Executive Leadership

Leadership Team

Vice Chancellor for Research

Simon J. Atkinson

[email protected]

(530) 754-7764

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Denise Ehlen

Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

Denise Ehlen

[email protected]

(262) 716-9060

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Cristina Davis

Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

Cristina Davis

[email protected]

(530) 754-9004

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Rhonda Oates

Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Teaching Animal Care Program

Rhonda Oates

[email protected]

(530) 754-5598

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Senior Leadership

Sponsored Programs

Executive Director, Research Administration: Ahmad Hakim-Elahi

Ahmad Hakim-ElahiAhmad Hakim-Elahi is Executive Director, Research Administration, and Director of Sponsored Programs. Sponsored Programs assists the campus research community in its efforts to secure extramural funding while promoting proper stewardship of those funds. Ahmad received his B.S. degree in Mechanical and Agricultural Engineering, received his M.S. degree in Agronomy in 1977 and his Ph.D. in Genetics in 1981, both at the University of California, Davis. He received his J.D. degree from Santa Clara University in 1990. He is a member of the State of California Bar, the U.S. District Court, Northern California, and the U.S. Patent Bar, allowing him to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Following the completion of his Doctoral and Post-doctoral training at UC Davis, he joined a San Francisco Bay Area plant biotechnology corporation as a research scientist, practicing plant breeding and biotechnology.  During the 12 years of his association with the company, he served in various positions of successively higher responsibilities, including the group leader of the company’s plant breeding team, the research administrator overseeing all company research, and then as the in-house legal counsel. He was a member of a team that moved the company from being a privately-owned entity into a publicly-traded corporation in 1986. From 1994 to 1996, Ahmad was the senior manager of the technology and licensing office at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where he established the first campus-based office of sponsored programs and licensing and technology transfer.  In 1996, he joined Sponsored Programs at UC Davis as a contracts and grants officer, and since 1998 he has been serving the campus as the Director of Sponsored Programs.

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Information Technology Systems & Services

Director: Lou Dulaney

Lou DulaneyLou Dulaney is responsible for managing the Information Technology Systems & Services (OR IT) team, which provides IT Support and Services for our OR Units. OR IT provides the foundational support for vendor management, infrastructure, hardware, software, and systems for institutional activities at Office of Research. These include, but are not limited to USIL, Systems Administration, Desktop Support, Network, Authentication, Application Software and Reporting, providing extensive functional support for our OR Units in requirements gathering and functional support for OR IT supported applications.

Lou is able to bring clarity and adroitness at defining requirements, objectives, budgets and timelines coordinating IT projects and governance across all stakeholders. Aligning and articulating the immediate effort within organizational objectives. She is a passionate people leader with over 15 years managing IT teams in the private sector. Lou holds a master’s degree in Business Administration, bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and various certifications including PMP, ITIL and Six Sigma Yellow Belt.

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Proposal Development Services

Director: Sheryl Soucy-Lubell

Sheryl Soucy-LubellSheryl Soucy-Lubell is the Director of Interdisciplinary Research Support in the UC Davis Office of Research. The Interdisciplinary Research Support team coordinates the preparation of major grant proposals for large-scale, interdisciplinary research programs. As director of this unit, Sheryl identifies and develops collaborative efforts in pursuit of extramural funding opportunities; advises campus administrators in prioritizing research efforts by determining UC Davis research capacity in specific areas and forecasting opportunities for success prior to committing resources; and conducts campus-wide research development activities such as workshops, trainings, program officer visits, funding opportunity searches and dissemination, and research team building. Sheryl also oversees the administration of the Limited Submissions program, which is a service of the Office of Research that assists faculty in identifying Limited Submission opportunities and coordinates the campus review and nomination of applications for those opportunities. The program identifies and advertises nearly 200 such opportunities each year, about two-thirds of which require review and nomination. She received a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College, a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and conducted post-doctoral research in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida State University.

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Marketing and Communications

Director: AJ Cheline

Aj ChelineAs Director of Marketing and Communications for the Office of Research, AJ Cheline is responsible for developing strategies and implementing tactics to increase global awareness of research and technology development at UC Davis. AJ returned to UC Davis after 15 years of working in various marketing roles within the medical device and healthcare industries. He earned a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from UC Davis and a bachelor’s degree in physiology from the University of Arizona. AJ’s experience in research, technology development and commercialization helps him connect with campus researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs. He holds multiple U.S. patents and has published his research in several journals.

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Research Ethics and Compliance Office

Director: Alaisha M. Hellman

Alaisha M. HellmanAlaisha Hellman is the Director of Research Ethics and Compliance Office. She comes to the role with more than 15 years of experience in research administration, compliance and program management. Before joining UC Davis, Hellman served in the role of Export Control (EC) Officer and Conflict of Interest (COI) Coordinator at UC Berkeley where she created and managed the respective programs. She also has experience with foreign influence and related compliance concerns, policies and processes. Hellman holds a ​​Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a member of the Association of University Export Control Officers, Society for International Affairs and the AAMC Forum on Conflict of Interest.

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Human Resources

Director: Marlene Denham

Marlene DenhamMarlene Denham is the Human Resources Director in the Office of Research. She has a degree in Business Administration and over 20 years of experience working in a professional office setting, including eight years as an office manager/supervisor working with staff, students, directors, tellers, supervisors, faculty, customers, deans, etc. As the Human Resources Director, Marlene is responsible for managing the OR HR team which provides strategic and analytical support and advice for academic federation and staff personnel functions throughout the Office of Research. The OR HR unit handles human resource issues such as policy interpretations; recruitments; academic federation appointments; retention; classification; compensation; merits and promotions; employee and labor relations issues; general benefits; and training and development. The OR HR team strives to  foster a culture of organizational excellence and acceptance. We serve as a support system for a diverse community of talented employees who should feel valued and vested in the organization

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Research Programs

Executive Director: Nancy Bulger

Nancy Bulger

Nancy is responsible for the programmatic oversight of the interdisciplinary research units that report to the Office of Research. She provides strategic guidance and advice to the Vice Chancellor for Research & the Associate Vice Chancellor for Interdisciplinary Research and Strategic Initiatives relative to strategic academic and resource planning, short and long-range policy development, communications and high-level analyses of new program development.

Previously, she served as Purdue University’s assistant provost and was responsible for the strategic planning and assessment of academic areas at Purdue; served as a liaison to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education; liaison to the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), the academic consortium of the universities in the Big Ten Conference; and provided oversight of special initiatives for the provost.  Prior to her appointment to assistant provost, she had served as administrative director for a number of federally grant-funded centers, including the NASA University Research, Education; Technology Institute for Nanoelectronics and Computing; NSF Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Manufacturing; NSF MRSEC for Technology Enabling Heterostructures and the 21st Century Center for Nanoscale Electronic / Biological Devices. As the administrative director of these and other centers, Nancy managed cross-disciplinary programs in research, education, and technology transfer involving over 60 companies, 85 professors, 1,200 students, and research grants totaling over $75 million.  She was also a Co-PI for the nanoHUB/Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) which has been awarded over $40M funding from NSF. Nancy received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University.

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Strategic Initiatives

Director: Ana Lucia Cordova

Ana-Lucia-Cordova-KreylosAna Lucia Cordova is passionate about enabling cutting edge research, and supporting scientist in the development of their projects and ideas. She brings to UC Davis extensive experience managing research collaborations and projects, and developing intellectual property and research agreements. At UC Davis she supports strategic partnerships with national and international institutions, seed funding programs, as well as the Microbiome Special Research Program. She graduated from UC Davis with a doctorate in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry, and a double B.Sc. in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Sonora, in Mexico.

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Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Director: Donna Routley

Donna RoutleyUC Davis’ Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees the university’s animal care and use program and is responsible for reviewing all animal use protocols and amendments, ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations, inspecting animal facilities and laboratories, and overseeing training and educational programs. Donna Routley serves as the Director for the UC Davis IACUC. As Director, Routley oversees IACUC activities and manages the team of professional administrative staff supporting this faculty based committee.

Routley holds a Bachelor degree in Environmental Studies, is a Certified Professional IACUC Administrator (CPIA), a Registered Laboratory Animal Technologist (RLATG), and a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT). She is passionate about the UC Davis Animal Care Program, recognizing and valuing the immense responsibility of supporting the research and teaching mission of the university while ensuring compliance with applicable laws, regulations, policies and procedures.

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Institutional Review Board

Director: John Tupin

John TupinJohn Tupin started his career conducting issue research and creating white papers for the American Hospital Association and the California Association of Hospitals and Healthcare. John joined the University of California, Davis where he worked for the Physicians Practice Board and Health Sciences Advancement campaigns including the MIND Institute, The UC Davis Center for Biophotonics and the UC Davis Transplant Center. John founded LifeWave, Inc. which develops ultrawide band radar for medical and defense applications. John served as a contractor to the USAF Clinical Investigation Facility at Travis AFB where he managed the Institutional Review Board and advised the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and served as the intellectual property coordinator. John Currently serves as the Director of the University of California, Davis Institutional Review Board. John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of California, Davis and a Juris Doctorate from Lincoln Law School and is a member of the State of the California Bar.

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