The Regenerative Medicine Hub continues to grow and attract top talent with the addition of Ron Hann, PhD, a former senior level official with the Department of Defense. As Director for Technology Integration, he will be working with the RegenMed Development Organization (ReMDO), one of the driving forces behind the RegenMed Hub and its RegeneratOR programs, as well as its collaborative research partner, the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM). Hann’s areas of focus includes national and government business development.
Formerly, Hann was a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES), in the Department of Defense (DoD), serving as the Acting Director, Research and Development Directorate for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), located on Fort Belvoir, VA. In that role, he supported DTRA’s mission to enable the DoD and U.S. Government to prepare for and combat weapons of mass destruction and emerging threats and to ensure nuclear deterrence.
From 2014-2020, he served as Director of the Chemical and Biological Technologies Department, which addressed the threats posed by chemical and biological weapons. He also served as Director for the Joint Science and Technology Office, a component of the Chemical and Biological Defense Program, which was established by Congress in 2003 and tasked to coordinate, integrate, execute, and transition DoD chemical and biological science and technology medical and nonmedical programs.
“WFIRM and its collaborating research partner, ReMDO, have a long history of DoD research funded programs to develop regenerative medicine therapies for wounded warriors,” said WFIRM Director Anthony Atala, MD. “The addition of Hann and his wealth of experience in military leadership positions and commercial product translation is invaluable.”
Gary Green, EdD, Chief Operating Officer for ReMDO, said Hann would play a valuable role in the mission of the RegenMed Hub -- to bring together resources and partnerships. “Dr. Hann will be instrumental in helping us continue to build and expand the regenerative medicine ecosystem.”
The RegenMed Hub is the one of the fastest growing intersections of biotechnology innovation and business in the nation and is centered in and around the Innovation Quarter district in Winston-Salem, NC, which is focused on research, biomedical science education, and business.
For Hann, moving on from the DoD, but remaining involved in research efforts through WFIRM and the RegenMed Development Organization (ReMDO), was a good fit. “The opportunity to be a part of these organizations and help support the advancement of regenerative medicine technologies is exciting,” he said.- “As a combat veteran, it is important to me that our warfighters get the best healthcare possible, especially when they are wounded in action. I like to tell my friends there is still a lot of camouflage covering my heart. Regenerative medicine has been at the forefront of improving the quality of life of our wounded veterans for decades and I see a spectacular future ahead in this scientific discipline.”
Hann retired from the U.S. Army Chemical Corps in 2014, following nearly 27 years of active-duty service. Assignments included command and staff positions at all levels within the Army. Academically, Hann served two tours as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Researcher at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. While there, he professionally developed the Army’s next generation of future leaders. He is a decorated combat veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served in the NATO peacekeeping mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of Operation Joint Forge.
Hann holds bachelors and master’s degrees in chemistry from the College of William and Mary and a doctorate in organic synthesis from the University of Virginia.
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About the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine: The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is recognized as an international leader in translating scientific discovery into clinical therapies, with many world firsts, including the development and implantation of the first engineered organ in a patient. Over 400 people at the institute, the largest in the world, work on more than 40 different tissues and organs. A number of the basic principles of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine were first developed at the institute. WFIRM researchers have successfully engineered replacement tissues and organs in all four categories – flat structures, tubular tissues, hollow organs and solid organs – and 16 different applications of cell/tissue therapy technologies, such as skin, urethras, cartilage, bladders, muscle, kidney, and vaginal organs, have been successfully used in human patients. The institute, which is part of Wake Forest School of Medicine, is located in the Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem, NC, and is driven by the urgent needs of patients. The institute is making a global difference in regenerative medicine through collaborations with over 400 entities and institutions worldwide, through its government, academic and industry partnerships, its start-up entities, and through major initiatives in breakthrough technologies, such as tissue engineering, cell therapies, diagnostics, drug discovery, biomanufacturing, nanotechnology, gene editing and 3D printing.