Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research Leadership Team

  • John MacMillan, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research

    John MacMillan, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research

    Dr. John MacMillan is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where his research laboratory focuses on the discovery and characterization of biologically active molecules from microorganisms. This research has focused predominately on the therapeutic areas of infectious disease and oncology, combining phenotypic screening, isolation and mechanism of action studies towards the discovery of more than 100 new natural products. This work has led to establishment of the Center for High Functional Annotation of Natural Products (HIFAN), which is a multi-institutional center funded by the NIH to study the mechanism of botanicals and natural products. His work in the area of oncology has yielded a first in-class inhibitor of Hypoxia Inducible Factor 2 (HIF-2) that is currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma.

    Dr. MacMillan holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis. Prior to moving to the University of California, Santa Cruz he was on faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

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    Kelly Graham, Executive Associate to the Vice Chancellor for Research

    Kelly Graham is the Executive Associate to the Vice Chancellor for Research. She provides daily administrative/analytical support to the VCR and AVCs and oversees special projects. She has 10 years experience providing executive support in nonprofit organizations prior to joining UC Santa Cruz. Kelly holds a BA in Business Economics from UC Santa Barbara.
  • Vacant, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

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    Kate Aja, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Administration

    Kate Aja is Assistant Vice Chancellor of Research Administration, overseeing the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) and the Office of Research Compliance Administration (ORCA), including Research Integrity and Export Control. Kate has been with UC Santa Cruz since 1992 and with the Office of Research since 1999, previously serving as Director of OSP.
  • Andrea Pesce, Director, Industry Alliances & Licensing

    Andrea Pesce, Director, Industry Alliances & Licensing

    Andrea Pesce is the Director of Industry Alliances & Licensing. She serves all divisions of campus by creating new and strengthening existing corporate partnerships for research sponsorships and collaborations, in addition to other faculty and student engagements with industry. She also oversees the licensing operations which include marketing IP, identifying licensing partners and negotiating licenses to realize the best value for UC Santa Cruz intellectual property. Before joining the Industry Alliances & Technology Commercialization team, Andrea worked in the Office of Technology Licensing at Stanford University for over seven years, and before that she in-licensed university IP for a biotechnology company. Andrea holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of New Hampshire and a M.S. in Biology from San Diego State University, as well as professional certificates from Stanford.
  • Mykell Discipulo, Director, Office of Research Business and Operations

    Mykell Discipulo, Director, Office of Research Business and Operations

    Mykell has been with UCSC for over 18 years.  Since 2011, Mykell has supported UCSC research projects and interdisciplinary institutes including the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics. In 2018, she moved to the Division of Social Sciences to help launch the Institute for Social Transformation. She has also served in the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Chancellor's Office. Prior to working at UCSC, she conducted research and managed labs as part of the Astrobiology group at NASA Ames Research Center. Mykell holds a B.S. in Oceanography from Humboldt State University and an MPA from San Jose State University.
  • Heather Bell, Director, Research Development

    Heather Bell, Director, Research Development

    Dr. Heather Bell is the Director of Research Development (RD) and the Research Development Specialist for Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies. The RD team advances the research enterprise across UCSC divisions by helping researchers to develop concepts, funding strategies, and teams; identify specific funding opportunities; and prepare competitive proposals. Heather holds degrees in Geography (Ph.D., M.A.) and Philosophy (B.A.) and has 15 years of research and proposal development experience. Her most recent position before coming to UCSC was as Research Director for Big Water Consulting in Seattle. Previously, Heather served as Director of Applied Science at Pacific Disaster Center, an applied research center managed by the University of Hawaii.
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    Deirdre Beach, Director, Office of Sponsored Projects

    Deirdre Beach is the Director of the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP). Deirdre oversees the OSP proposal and Award teams in grant and contract submission, award negotiation and acceptance, and non-financial post-award administration. Deirdre has worked in OSP since 2003, most recently as Assistant Director, prior to being appointed as Director in 2018.
  • Jeff Jackson, Director, Intellectual Property Management

    Jeff Jackson, Director, Intellectual Property Management

    Jeff Jackson is the Director of Intellectual Property Management. He oversees invention disclosure intake, patent filing and prosecution strategy, management of all aspects of the intellectual property portfolio, management of outside patent and litigation counsel, as well as implementing and executing new systems and processes for intellectual property management.  

    Jeff was most recently the Senior Patent Associate at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and prior to that, he was the Intellectual Property Manager at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix. He graduated cum laude from the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University with a JD and certificates in Biotechnology and the Law and Intellectual Property.

    Prior to becoming interested in working with intellectual property, Jeff had a 12 year career in biotechnology research in both the academic and industry settings. He holds an MS in Immunology from the University of Washington and a BS in Biological Sciences from Stanford.

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    Lisa Coscarelli, Director, Research Integrity

    Lisa Coscarelli is the Director of Research Integrity for the Office of Research. Lisa serves the campus community by managing export control and research integrity Lisa joined the UC Santa Cruz Office of Research in 2013.  Previously, Lisa was the Acting Director of Industry Agreements and the Industry Agreements Officer in the Industry Alliances and Technology Commercialization Office and the Special Agreements Officer in the Office of Sponsored Projects. Before joining UC Santa Cruz,  Lisa was the Associate Director of the Office of Clinical Trial Administration at UC San Diego where she negotiated industry-sponsored clinical trial agreements. Lisa has a B.A. from UC San Diego in Political Science, a J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and is licensed to practice law in the state of California.
  • Laverne Estanol, Director, Office of Research Compliance Administration

    Laverne Estanol, Director, Office of Research Compliance Administration

    Laverne Estanol is the Director for the Office of Research Compliance Administration, with primary oversight for the IRB, IACUC, COI, NAGPRA, RCR, Stem Cell Research, and Cannabis Research; and she is a backup contact for Export Controls. Laverne has over 17 years of service in the University of California system (UCLA and UCI), in the areas of clinical research and IRB Administration, in addition to 5 years of IRB Administration in the Veterans Administration system, 4 years of serving as an IACUC and IBC member for the Department of the Navy, and 2 years of serving as an Editorial Board member for the Journal of Research Administration. Laverne is a UCI alumni (School of Social Sciences), and has an M.S. degree in Clinical Psychophysiology from the California School of Professional Psychology. Laverne has co-authored in science journal publications, and has recently co-authored a chapter in the 3rd edition of the IRB Management and Function book. Laverne has acquired credentials for her profession (CHRC, CCRP, CIP, and CIM). At her prior institution, Laverne was the first employee in the UCI Office of Research Administration to be nominated for (and awarded) a campus Excellence in Leadership award.