Office of Research Our Team - Office of Research

Our Team

Klaus van Benthem, Faculty Director

Klaus is an Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering and serves as the Faculty Director for the Research Core Facilities Program since May 2015. He is responsible for strategic planning and leadership of the Program with the goal to support and strengthen the shared research infrastructure at UC Davis. In his spare time Klaus enjoys traveling with his wife, playing with their poodle Dr. Snuggles, sprinting his road bike, and exploring the underwater world.


Julie Auger, Executive Director

Julie A. serves as the RCFP Executive Director, joining the RCFP in 2015 with expertise in the operation and administration of multi-technology, multi-disciplinary academic research core facilities.  Her specific technology and scientific background is in flow cytometry and immunology and has also directed monoclonal antibody production and immunohistochemistry cores.  She has been responsible for the development of central administrative programs focused on cores at the University of Chicago and UC San Francisco. She is a fan of spontaneous celebrations, especially around tea time and happy hour.


Desiree Porter, Program Manager

Desiree serves as the Program Manager for the RCFP, joining the team in December 2017. She has extensive experience in sustainable core business practices, core administrative software, and developing infrastructure in research environments. Desiree previously held positions at the University of Florida and UC San Francisco focused on supporting and enhancing core operations and providing business and professional growth opportunities for the core community. In her leisure time, Desiree enjoys traveling to new places and sampling local cuisine.

Erlita (Yette) Neri, Financial Analyst

Yette joined the Research Core Facilities Program as a Financial Analyst in September 2016.  She provides financial analysis, reporting and support for the RCFP managed Core Facilities.  Yette has been with the University for over ten years.  She began as the Account Manager for UCD Contracts and Grants Accounting before joining the Office of Research’s Sponsored Programs as a Contracts and Grants Analyst.  She has enthusiasm for butterflies and loves ice cream with nuts.


Julie Bridge, Executive Assistant

Julie B. joined the Research Core Facilities Program as an Executive Assistant in November 2016.  Her role within the team includes providing administrative support to the Directors as well as general support to the other members of the team.  In addition Julie also assists with website maintenance, marketing and event planning.  She is easily bribed with chocolate.


Research Core Advisory Council (RCAC)

RCAC makes well-informed recommendations to Faculty Director for establishing, maintaining, expanding, and sun-setting of Campus Research Core Facilities. RCAC reviews funding requests to RCFP and makes recommendations for strategic investments.

The council convenes 1-2 times per month and develops a strategic plan for sustainable research core facility operation and identifies necessary resources (dollars, space, personnel) to implement such a plan. RCAC is asked to specifically address the following topics:

  • Establishment of suitable metrics for core evaluation, and suggestion of subsequent actions that emerge from core evaluations.
  • Definition and identification of Campus Research Core Facilities that become eligible for support from RCFP/Office of Research.
  • Review funding requests to the RCFP and make recommendations for strategic investments in and direct financial support of individual research cores.
  • Guide centralized core facilities across campus in development of business plans towards sustainable operation.
  • Assist core facilities to ensure that state-of-the-art research services and instrumentation are provided in a cost-efficient manner.
  • Define, evaluate and refine functionalities of a new software-based administrative backbone which will facilitate user management, instrumentation reservations, automated monthly centralized billing, ad hoc reporting, definition of recharge rates, online service requests, etc.

RCAC members:

  • Isaac Pessah, RCAC Chair (School of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Ingrid Brust-Mascher (School of Veterinary Medicine, Academic Federation Representative)
  • Ricardo Castro (College of Engineering)
  • C.P. van Dam (College of Engineering)
  • Jan Nolta (School of Medicine)
  • John Morrison (School of Medicine)
  • Ronald Tjeerdema (College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences)
  • Jodi Nunnari (College of Biological Sciences)
  • Gregg Recanzone (College of Biological Sciences)
  • Mani Tripathi, (College of Letters & Science)
  • Gang-Yu Liu (College of Letters & Science)
  • Delmar Larsen (Academic Senate Representative)
  • Will Jewell (Office of Research, Mass Spectrometry Facility)
  • Julie Auger, ex-officio (Office of Research)
  • Klaus van Benthem, ex-officio (Materials Science and Engineering)