Biodesign Directory Profile


Contact Information

(480) 727-7793

Lee Cheatham

Deputy Director

The Biodesign Institute, Office of the Director

General Manager

The Biodesign Institute, Commercial Translation


Lee Cheatham is the deputy director of the Biodesign Institute. In addition he serves as the general manager of the Biodesign Commercial Translation a initiative focused on dramatically streamlining and improving the commercial translation of scientific innovations and discoveries generated by the institute.

In his role as deputy director, Cheatham oversees all day-to-day aspects of the Institute’s strategy, business growth and administrative functions. In his role as general manager of the Biodesign Commercial Translation, he will be responsible for program development and oversight of all operations.

His professional career spans more than three decades. From 1998-2009, Cheatham served as executive director of the highly successful Washington Technology Center (WTC). WTC is a leading technology-based economic development organization. It supports and performs research that leads to commercialized innovation. Under Cheatham’s leadership, WTC expanded access to capital for Washington's small growing companies through the creation of the WTC Angel Network and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) assistance program. WTC focused on connecting companies to industry resources with initiatives such as the annual "Washington's Innovation Summit" and WTC's federally funded nanotechnology research program.

Prior to his position at WTC, Cheatham served in diverse roles that include: founding a startup company providing software, technology, training and consulting to the real estate sector; serving as vice president of product engineering for the largest library technology company; leading a large public/private consortium to renew the US textile industry; and, working in a variety of research, engineering and management roles at one of Department of Energy’s multiprogram national laboratories. 

Cheatham has been a frequent speaker on technology, policy and economic development issues. He received his PhD in electrical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1984.