GRA Senior Advisors

GRA's Senior Advisors are experienced leaders in industry who provide valuable counsel to university research faculty and to startup companies in GRA's Venture Development program.


Heather Creran

Serving in CEO, president and COO roles, and with experience as a board director and advisor, Heather is a leader with extensive strategic and operational success driving growth in diverse enterprises, including startup, joint venture, privately-held and public companies.  

Heather currently serves as chief operating officer of OncoLens, which offers a technology platform to streamline the planning of cancer treatment. She is also president and principal at Health Acuity Consulting, which provides counsel and leadership to healthcare technology companies.

Heather has served in concurrent roles as president and board director for Eurofins Scientific’s US clinical diagnostics division — at both EGL Genetics, a joint venture between Eurofins and Emory University, internationally recognized in rare and inherited disease genetic testing, and NTD, in the pre-natal screening market. Prior to joining Eurofins, she was laboratory diagnostics practice leader at the Broadwell Group, chief operating officer at MicroBplex and senior advisor at Lena Biosciences. 

Before starting her consulting practice, Heather was president & CEO of CSI Laboratories, an independent, privately held national cancer diagnostics company based in Alpharetta, Ga.; and executive vice president and COO at Clarient, Inc., a NASDAQ-traded, personalized medicine company in Orange County, Ca.  

Heather serves on advisory boards and committees with industry, non-profit, and government organizations.  She received her B.A. with majors in economics and political science from Duke University.


Greg Dane

Greg Dane retired from the Georgia Research Alliance in 2015 and continues to advise GRA portfolio companies. Prior to joining GRA, he was director of innovation in the Wallace H. 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. 

Greg served for 10 years as president and CEO of three development-stage bioscience companies, and 15 years in senior management positions with Baxter Healthcare Corporation, including general manager of research and development in Europe. 

Greg is a director of MedShape, Inc. and GRA start-up company NovAb. He served as director of Somatocor, VitaGen, Inc., Neocrin Company and Sensys Medical, Inc. He also served on the boards of Georgia Biomedical Partnership (now Georgia Bio), the Life Sciences Industry Council in Orange County, CA, and numerous university-affiliated life science research and commercialization organizations. 

Greg holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Masters in Engineering from Cornell University.


Myk Garn

Myk (Mike) Garn is an educational innovator and strategist with 30+ years of experience developing and deploying new instructional operations models, primarily for college and state systems. At the University System of Georgia, Garn leads the development of competency-based education (CBE) programs. Previously, he served as VP for academic strategies for StraighterLine, an Internet startup based in Baltimore.

Garn has studied and driven academic innovation in numerous arenas, often at the intersection of technology and policy. At the Southern Regional Education Board, a compact of 16 southern states, he directed the Educational Technology Cooperative and developed the National Online Teacher of the Year program. He previously served as executive director of the Kentucky Virtual Campus, and also led eLearning for the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education.

Garn has served as principal investigator on a National Science Foundation (NSF) project exploring student-directed search models for the National STEM Digital Library. Throughout his career, he has conducted research and shaped policy in areas such as emerging trends, education affordability and disruptive innovation in education.


Bill Matthews

William A. Matthews retired from Heidrick & Struggles in 2017 after more than 20 years with the firm. He was a partner and member of the Healthcare/Life Sciences Practice and the Human Resources Officers Practice, and previously served as managing partner of the firm’s Atlanta and Miami offices.  

Bill’s industry expertise includes medical devices, diagnostics, distribution, IT and healthcare services. Prior to joining Heidrick & Struggles, he was a partner and director of the search firm Paul Ray Berndtson. He previously served as a contract consultant for Mitsubishi International Corporation, vice president of sales and marketing for a start-up offering environmental equipment and precious metals refiner, and national sales manager for a NYSE specialty chemical manufacturer.

Bill is active in the business community as a current and/or recent member of Georgia Bio, Friends of the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (Georgia Tech), the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors. 

He has also served on the executive committee and board of the Georgia Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and is a past president. 

Bill earned a B.S. degree in Commerce from the McIntire School at the University of Virginia.


Bill Midgette

Bill Midgette retired from Porex Corporation in 2016, after serving as president and CEO for 13 years, and following two successful leveraged buyouts. During his tenure, Porex made several successful M&A transactions, on both the buying and selling side, on its way to becoming the global leader in advanced porous polymer solutions.

Bill has served as managing director for subsidiary companies in Japan, China, Germany, U.K. and Malaysia as has held advisory board positions in industry associations in the U.S. and internationally.

Previously, Bill spent 18 years with C.R.Bard, Inc., where he held several senior executive positions including serving as president of Bard International, Inc., Bard Medical and Bard Japan Ltd. During his tenure, he led the investment, development and commercialization of market-changing products in the cardiovascular, endovascular and urology markets.

Over his career, Bill has executed on development and commercialization of new product technologies, in bioscience, medical and advanced materials markets, through licensing, strategic partnerships, joint ventures and acquisitions. He holds two patents on commercialized medical device technologies, with a third pending.

Bill now leads Fairburn Equity partners, advising early-stage technology companies, and he serves on the Board of GRA-backed Carbice Corporation. 

Bill earned his Bachelor of Environmental Studies Degree at the University of Waterloo.


Jayne Morgan, M.D.

Dr. Jayne Morgan is a cardiologist, entrepreneur and innovation leader with deep expertise in medical devices, startup companies, healthcare management and clinical research. Jayne currently serves as director of innovation for Piedmont Healthcare, where she leads the development of novel treatments and therapies across the system. She is also the clinical chair of Piedmont’s COVID-19 Task Force.

Piedmont hired Jayne in 2015 to expand cardiovascular research and introduce biotechnology into the research program. She had previously served as chief medical officer for the American Chemistry Council and as global clinical director of cardiometabolics for Solvay Pharmaceuticals. Since 2011, Jayne has also served as CEO of Forty Million Beats, which advises companies on improving product safety.

Jayne has brought her leadership to a number of companies and enterprises, and she previously served GRA as an industry fellow, providing counsel to university-launched startups. She earned her B.S. degree in biology and biochemistry from Spelman College and M.D. from Michigan State University.


Tom Saylor

Tom Saylor is an experienced executive with extensive capabilities building and managing entrepreneurial organizations. His experience includes fundraising, strategy development, in- and out-licensing and acquisitions in Asia, Europe and the United States.  

As CEO of six emerging biotech companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia, Tom led enterprises that covered drug development, pharmaceutical marketing, and technologies for drug delivery and formulation.

Tom has been actively involved in public policy as a member of the executive committee of the British North America Committee and vice chairman and a member of the board of EuropaBio, the European bioindustry association. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Georgia Tech College of Sciences, the Advisory Board of Georgia Tech Lorraine University, the Advisory Board of the Next in Education and Emory Brain Health Center Advisory Council. 

In the administration of President Jimmy Carter, Tom was appointed deputy head and chief operating officer of the Foreign Agricultural Service, where he led a number of international trade negotiations for the United States. He also served as a foreign trade advisor on the staff of U.S. Sen, Hubert Humphrey.  

Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in applied biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard University. He also undertook doctoral work in neurochemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich, Germany. 


Greg Vaughn, M.D.

Dr. Greg Vaughn is an accomplished executive leader with over 25 years of experience in management consulting, medical devices, consumer and sports products, healthcare information services and academic and private practices. Formerly an ophthalmic surgeon, Greg is currently a consultant in the healthcare practice of Spencer Stuart, focusing on the healthcare services and medical technology sectors with specific expertise in physician executives.

Before joining Spencer Stuart, Greg was CEO of the U.S. subsidiary of Bauerfeind, a medical device and sports products company based in Germany. There, he led the transformation of the U.S. business to a consumer-centric sales and marketing enterprise and launched a new sports products line.

Greg also spent nine years at Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology, services and solutions. He led two startup entities, including FDA clearances and the launch of two spinal products. Greg also served the vice president at NDCHealth (now RelayHealth of McKesson), where he led the company’s pharmacy services business unit. He also worked as an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company, where he focused on talent, organization and healthcare.

Prior to transitioning to management consulting, Greg practiced medicine in both academic and private clinic settings as a board-certified ophthalmologist and ophthalmic plastic & reconstructive surgeon.

Greg earned a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in history from Emory University and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Greg’s active civic engagement includes membership on the Emory University Board of Trustees, the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta Board of Directors and the Carter Center Board of Trustees.