Management Team

Timothy J. O’Brien

Ph.D. | Chairman and Founder

Timothy J. O’Brien is Chairman of the Board and founder of the company.  In 2015, he retired from the position of Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UAMS.  He also served as the Director of UAMS Arkansas BioVentures from 1994-2006. Dr. O’Brien received his Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1967 from the University of Illinois.  He has worked in the field of gynecological oncology for over 35 years at the University of Southern California and UAMS.  Dr. O’Brien has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed papers, 28 U.S. patents and 10 pending patent applications.  The current gold standard for monitoring patients with ovarian cancer, CA125, is based on some of Dr. O’Brien’s early work on ovarian cancer marker development.  Until 2015, Dr. O’Brien served as our Chairman and CEO since inception of the Company, and upon the Company’s hiring of Don E. Fowler as President and CEO in early 2015, Dr. O’Brien has continued to provide scientific direction and expertise in our ongoing research and development activities, as well as overall leadership for the growth and development of the Company.

Don E. Fowler

President, CEO and Director

Don E. Fowler is the President and CEO of Stage I Diagnostics.  He has a Bachelor of Economics from Arkansas State University.  He brings over 25 years of sales/sales management in the diagnostics industry with extensive experience in developing small company sales strategies and growth.  Most recently he was Vice-President of Sales, Oncology at Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. (“BRLI”), which prior to its acquisition in 2015 by OPKO Health, Inc., a NYSE-listed company, was publicly traded on NASDAQ and was the third largest diagnostic laboratory in the U.S.  Prior to BRLI, Mr. Fowler was employed by Specialty Laboratories, Inc. of Santa Monica, California.  While at Specialty, he led sales team members in the launch of various LDTs related to infectious disease. In his career, he has held various positions as National Accounts Director, Regional Sales Director and Business Development Director.  His career began with Doctors Pathology Services in Jonesboro, Arkansas offering diagnostic testing to clients throughout Arkansas until that firm was acquired by Quest Diagnostics in 1995.  In January, 2016, Mr. Fowler was elected to the Board of Directors of Stage I Diagnostics.

Blake Johnson


Dr. Johnson serves as assistant professor of biology in the Patterson School of Natural Sciences at Ouachita Baptist University. Dr. Johnson’s area of expertise includes bioinformatics, biomarker discovery, cancer biology, cell biology, experimental therapeutics, preclinical modeling of cancer and proteomics, with an emphasis in endocrine-resistant and metastatic disease. Dr. Johnson earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cancer Glycobiology at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on the structural and functional characterization of novel cancer-specific glycosylation alterations associated with hormone-refractory disease. Dr. Johnson has authored and co-authored a variety of peer-reviewed publications and abstracts related to the field of cancer research. Prior to earning his Ph.D., Dr. Johnson received his B.S. in Biology from Ouachita Baptist University and his M.S. in Human Molecular Genetics from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Mary L. Good


Dr. Good is the Dean Emeritus (Founding Dean) of the College of Engineering and Information Technology (E.I.T.) at the University of Arkansas Little Rock and is the former Special Advisor to the Chancellor for Economic Development.  The National Science Board, a 24-member policy body of the National Science Foundation that advises the President and Congress on U.S. science and engineering matters, selected Dr. Good to receive the 2004 Vannevar Bush Award recognizing her substantial contributions to the welfare of the United States through public service activities in science, technology, and public policy.  Previously Dr. Good served four years as the Under Secretary for Technology for the Technology Administration in the Department of Commerce during the Clinton Administration, a position appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.  Dr. Good is also a former member of the respective boards of directors of Biogen, Inc., a multinational biotech company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts; IDEXX Laboratories of Westbrook, Maine; and the Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation Board of Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  Before joining the Administration of President Bill Clinton, Dr. Good was the senior vice-president of technology at Allied Signal, Inc., where she was responsible for the centralized research and technology organizations with facilities in Morristown, NJ; Buffalo, NY; and Des Plaines, IL.  Prior to joining industry, Dr. Good was the Boyd Professor of Chemistry at the Louisiana State University.  Dr. Good received her B.S. in chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in inorganic chemistry from the University of Arkansas.

H. Watt Gregory, III

Mr. Gregory is a is a partner in the Little Rock, Arkansas office of Kutak Rock LLP, a national law firm of over 500 attorneys in 17 cities throughout the country.  His practice has been concentrated for over 40 years in business development and finance, including handling initial public offerings and issuance of other equity and debt securities in the public markets, providing corporate governance services to companies at all levels, handling private equity and venture capital-related financings involved in business formation and development.  In the life sciences industry, his practice has included representation of emerging technology companies as well as institutional private equity funding sources, in fields such as cancer, osteoporosis, infectious disease diagnostics and therapeutics, and pharmacology.  He served as Chair of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the Arkansas Bar Association in 2002.  He is a former co-chair of the Arkansas Venture Conference, and in 2005 he received that organization’s inaugural Arkansas Venture Forum Award for Leadership and Support of Entrepreneurship in Arkansas.  From 2008-2010, Mr. Gregory served as the Chair of Accelerate Arkansas, a statewide non-profit organization of professionals in business, education and economic development working to help advance per capita income in Arkansas through emphasis on accelerating the growth of knowledge-based industries in the State.  He is currently a member of the board of directors of the organization.  In 2012 he received the third annual Fribourgh Science Leadership Award from the College of Math and Science at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, which award is given to an individual in recognition of contributions to Arkansas through the disciplines of health, mathematics and science.  Mr. Gregory received his B.A. degree from Vanderbilt University and his LL.B. degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

Michael Higgins

Mr. Higgins began his career in structural design & drafting in Dublin, Ireland where he was involved in the design of equipment for sugar production.  He moved to Little Rock, Arkansas & co-founded Belcon Steel Detailing in 1987 specializing in drafting & design of structural and architectural steel for commercial & industrial structures.  Mr. Higgins attended the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Dennis Stearns


Since 2007, Mr. Stearns has been a private investor.  His investing activity has included a number of diverse companies, with a primary focus on commercial real estate.  He has invested in numerous commercial properties, including: retail, office, warehouse and multi-family residential housing.  He has earned the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation, and is a current director of the Arkansas chapter of the CCIM Institute.  Prior to his current career as a commercial property investor, Mr. Stearns worked for 19 years as an electronics engineer.  In 1996, he co-founded Mid Continent Controls, specializing in the designs and manufacture of cabin management equipment for the corporate aviation market.  During his tenure at Mid Continent Controls, Mr. Stearns was responsible for all aspects of new product design, including electronics, software, packaging, documentation, and production testing specifications.  Additional responsibilities included verification of product compliance with FAA Certification requirements for Environmental / Electrical / Reliability.  Mr. Stearns earned a BSEET from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a Master of Science in Instrumentation Sciences from the UALR Graduate Institute of Technology.