Tomlinson to Step Down from Roles with Wake Forest Innovations and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter

February 13, 2018

Eric Tomlinson D.Sc., Ph.D., Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s chief innovation officer and president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, plans to step down from his leadership roles effective March 1, 2018.

Tomlinson joined Wake Forest Baptist in June 2012 and brought extensive experience in product development and commercialization, licensing and capital formation to the new Innovations brand. His energy and vision helped create a vibrant, “work, live, learn, play” atmosphere in the Innovation Quarter.

During his tenure, Tomlinson led the transformation of the former tobacco district into a nationally recognized hub for research, business and education which has seen the number of workers quadruple to more than 3,600; a ten-fold increase in the number of companies to over 150; the annual arrival of several thousand students and workforce trainees; the doubling of workspace to 2 million square feet and, in 2017, the participation of over 35,000 members of the public in more than 230 community events around Bailey Park and Wake Forest Biotech Place.

During his time as Chief Innovation Officer, more than 400 patents have been issued to faculty and staff, enabling Wake Forest Baptist to complete more than 50 technology license and option agreements with industry and to help create 19 start-up companies. Notable achievements include the creation of the Wake Forest Baptist’s Technology Development Program (the $15 million Catalyst Fund) that is helping to finance the development of several of our technologies. Wake Forest Innovations has also been responsible for leveraging our specialized preclinical and clinical research capabilities into approximately 150 preclinical and clinical research contracts with industry.

Over the next few months, Tomlinson will work with leaders within Wake Forest School of Medicine   ̶   Terry Hales, M.B.A., senior vice president, academic administration and operations, and executive vice dean, Wake Forest School of Medicine, and Greg Burke, M.D., senior associate dean for research  ̶  to ensure a smooth transition for Wake Forest Innovations and the Innovation Quarter.

Wake Forest Baptist CEO and Dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine, Julie Freischlag, M.D. said, “I want to thank and congratulate Eric for all he and his team have accomplished over the past six years. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.” 

Media Relations Contacts

Paula Faria:,336-716-1279
Joe McCloskey:,336-716-1273