The Hub


Leadership of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter is drawn from the best and brightest of biomedical, business innovation and real estate development in North Carolina.

Eric Tomlinson, DSc, PhD
President, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter
Chief Innovation Officer, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Eric Tomlinson, DSc, PhD, became President of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and Chief Innovation Officer for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in July 2012. His focus is to accelerate the creation and commercialization of innovative products, discoveries, and services arising from the clinical and academic base at the Medical Center and Wake Forest University, and on developing a new hub for science and business innovation in biomedical and materials technology and information science centered on the Innovation Quarter. Dr. Tomlinson is a scientific and business leader who has worked both in early-stage and clinical-stage biotechnology companies and within a global pharmaceutical company. He has built companies and teams from their inception to their development of 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.

Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FRCS, Ed
Chief Executive Officer, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Interim Dean, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FRCS, Ed, joined Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in April 2017 as Chief Executive Officer. Consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50 medical centers, Wake Forest Baptist includes Wake Forest Baptist Health, a growing, multi-hospital health system and physician network, the state-of-the-art and highly competitive Wake Forest School of Medicine, and Wake Forest Innovations, its technology transfer, commercialization enterprise. As CEO, she has the overall responsibility for the Medical Center’s clinical, academic and innovation enterprises and its annual operating budget of $2.5B. Previously, Freischlag was Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis. Freischlag has helped to drive change in academic medicine with a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion. For more than 15 years, she has led education and training programs at top medical schools in her role as professor and chair of surgery and vascular surgery departments. Freischlag also has more than 30 years of experience leading patient-care services as chief of surgery or vascular surgery at nationally ranked hospitals.

Graydon Pleasants
Real Estate Development, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Mr. Pleasants leads site development and infrastructure for the Innovation Quarter. He was the co-founder of Meridian Realty Group in 1986, and by 1990 Meridian was the top commercial brokerage firm in Winston-Salem. After divesting his interest in Meridian, he formed and managed Forsyth Partners Brokerage, which became Carter of the Carolinas, a partnership with Carter of Atlanta. This company became the first full-service commercial real estate provider in the area with offices in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte. Mr. Pleasants also later helped form Magnolia Partners, developer for One West Fourth Street, a 430,000-square-foot, Class A office building in downtown Winston-Salem. He now owns Pleasants Properties and also serves in various community leadership positions and with numerous economic development professional organizations in Winston-Salem.