Main Content

You are here

Staff Directory

Staff Directory

Filter by last name

  • Susan A. Martinis

    Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation

    (217) 333-0034

    Susan A. Martinis BIO

    Susan Martinis is Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she provides leadership for the campus-wide interdisciplinary research institutes, promotes new research initiatives, and oversees the administrative and business processes that ensure the safe, ethical, and productive conduct of research at Illinois.


    Dr. Martinis, the Stephen G. Sligar Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, studies the mechanisms, evolution, and biomedical applications of protein synthesis and RNA-protein interactions. She is a successful researcher, engaged in entrepreneurial and corporate partnerships, a committed educator, and an experienced administrator.


    Susan A. Martinis earned her B.S. from Washington State University (1985) and Ph.D. at the University of Illinois (1990). She then trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow. She was hired in 1993 at a start-up biotechnology company Cubist Pharmaceuticals as its 3rd employee. Dr. Martinis was awarded the company’s first U.S. patent and National Institutes of Health SBIR grant, before moving to academia at the University of Houston in 1997. Cubist Pharmaceuticals grew to over 600 people, developed the life-saving drug Cubicin, and was acquired in 2014 by Merck Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Martinis also contributed to delineating the mechanism of action for a novel lead antimicrobial drug (AN2690; Rock et al, Science) that was developed by Anacor Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer in 2016) and made commercially available as the anti-fungal Kerydin in 2014.


    Professor Martinis earned tenure in Houston, Texas where she received the University of Houston’s highest teaching honor, the Enron Teaching Excellence Award as well as the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Teaching Excellence Award. She was also recognized by the Houston Alumni Organization with the Outstanding Faculty Award.


    Dr. Martinis moved to the University of Illinois in 2005, and in 2009 was promoted to the rank of Professor, as well as appointed Head of the Dept. of Biochemistry and also Head of the Dept. of Medical Biochemistry. Professor Martinis was named a University Scholar, and in 2015 honored by appointment as the inaugural Stephen G. Sligar Endowed Professor in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology. She is a member of the Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology and an Affiliate in the Dept. of Chemistry. In addition, she received a prestigious Fellowship from the University of Illinois to participate in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation’s (Big 10 Academic Alliance) Academic Leadership Program in 2011-12, as well as the University of Illinois System Presidential Executive Leadership Program in 2018-19. From 2014-15, Professor Martinis served as Interim Associate Dean over the Biological, Chemical, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and subsequently returned to her position as Head of the Department of Biochemistry. After serving as the interim Vice Chancellor for Research for two years, in 2019, she was named Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation.


    Dr. Martinis contributed significantly to the founding of the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, which offers a paradigm-shifting approach to teaching medicine that is engineering-based. She served on the initial curriculum committee, as well as the Search Committee that hired the College’s first Dean. She was the Interim Director of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering on the Dean’s inaugural leadership team.


    Professor Martinis’ research focuses on mechanisms, evolution, and biomedical applications of protein synthesis and RNA-protein interactions. Her investigations center on the family of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, in particular leucyl-tRNA synthetase, where she has made significant contributions for 30 years to understand quality control mechanisms, tRNA recognition, non-canonical roles in mitochondrial group I intron splicing, as well as novel activities of human enzymes. Her research program has been federally supported by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation. She has also received previous funding from the W.M. Keck Foundation, the Human Frontiers Science Program, The Robert A. Welch Foundation, the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund, and the Texas Advanced Research Program. The goal of her current research team is to discover and characterize non-canonical activities of as many as twenty splice variants of mammalian leucyl-tRNA synthetases. Break-throughs in understanding the evolution of tRNA synthetase activities have potential to redefine systems biology and yield innovative biomedical therapeutics.


    Professor Martinis was elected to the Executive Committee of the APLU Council on Research and has served as President of the Association of Medical and Graduate Departments of Biochemistry (AMGDB) across North and Central America. She has served as an inaugural member of the National Institutes of Health Molecular Genetics A study section, as well as participated in Review Panels for the National Science Foundation. Dr. Martinis was an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Biological Chemistry for five years.

  • Melanie Loots

    Melanie Loots

    Chief of Staff, Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

    (217) 333-0034

    Melanie Loots BIO

    Melanie Loots is the Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is responsible for policy development, strategic and tactical planning, implementation of the University Policy on Conflicts of Commitment and Interest on the Urbana campus, and is liaison to several cross-disciplinary campus units.


    Melanie has served on federal panels and committees, including National Science Foundation review panels, NASA’s SEDAC user working group, the National Research Council Committee for CODATA, and NSF’s Advisory Committee for the Office of International Science and Engineering, as well as organizational and program committees for technical conferences and the board of directors of the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computing. From 1991-2000, she directed the Applications Division of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Prior to joining the University of Illinois in 1989, she worked in drug discovery and information services at E. R. Squibb and Sons, a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey. Before moving into the pharmaceutical industry, Melanie received her Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry from Princeton in 1979, working with Professor Jeffrey Schwartz, and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago, working with Professor Jack Halpern.

  • Amy Adams

    Amy Adams

    Web Developer

    (217) 244-7607

    Amy develops and maintains the OVCRI's suite of websites, overseeing functionality, accessibility, and design.

  • Michael Brosco

    Michael Brosco

    Director of Research Application Development

    (217) 265-6419

    Mike leads the OVCRI IT group, which develops and supports applications designed to facilitate research across the campus. This includes online systems for monitoring research compliance, funding programs and initiatives, researcher training, reporting tools, and OVCRI accounting and business needs.

  • Stephen Burton

    Stephen Burton

    IT Technical Associate

    (217) 244-0279

    Steve works to design, code, and support the online applications provided by OVCRI to facilitate research across the campus.

  • Melissa Edwards

    Melissa Edwards

    Executive Director of Strategic Research Communications

    (217) 265-5446

    Melissa provides strategic research communications support for the University, managing the flow of OVCRI news and information, connecting PIs with resources to develop and share research, promoting research events, and organizing the Research Communications Council. She also oversees the Office of Proposal Development. 

  • Jill Fleming

    Jill Fleming

    IT Technical Associate

    (217) 300-2115

    Jill provides web application, user experience, programming, and technological support for the OVCRI and reporting units.

  • Kelley Frazier

    Kelley Frazier

    Office Manager

    (217) 333-6771

    Kelley provides administrative support for Linda Lee Drozt, Christopher Lehmann, Jan Novakofski, and Cynthia Oliver. She is also the primary point of contact for all Campus Research Board/Scholars' Travel inquiries.

  • Maria Gillombardo

    Maria Gillombardo

    Research Development Manager

    (217) 300-3336

    Maria works closely with faculty in the humanities, arts, and humanistic social sciences in support of their scholarly and creative research. She provides services in support of research project design and development that include identifying funding avenues, facilitating agency-specific information sessions, connecting faculty with campus colleagues and resources, and proposal development.

  • Lyndon Goodly

    Lyndon Goodly

    Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

    (217) 333-2564

    Lyndon provides oversight of the campus Animal Care and Use Program. As the Institutional Veterinarian and Director of the Division of Animal Resources, he ensures that the university remains in compliance with federal, state, and institutional policies associated with animal research, teaching, and animal wellbeing.

  • Erica Hanson

    Human Resources Coordinator

    (217) 333-6897

    Erica staffs OVCRI searches and provides advice and guidance on HR-related issues such as promotions, behavioral adaptation, budget forecasts, and diversity/inclusion issues.

  • Sue Key

    Sue Key

    Executive Director of Portfolio Human Resources

    (217) 244-4592

    Sue is responsible for human resources activities, provides HR advice, and serves as the EEO Officer for the OVCRI portfolio.

  • Pradeep Khanna

    Associate Vice Chancellor for Corporate Relations and Economic Development

    (217) 244-3606

    Pradeep leads corporate relations and economic development activities for the campus.

  • Krystiana Krupa

    Program Officer, NAGPRA Office

    (217) 333-0034

    Krystiana focuses on comprehensively cataloguing human remains and cultural items in the Illinois’ collection, researching their relationships to tribal communities, and facilitating their repatriation.

  • Linda Lee Drozt

    Linda Lee Drozt

    Conflict of Interest Officer

    (217) 333-8124

    Linda coordinates campus compliance with sponsor-specific conflict of interest (COI) requirements/regulations and supports conflict identification and management efforts. 

  • Christopher Lehmann

    Christopher Lehmann

    Research Integrity Officer

    (217) 300-5805

    Chris serves as intake official for research misconduct allegations and promotes training in the responsible conduct of research for the campus.

  • Beth Lewis

    Beth Lewis

    Office Manager

    (217) 300-7227

    Beth provides administrative support for Melanie Loots, Sharee Robinson, Sue Key, OVCRI HR and she is the first responder for the OVCRI mainline.

  • Suge Lim

    Visual Communications Designer

    (217) 300-7986

    Suge works with the communications team to develop a variety of materials, including websites, infographics, social media graphics, promotional items, and more. She also provide visual design expertise and advice to units that report to and work with the OVCRI. 

  • Tammy Nohren

    Tammy Nohren

    Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation

    (217) 333-0034

    Tammy provides administrative support for the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation and assists the OVCRI civil service support staff.

  • Jan Novakofski

    Jan Novakofski

    Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation for Compliance

    (217) 333-6181

    Jan manages the OVCRI units that provide investigator support and regulatory oversight for activities involving animals, biological safety, chemicals, human subjects, and radioactive materials.

  • Cynthia Oliver

    M. Cynthia Oliver

    Associate Vice Chancellor - Humanities, Arts, and Related Fields

    (217) 244-8772

    Cynthia leads OVCRI programs that support the creative and scholarly work of faculty in the Humanities, Arts, and related fields. She also oversees the Office of Research Advising and Project Development and serves as Executive Officer of the Campus Research Board.

  • Ben Percy

    Ben Percy

    IT Technical Associate

    (217) 300-1748

    Ben develops and supports online applications designed to facilitate various research needs across the campus

  • Leslie Reinhart

    Leslie Lewin Reinhart

    Assistant Director of Human Resources

    (217) 300-3872

    Leslie provides human resources expertise and support to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation and the units within the OVCRI portfolio. 

  • Dave Richardson

    Dave Richardson

    Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation/Director, Security Management Office

    (217) 300-7191

    Dave leads Sponsored Programs Administration, the office that supports the research enterprise throughout the entire lifecycle of an externally sponsored project, from proposal submission to award close-out.

  • Sharee Robinson

    Sharee Robinson

    Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

    (217) 244-4430

    Sharee oversees the financal and human resource operations for the OVCRI and portfolio units.  

  • Richard Sallee

    Research Development Coordinator

    (217) 300-3082

    Richard provides support throughout the limited submission selection process and assists with choosing submitted proposals. He also provides administrative support for Melissa Edwards and Harley Johnson.

  • Evan Simpson

    Evan Simpson

    Senior Business and Finance Coordinator

    (217) 300-6232

    Evan manages the post-award side of Campus Research Board; serves as a resource for portfolio units regarding business processes & university policy; processes travel/meal reimbursements; makes payments to vendors; initiates requisitions for goods & services; and serves as a Unit Security Contact for the portfolio.

  • Jason Vetter

    Jason Vetter

    IT Manager

    (217) 333-0034

    Jason designs and develops the underlying architecture used by the OVCRI IT group to build online systems for monitoring research compliance, funding programs and initiatives, researcher training, reporting tools, and OVCRI accounting and business needs.

  • Kraig A Wagenecht

    Kraig A Wagenecht

    Senior Director, External Research Partnerships

    (217) 300-3911

    Kraig provides business and administrative support and planning for campus-level research initiatives and external research collaborations.

  • Tyler Wolpert

    Research Communications Manager

    (217) 300-1234

    Tyler coordinates and promotes OVCRI news and information by managing social media, creating website content, and sharing research events.

General Information

I'm looking for...

Campus Research Overview

Campus Administration

OVCRI on Twitter