Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research Leadership Team

  • Scott A. Brandt, Vice Chancellor for Research

    Scott A. Brandt, Vice Chancellor for Research

    Dr. Scott A. Brandt is Vice Chancellor for Research and Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He spent ten years in industry prior to joining the UC Santa Cruz faculty in 1999. He holds eight patents and has launched three startups. In 2014, he was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Brandt has relationships with industry and the U.S. National Laboratories. On campus, he is the co-founder and former Director of the Institute for Scalable Scientific Data Management, a collaboration of UCSC and Los Alamos National Lab; he is founder and former Director of the UCSC Systems Research Laboratory; and he is co-founder and former Associate Director of the UCSC Storage Systems Research Center (SSRC). He also served as Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in the Baskin School of Engineering. Dr. Brandt received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Colorado and his M.S. in Computer Science and Bachelor’s in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota.

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    John MacMillan, Associate 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 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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    Kate Aja, Assistant Vice Chancellor of 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 UCSC since 1992 and with the Office of Research since 1999, previously serving as Director of OSP.
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    Andrea Pesce, Director, Industry Alliances & Licensing

    Andrea Pesce is the Director of Industry Alliances & Licensing at UCSC. 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 UCSC 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.
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    Cayla McEwen, Director of Research Business and Operations

    Cayla McEwen is the Director of Research Business and Operations, overseeing the OR Business Office, Animal Care Facility and Silicon Valley Campus Operations. She has been with UCSC intermittently since 2010, initially managing research labs in the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department before joining the Office of Sponsored Projects in 2013. For the past three years she managed operations for a pharmaceutical startup, and in winter of 2019 rejoined the Office of Research in her current role. Cayla holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Washington State University.
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    David Garcia, Director of Research Development

    David Garcia is the Director of Research Development at the University of California at Santa Cruz. As Director, David is responsible for maintaining a compelling vision for the Office of Research Development (ORD) and its role in advancing UCSC Research; for implementing that vision in programs, resources, and results; and for leading the ORD staff in effective and efficient work that is consistent with the mission of the ORD and the research enterprise of the University. Before joining UCSC in September of 2019, David was Assistant Director of Research Development at the University of Virginia Global Infectious Diseases Institute. David spent the majority of his career working for Battelle Memorial Institute, a large non-profit science and technology contractor, with emphasis in government sponsored international development. David holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from New Mexico State University and an MPH in Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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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 at the University of California at Santa Cruz. 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 UCSC 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 UCSC,  Lisa was the Associate Director of the Office of Clinical Trial Administration at UCSD where she negotiated industry-sponsored clinical trial agreements. Lisa has a B.A. from UCSD 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.