Inside WFU

Wake Forest news for faculty and staff

Medical Center News

Anthony Atala named 2016 Innovator of the Year

atala-350x175Dr. Anthony Atala, leader of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM), has been named 2016 Innovator of the Year by R&D Magazine. He also recently received a Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Award in life sciences for his efforts to construct living organs using 3-D printing technology.

In the Richard H. Dean Biomedical Research Building on the southern end of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem, N.C., Atala and his team of researchers are creating living human tissues and organs.

Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, home to Wake Forest University’s new academic programs in the biomedical sciences will literally and figuratively bring medical and liberal arts education together. Known as Wake Downtown, the new satellite campus opens next month in one of the nation’s fastest growing innovation parks.

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Wake Forest Baptist announces Sept. awards, recognitions

The Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has announced its awards and recognitions for September. Among those highlighted:

  • Emmanuel Opara, professor at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, has received a two-year appointment as graduate program director for the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences at the Winston-Salem campus. 
  • L. Gail Curtis, associate professor and vice chair of physician assistant (PA) studies, is the recipient of the 2013 PA of the Year award from the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA).

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Piedmont Triad Research Park is rebranded as Wake Forest Innovation Quarter

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center announced new business developments related to its commercialization enterprise, Wake Forest Innovations, as well as a new brand for Piedmont Triad Research Park.

After consultation with key stakeholders in and beyond the community and an analysis of park names worldwide, Piedmont Triad Research Park has been renamed “Wake Forest Innovation Quarter” (

Also, in a move designed to jump-start operations at the new commercialization enterprise, Wake Forest Innovations launched its public website,, as the primary way for industry and other business partners to engage with Wake Forest Innovations and its internal business units. The new Wake Forest Innovations website includes two key portals to encourage engagement and collaboration designed to commercialize Wake Forest’s many new licensable technologies and to market Wake Forest’s unique and broad-based scientific services.

Read more about the changes on the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center website »

Learn more about how to participate in clinical trials

Wake Forest Baptist Health is starting an internal campaign to inform faculty, staff and students of ways to register for clinical trials. As an employee of Wake Forest University, you can be involved in shaping the future of health in our region and beyond.

The Translational Science Institute (TSI) has developed Be Involved as a tool to access information about clinical trials at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Be Involved is an opportunity for individuals to learn more about current and upcoming clinical trials and request to participate if interested. Researchers are seeking healthy people as well as those with specific diseases and conditions.

Being a part of an internationally recognized medical center is an opportunity to participate in and contribute to furthering the research being conducted at Wake Forest. Clinical trials further the mission of WFBH by generating and translating knowledge to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. As an employee participating in these clinical studies, you are helping to further the mission of WFBH while receiving excellent care.

Choosing to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision. It is often helpful to talk to a physician, family members or friends about deciding to join a trial. After identifying some trial options within Be Involved, contact the study research staff listed in each study profile for additional information.

Please contact Rachel Woodside at the Translational Science Institute with any questions. She can be reached at 336.716.5076 or

Shaw, McDaniel and Schmitt receive honors

Dr. Edward G. Shaw, professor of radiation oncology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and professor of counseling at Wake Forest, has received an award from the Society for NeuroOncology recognizing him for his contributions to the field. Shaw is the inaugural recipient and was recognized for his initiation of a strategic-planning process, which led to the establishment of the SNO Foundation.

Janie McDaniel, the director of admissions at Wake Forest School of Medicine, is the 2012 recipient of the Physician Assistant Education Association Outstanding Achievement Award. The award recognizes an individual who has provided sustained, exceptional service or leadership to the association or who has contributed to the advancement of the physician assistant profession.

Jeff Schmitt has been named one of the Most Influential People in the Triad for 2013 by The Triad Business Journal. Schmitt is with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The award recognizes individuals who are leaders and play a crucial role in unifying and bringing advancement to the region.

Technology Briefing will feature WFU

The Technology Council of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce has announced 10 presenters for the 11th annual Technology Briefing, including four with Wake Forest associations.  They include:

  • Daniel Kim-Shapiro, professor of physics;
  • Bob Summers, chief executive officer of Camel City Solar in Winston-Salem, which is spin-off of the Wake Forest Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials;
  • A representative of Orthovative Technologies in Winston-Salem, which won the 13th annual Elevator Competition hosted by Wake Forest Schools of Business earlier this year and was founded by a Wake Forest MBA student and a member of the faculty at Wake Forest School of Medicine;
  • Paul Laurienti, director of the Laboratory for Complex Brain Works at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Read more from the Winston-Salem Journal »

Tomlinson named head of PTRP

Eric TomlinsonEric Tomlinson, DSc, PhD, a scientific and business leader whose career incorporates academia, product innovation and economic development, has been named President of Piedmont Triad Research Park (PTRP) and Chief Innovation Officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He will join the Medical Center July 2, 2012.

“Eric will focus on the commercialization of research and innovation, along with the business development of PTRP, which is the area’s top regional economic project priority and one of the largest urban life science research parks in the country,” said John D. McConnell, M.D., chief executive officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “His unique background in academic science, large pharmaceutical and small startup companies, product design and commercialization, and government policy made him the ideal candidate to build on our successes.”

Read more from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center »

Li named first Wells Fargo Faculty Scholar

Dr. King Chuen Peter Li, incoming chair of radiology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, has been named the first Wells Fargo Faculty Scholar. This is the inaugural award in a program to accelerate innovative research conducted at the Medical Center and at Wake Forest University.

Li, who will begin his tenure as head of radiology on July 3, is a renowned researcher, educator, inventor and clinical leader in molecular imaging and radiology. He currently is the M.D. Anderson Foundation Distinguished Chair of the Department of Radiology at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. Additionally, he is professor of radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College, an adjunct professor of bioengineering at Rice University and adjunct professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Houston.

During his distinguished academic career, Li was a tenured associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and was selected as Teacher of the Year at Stanford. Additionally, he was a tenured senior investigator and former chief of the Radiology and Imaging Sciences Program at the National Institutes of Health.

Read more from the School of Medicine »

School of Medicine center wins national award

Dr. Adele K. EvansThe Northwest Area Health Education Center at Wake Forest School of Medicine has been named the recipient of a 2012 Center of Excellence Award in the continuing education category by the National AHEC Organization. The local AHEC was recognized for implementing a multifaceted program to educate health care workers who treat children in emergency settings about the use of endotracheal tubes. The program was developed by Dr. Adele K. Evans, a pediatric otolaryngologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Perez named senior associate dean at School of Medicine

Wake Forest School of Medicine has named Anthony M. “Tony” Perez the new senior associate dean for administration and operations. In his new position, Perez is the principal business officer of the medical school, which is part of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Perez was an assistant vice chancellor for health sciences affairs at the University of California at San Diego.