Experts in Technology Development
Philip Brown, PhD
Philip Brown helps faculty members turn their ideas into functioning medical devices by developing and validating prototypes. His background in biomedical engineering and 3D printing gives him the skills and resources to design and produce quality prototypes quickly and efficiently. Self-described as “extremely curious,” he relishes the opportunity to dive deep into new projects or technologies—from stents and syringes to implants and surgical tools.
John Druga, MS, MBA
Licensing Director, Technology Commercialization
John Druga works with both inventors and industry to usher new medical technologies to the marketplace by matching technologies with the best industry fit. With a background in product development, biomedical engineering and finance, Druga brings a wealth of experience to the commercialization of medical technologies. His natural curiosity drives his understanding of the marketplace and his motivation for helping advance ideas from inventions to innovations.
Mark Furth, PhD
Senior Scientific Liaison
Mark Furth facilitates the translation of basic discoveries from Wake Forest Baptist researchers into commercial products. He helps bridge the gap between researchers and industry by identifying commercial opportunities within the medical center’s strategic priorities, pulling from his experience in academic research at Wake Forest, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute, as well as nearly 20 years in the biopharmaceutical industry. Throughout his career, translational medicine has been his passion—even before the term “translation” was common vernacular.
Stefan Grant, MD, JD, MBA
Director, Intellectual Property Strategy and Management
Grant helps Wake Forest Baptist faculty develop robust intellectual property, providing scientific, medical, legal and business advice about technologies and their commercialization prospects. His varied background in medicine, law and business—including time as the general counsel of a pharmaceutical company and a practicing intellectual property attorney—provides him with a unique perspective on technology development and commercialization. Grant has a willingness to explore alternative approaches to problems and believes that honest disagreement can help provide better solutions, an outlook he brings to the table when protecting and developing technologies.
Sarah Haigh Molina, PhD, MBA
Associate Director of Innovation
Sarah Haigh Molina identifies and evaluates promising medical technologies from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center—including therapeutics, diagnostics and IT products—and assists inventors in developing and protecting their intellectual property on the way to licensing their inventions. She straddles the line between academia and industry, knowing the travails and triumphs of both start-ups and academic research. With experience in basic and translational science, biology, drug discovery, business management and technology development, Sarah’s versatile problem-solving skills help her find unique and creative ways to advance medical technologies from Wake Forest Baptist.
Jason Kralic, PhD
Associate Vice President of Technology Innovation
Jason Kralic connects inventors with the resources and expertise of Wake Forest Innovations to bring their ideas for new medical technologies to life. He brings a wealth of experience in business development—from both major corporations and innovative start-ups in the therapeutics industry—and an appreciation for research from his training as a neuroscientist. A self-described “people-person,” he is passionate about engaging with the faculty and staff of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Deepika Poranki, PhD
Deepika Poranki works hands-on with inventors, helping them evaluate their technologies and guiding individual projects—primarily therapeutics—through the stages of development. She understands both sides of commercializing medical technologies through developing a keratin biomaterial as a preclinical researcher and from working in business development for a biopharma start-up. Her love of “talking science” makes her excited about working with inventors and helping them blaze a trail for their inventions.
Director of Technology Innovation
Kenneth Russell helps inventors turn their ideas and inventions into licensable medical devices. After more than 25 years in the medical devices industry, his expertise aids academic inventors in creating quality devices that are valuable to industry partners by using the resources of Wake Forest Innovations to design, test and develop commercially-ready medical devices. The guiding principle of his work is improving patient care by connecting the medical device industry to academic inventors.
Dean Stell, MBA
Associate Director, Technology Licensing / Director, Licensing and Alliance Management
Dean Stell leads out-licensing efforts for a portion of the Center’s proprietary technologies and runs the Center’s alliance management function. He has spent the bulk of his career contributing to the commercialization of academic-stage technologies and that makes him successful in a broad range of areas.