C. Michael Cassidy, President and CEO
Mr. Cassidy shapes and guides the strategic direction of the Georgia Research Alliance, a private, non-profit organization that brings together the state’s academic, industry and government leaders to grow Georgia’s economy through scientific discovery. Key programs of the Alliance include recruitment of top scientific talent, development of centers of research excellence, and commercialization of university research. He also serves as liaison to other local, regional and national organizations with an economic development mission and helps to promote Georgia as a leader in science and technology worldwide.
Before joining the Alliance in 1993, Mr. Cassidy managed the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia's technology incubator. Prior to that he worked for the IBM Corporation where he held various staff and management assignments. Mr. Cassidy holds a Master’s degree in Technology and Science Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a BBA degree in Marketing from Georgia State University.
Mr. Cassidy serves on the Board of Directors of the State Science and Technology Institute, Health Care Ethics Consortium of Georgia, Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures, the Global Center for Medical Innovation, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the Technology Association of Georgia. He represents the State of Georgia on the Southern Technology Council serving as co-Chair and consults with several states on technology-based economic development strategies. He is active with the U.S. Council on Competitiveness and participated in the development of their National Innovation Initiative. He is on the Board of Governors of the Lake Lanier Sailing Club and is a member of the Commerce Club of Atlanta.
Susan G. Shows, Senior Vice President
Ms. Shows manages GRA's investment portfolio, which includes the award-winning Eminent Scholars Program and more than $600 million of strategic research infrastructure at Georgia's six leading research universities. She led the launch and development of the GRA VentureLab program in 2002, and managed its growth until 2008.
Prior to joining the Alliance in 2001, Ms. Shows worked at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she played a leading role in the development and growth of several university-industry initiatives in partnership with the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and key industry organizations in Georgia. She also served as general manager of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), a technology incubator based at Georgia Tech. Before moving to Georgia in 1987, she worked for Square D Company, and was part of the company's start-up team for a major manufacturing facility in North Carolina. Ms. Shows serves as an advisor to a number of industry and economic development organizations, including serving on the board of SEBIO. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Xavier University and a BS in Industrial Management from the University of Tennessee.
H. Lee Herron, DVM, Vice President of Commercialization
Just prior to joining the Georgia Research Alliance, Dr. Herron was General Manager, Biosciences, for the Advanced Technology Development Center. In this capacity, Dr. Herron advised start-up and early stage companies regarding the growth and development of their organizations. Through the GRA VentureLab program at Georgia Tech, he worked with faculty at Georgia Tech to evaluate commercial opportunities and to pursue new venture formation or licensing opportunities. He also served as CEO EmTech Bio, a collaborative program of Georgia Tech and Emory.
Before joining ATDC, Dr. Herron worked with BRAHMS AG, a German manufacturer of in-vitro diagnostic products, to establish its North American operations. Earlier, he was the founder, President and CEO of SeaLite Sciences, Inc., a company focused on the development and commercialization of diagnostic products and molecular biology reagents. Dr. Herron was also a founding team member of three other bioscience companies, Biopool International, Inc., CytRx Corporation and Theragenics Corporation. He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Georgia.
Greg Dane, Industry Fellow, Life Sciences
Mr. Dane is an Industry Fellow with the Georgia Research Alliance, with the responsibility for identifying and supporting high-impact translational research programs across Georgia’s prominent life science research institutions.Previously, he was Director of Innovation in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University where he was instrumental in commercializing numerous university-based medical technologies through licensing and startup creation. Prior to this role, Mr. Dane served for ten years as President and Chief Executive Officer of three development-stage bioscience companies, and fifteen years in various senior management positions with Baxter Healthcare Corporation, including General Manager of Research and Development in Europe. He has served on numerous Boards of Directors, and has been an advisor in Atlanta to the Center for Innovative Cardiovascular Technologies, the Pediatric Cardiovascular Consortium, the Translational Research Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Science, and the Global Center for Medical Innovation.
Ashley Foster, Project Manager, VentureLab
Ms. Foster coordinates the day-to-day project management operations for GRA’s VentureLab program including management of proposals, fiscal records and databases, and coordination of VentureLab events and correspondence with the universities. She also assists in research and due diligence for investment opportunities of the GRA Venture Fund. Prior to joining the GRA, Ms. Foster worked at an Atlanta real estate law firm providing legal support in the firm’s litigation department. She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2008 from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.
Dr. Moore oversees GRA’s research initiatives, focusing on program evaluation and outcomes
reporting. Prior to joining the GRA, Dr. Moore was the Director of Research Programs for the Georgia Cancer Coalition, where she oversaw the operation and evaluation of the flagship Distinguished Cancer Clinicians and Scientists program, the statewide tissue and tumor bank initiative, and the state’s Cancer Research Awards seed grant program.
Dr. Moore holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and a B.S. in biology from Furman University. She was an American Cancer Society-funded postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she researched molecular mechanisms of acute leukemia development. In addition to her background as a research scientist, Dr. Moore holds a certificate in research administration from Georgia State University. Dr. Moore is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Biology at Georgia State University.
Ms. Todd is responsible for the administrative management of the Georgia Research Alliance including accounting and personnel. She also handles special projects and serves as Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees. Ms. Todd has been with the Georgia Research Alliance since its founding in 1990. Prior to that she was with the Woodruff Health Sciences Center at Emory University.
Ms. Vogt has more than 25 years' experience in nonprofit management. In her current role as Director, Community Engagement, she is responsible for planning and managing GRA's efforts to engage stakeholders in its activities. From 1997 – 2011, she managed many of GRA’s life sciences initiatives. Prior to that, she managed the administration and operations of the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology at Georgia Tech. She began her career in fundraising for the arts, most notably with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Vogt earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Emory University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Georgia State University.