Michael joined the Perlan Project in the fall of 2009 after reading an article in Soaring which called for volunteers to participate. His contributions to the project have included assisting in the design and selection of the camera systems, the scientific payload bay, fundraising and grant writing. Michael is an active member of the Piedmont Soaring Society, and he has served as the Vice President and President of the club. In addition to flying gliders, Michael enjoys flying taildraggers and other general aviation aircraft.
Michael’s day job is executive director of commercialization and licensing for Wake Forest Innovations, the innovation enterprise of Wake Forest University. Michael joined Wake Forest in 2003 and has served as the director of commercialization activities since 2004. Prior to Wake Forest, Michael spent four years at North Carolina State University ultimately serving as the interim associate vice chancellor and director of their technology transfer programs.
In addition to his administrative duties Michael, is a research assistant professor of Chemistry at Wake Forest University. He serves on the board of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and is the chairman of the board of the Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology. He is also on the board of several university startups and is also active in the Association of University Technology Managers. Prior to his career in commercialization and licensing, Michael was a postdoctoral fellow at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where his research focused on molecular immunology and structural biology. Michael has a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin.