Innovations Leadership

Meet Our Team Leaders

The leadership team at Wake Forest Innovations is comprised of executives from our two Centers—the Center for Technology Innovation & Commercialization and the Center for 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.
Eric Tomlinson

Eric Tomlinson, DSc, PhD

Chief Innovation Officer

Eric Tomlinson, DSc, PhD, leads the Wake Forest Innovations enterprise. His focus as Chief Innovation Officer is to improve health through the creation, acceleration and commercialization of innovative products, discoveries and specialized preclinical and clinical services arising from the clinical and academic bases at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Wake Forest University. In his role as president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, a rapidly growing innovation district in downtown Winston-Salem, NC, Tomlinson is leading the development of a new hub for science and business innovation in biomedical science, information technology, digital media, clinical services and advanced materials.

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 inception through development in 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. He is also a professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Chris Jerome

Chris Jerome, BVetMed, PhD

Associate Vice President

Center for Industry Research Collaboration

Chris Jerome, BVetMed, PhD, leads the Center for Industry Research Collaboration at Wake Forest Innovations, including Alliance Management, Preclinical Translational Services and Operational Medicine. His focus is to improve health by expediting industry’s access to specialized clinical and research capabilities of Wake Forest Baptist faculty and staff. His teams provide advanced surgical, technical and project management support that enables execution of industry-funded projects led by faculty.

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.

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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