intellectual Property Officer and Legal Counsel

Julie Watson, JD, is chief intellectual property officer and legal counsel for the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, where she leads the development of intellectual property portfolios for emerging regenerative medicine technologies, negotiates commercialization transactions and facilitates industry collaborations.

Watson, a longtime leader in non-profit intellectual property, built and managed intellectual property programs at Indiana University, University of Iowa and Wake Forest University. She also holds the position of special counsel at Marshall, Gerstein & Borun, LLP, where she concentrates on counseling related to intellectual property transactions with a particular emphasis in technology start-ups and university technology transfer.

James Patterson

James Patterson

Director of Marketing & Communications

James Patterson leads all marketing and communications efforts for Wake Forest Innovations and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, including content marketing, communications strategy, creative direction and media relations. His focus is to improve health by connecting industry partners with the technologies, services and expertise available through Wake Forest Innovations.

Patterson has led integrated marketing and communications efforts for organizations such as AARP Foundation, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Education and various regional hospitals.

Chad Nolan

Chad Nolan

Director of Operations

Chad Nolan leads finance, accounting and operations management for Wake Forest Innovations and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, including human resources, legal contracting and performance metrics management. His focus is to improve health by providing operational support to the Centers of Wake Forest Innovations.

Previously, Nolan served as 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.

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