Leadership & Administration

  • Venu Govindaraju, PhD.

    Vice President, Research and Economic Development

    As vice president,Venu Govindaraju, PhD, oversees the university's research activities and its economic development initiatives. A SUNY Distinguished Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, he also serves as founding director of the Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors (CUBS).

  • Jessica Best.

    Associate Vice President for Research Administration

    Jessica Best leads the university’s Sponsored Projects Services organization to manage all external proposal submissions and awards to UB.

  • Rick Gardner.

    Associate Vice President, Economic Development

    Rick Gardner coordinates university-wide economic development efforts, including activities sponsored by federal and state government, industry and foundations, and economic development programs. This includes START-UP NY, UB's incubators, Western New York Incubator Network, UB's NYS Centers of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences and  Materials Informatics as well as UB's Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology. He also manages the university's Technology Transfer office.

  • Chitra Rajan.

    Associate Vice President for Research Advancement

    As Associate Vice President for Research Advancement, Chitra Rajan oversees special initiatives including the Communities of Excellence and the Creative Arts Initiative. She also supervises the Office of Research Advancement and facilitaties large-scale, multidisciplinary grant proposals. 

  • Tracy Krawczyk-Schiedel.

    Assistant VP for Communications, Marketing & Digital Operations

    Tracy guides and oversees all VPRED communications, marketing, and digital activity to increase our ability to proactively address opportunities and sustain growth.

  • Carol O'Connell.

    Assistant Vice President for Strategic Growth

    Carol executes tasks targeted to increase UB research expenditures by 2030, working closely with leading UB Centers and Institutes to develop targeted strategies to grow critical research initiatives and establish long-term funding streams for sustainability.

  • Amy Schmit.

    Assistant Vice President/Chief of Staff

    Amy Schmit serves as Venu's chief-of-staff. She works across the unit to support faculty, staff and students engaged in research and economic development initiatives.

  • Joseph Balthasar.

    Executive Director for Research Initiatives

    As the Executive Director of Research Initiatives, Joe Balthasar will manage the Buffalo Blue Sky program, administer Research and Economic Development internal funding programs, lead multi-disciplinary teaming initiatives and coordinate UB’s limited submissions. 

  • Executive Director for Regulatory Support

    As the Executive Director of Regulatory Support, Stan Halvorsen will oversee the university’s Office of Research Compliance and all Lab Animal Facilities. He will also serve on several university-wide committees including Biosafety, Radiation Safety and Stem Cell Oversight.

  • Richard Karalus.

    Director of Research Compliance

    Rich Karalus oversees the management and administration of compliance policies as they relate to the university's research activities. He's also the primary liaison with federal, state and other regulatory agencies and works collaboratively with our Environment, Health and Safety department.

  • Thomas Wendt.

    Director of Research Information Systems

    Tom Wendt oversees the Research Information Systems (RIS) office. Tom is an IT professional with more than 30 years experience. He has several IT related certifications and has served on many professional committees locally, statewide and nationally. 

  • Diana Aga.

    Diana Aga, PhD

    Director, UB RENEW Institute

    Diana Aga, Henry M. Woodburn Professor of Chemistry in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences, has been named director of the UB RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water) Institute. Aga is an internationally recognized environmental and analytical chemist, and a devoted mentor who has encouraged and helped to launch the careers of a new generation of diverse scientists in her field.

  • Interim Director of CCR

    As interim director of the Center for Computational Research, Matt Jones manages the day-to-day operations of this leading academic supercomputing center, as well as overseeing its research activities. 

  • Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD.

    Director and Senior Research Scientist, Clinical Research Institute on Addictions

    Ken Leonard manages the Clinical Research Institute on Addictions (CRIA), which for more than 40 years has conducted groundbreaking research and is a national leader in the study of substance abuse, addiction and treatment.  

  • Norma Nowak.

    Executive Director, New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences

    Norma Nowak is an entrepreneur, acclaimed researcher and recognized leader in the human genomics field. As executive director of the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, she guides the strategic operations of the center, bringing together researchers and businesses in the life sciences.

  • Paras N. Prasad, PhD.

    Executive Director, New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences

    Paras Prasad supervises the Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics and its program, including education, research and contributions to the region's economic development. The field of photonics—the science and technology based on light-affects communication, information technology and health care.