Mark Williams '86, Ph.D., joined the campus community on August 1 as Davidson's first Entrepreneur in Residence for the 2013-14 academic year. Williams will serve as an adviser on the Entrepreneurship Initiative, develop and implement the Davidson College Venture Fund, and support the development of strategic health and entrepreneurial partners. A respected scholar and entrepreneur working at the intersection of technology, education and health, Williams will bring new perspectives and insight to many emerging initiatives at Davidson.
Williams' passion for creating pedagogically sound, elegantly designed digital learning experiences surfaced early in his academic career and eventually led him to start Pyramis Studios, a biomedical media communications group, where he served as president and creative director. While at Pyramis, he authored and led the development of the Sylvius project, a popular suite of software applications for teaching the structure of the human brain to medical and graduate students. Williams also spearheaded the development of award-winning web design and animation for major universities and pharmaceutical companies.
In February 2006, Williams founded Modality, Inc. to design and implement mobile educational technology solutions to problems he witnessed firsthand as a neuroanatomy graduate student and later as a medical educator. Beginning with the launch of the Apple App Store in July 2008, Modality created more than 150 mobile applications spanning K-12 and higher education, health sciences, and consumer reference. Sixty five of these applications were mobile health training and reference applications, based on premium content licensed from leading global medical publishers and subject matter experts. In November 2010, Modality was acquired by mobile medical reference leader Epocrates, Inc. in order to expand Epocrates' mobile development and design capabilities. At Epocrates, Williams was head of User Experience and led the design team in the creation of point of care medical apps for smartphones and tablets. Under his design leadership, Epocrates released its first iPad app—a re-imagined version of their market-leading mobile medical reference tool for healthcare professionals. In November 2012, Williams left Epocrates to begin building a new technology venture.
Williams is a graduate of Davidson College and holds an M.Phil and Ph.D. in Neuroanatomy from Yale University. He relocated to Durham, North Carolina to pursue a post-doctoral fellowship in neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center, where he also taught neuroscience to medical students and undergraduates.