Cristina Davis Appointed Associate Vice Chancellor for Interdisciplinary Research and Strategic Initiatives

Cristina Davis Appointed Associate Vice Chancellor for Interdisciplinary Research and Strategic Initiatives

Cristina Davis


April 14, 2022

The University of California, Davis, Office of Research is pleased to announce the appointment of Cristina Davis as the new associate vice chancellor of Interdisciplinary Research and Strategic Initiatives (IRSI) effective April 11, 2022.

The IRSI division in the Office of Research works with faculty and staff to initiate and advance interdisciplinary and strategically important research programs through partnerships with federal, state and other entities.

Davis, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the associate dean of research in the College of Engineering, will take over the leadership of IRSI from Paul Dodd, who served as the associate vice chancellor since May 2012.

With this change, the Research Core Facilities Program will also report to Davis.

“Cristina Davis brings a tremendous breadth of experience and strong connections throughout the UC Davis research community,” said Prasant Mohapatra, vice chancellor for research at UC Davis. “I expect her innovative spirit will ignite creative ideas and strategies to help extend our impact across campus and to the global community we seek to benefit.”

“I would also like to thank Paul Dodd for his significant contributions over his decade of service,” Mohapatra added.

Fostering Engagement with Various Campus Units

Davis arrives in the role with nearly 20 years of experience working with multidisciplinary research teams in the areas of chemical sensing to tackle fundamental problems and develop niche application areas. At UC Davis, her research collaborations span the campus including joint research projects with the UC Davis School of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Biological Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the School of Nursing.

“I am excited to leverage these relationships to enhance and grow the interdisciplinary research enterprise for our entire campus. I look forward to continuing to work with a wide array of researchers and faculty across the university,” said Davis.

Davis remains committed to her role of being a “coalition builder” between researchers of different disciplinary backgrounds. As a leader, she has demonstrated how to encourage convergent research to solve major societal issues and encourage faculty growth.

Extending Knowledge and Establishing Relationships with External Stakeholders 

Davis has been an advocate for interdisciplinary research support at a national level for many years — with federal, state and local entities. She has extensive experience working with several government agencies including the Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, among others. From her interactions with different research funding agencies, including nonprofits, she brings to the table unique skills for negotiation and effective communication.

In addition to her research accomplishments, Davis has considerable experience dealing with intellectual property, including patents and copyright code software coding. She is the inventor on 13 issued patents, with many more pending, and has played an instrumental role in the formation of three startups over her career.

Davis has authored and co-authored numerous scientific papers and published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles in high-impact journals and top-tier conferences.  She has won multiple awards during her career spanning nearly two decades. More recently, in 2019, she won the UC Davis Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award.  She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Davis has a B.S. in mathematics and biology (double major) from Duke University and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Davis joined UC Davis in 2005 as an assistant professor.

More About Interdisciplinary Research & Strategic Initiatives

The Interdisciplinary Research & Strategic Initiatives division provides services to initiate, develop and advance interdisciplinary research at UC Davis. These services include coordination of limited submissions, development of large-scale grant proposals, identifying funding opportunities, managing organized research units and establishing partnerships with entities off campus. Learn more here.

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