University of Southern California

Research

Leadership

Maja Matarić

Maja Matarić is the Interim Vice President of Research
vpres@usc.edu
Research Gate Profile

Dr. Matarić is a Distinguished Professor, Chan Soon-Shiong Professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics, Founding Director of the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center (RASC), and co-director of the USC Robotics Research Lab. She pioneered the field of socially assistive robots that provide therapies and care through social interaction, especially for special-needs populations. Inspired by the potential for affordable human-centered technologies, she and her students conduct research over a broad interdisciplinary terrain to assist in mitigating societal challenges that require sustained personalized support. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, private foundations, and corporate sponsors.

She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the IEEE, and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). She is a recipient of many awards including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics & Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), the Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Award for Innovation, the Okawa Foundation Award, and the NSF Career Award. She authored the popular textbook The Robotics Primer (MIT Press, 2007), is an associate editor of three major journals, and has published extensively. She also served as the president of the USC Academic Senate and faculty in 2006-2007.

Prior to this role, Dr. Matarić served as the Vice Dean for Research in the Viterbi School of Engineering from 2006 to 2019. In that capacity, she established the Viterbi Internal Center Incubator which has supported over 10 centers; established and lead the Viterbi Research Committee which helped to shape the school’s research priorities and organize the annual research retreat; organized numerous cross-USC interdisciplinary retreats and networking events for faculty; established the USC Center for Excellence in Research (in 2006, in collaboration with the USC Office of Research); established the Viterbi Awards Office; established and ran the weekly research newsletter, on-line research topic database for facilitating research collaborations, web resources for junior researchers, an internal grant proposal reviewing program, a system for facilitating center-scale proposals, a twice-yearly mentoring panel for PhD students and postdocs, annual PhD research fellowship training works for undergraduates and PhD students, and faculty-student matching for undergraduate researchers. To promote K-12 STEM outreach and facilitate broader impacts of faculty research, Dr. Matarić was PI of two consecutive NSF Research Experience for Teachers Sites for the Viterbi School, originated the annual USC Robotics Open House, and lead the unification of the Viterbi K-12 stem outreach into the new K-12 STEM Center.

Dr. Matarić is deeply passionate about conveying the importance and promise of interdisciplinary engineering research and careers in STEM to a diverse audience including K-12 students and teachers, women and other underrepresented groups in engineering, the media, and policymakers. She received her PhD in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence from MIT, MS in Computer Science from MIT, and BS in Computer Science from the University of Kansas.

 

Jennifer Dyer

Jennifer Dyer is the Executive Director of the USC Stevens Center for Innovation
jennifer.dyer@stevens.usc.edu

As Executive Director, she leads a team of 30 to ensure that USC supports translational research, intellectual property management, patenting, licensing, startups, mentoring and translational funding.

Dyer has 20 years of experience and a strong record of success in technology transfer, including serving as Director of Technology Development at The Scripps Research Institute. At TSRI, Dyer contributed to growth in both licensing activity and corporate sponsored research, including the management of major funding relationships with Novartis, Johnson & Johnson and PPG. Her experience at TSRI includes supervising 800 licensing negotiations for equity, royalties and other financial terms, formation of 30 start-up companies and more than 300 research funding agreements.

Dyer joins USC from Life Technologies Corporation, where she served as a Corporate Development Consultant, leading the development of negotiation strategy and negotiating key licensing deals. Prior to Life Technologies, Dyer served as Vice President of Business Development for Wellspring Worldwide where she developed the strategy for the marketing and sales of Wellspring’s Knowledge Management System to corporations and academic institutions, as well as expansion into Asia-Pacific markets.

Dyer is a Certified Licensing Professional and has a degree in Physiology from California State University, Long Beach. Dyer has been an active member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) and the Licensing Executives Society (LES) since 1993.

 

Steven Moldin

Steven Moldin is the Executive Director of the USC Washington, DC Office of Research Advancement
moldin@usc.edu

Moldin directs USC’s research advancement efforts in Washington, D.C. He has conducted research at New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University and was a faculty member at Washington University School of Medicine. In 1995, Moldin joined the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), one of the National Institutes of Health, to manage an extramural research portfolio. He left in 2006, having led the Office of Human Genetics & Genomic Resources and having served as Associate Director of the Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science. Moldin was responsible for the fiscal and scientific management of a $200 million grants and contracts portfolio, and increased the yearly funding of NIMH’s human genetics research portfolio by 56% over two years.

Moldin is an associate editor of Genes, Brain, and Behavior and serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Medical Genetics. Moldin has published over 50 papers and book chapters in the areas of psychiatric genetics, schizophrenia, autism and neuroscience. He is co-editor of Methods in Genomic Neuroscience and Understanding Autism: From Basic Neuroscience to Treatment.

Moldin received his B.A. magna cum laude with distinction and Phi Beta Kappa in psychology from Boston University (1983), his M.A. in psychology from Yeshiva University (1985), and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Yeshiva University (1988). He completed an internship at Hillside Hospital – Long Island Jewish Medical Center (1988) and received postdoctoral training in genetics at Washington University School of Medicine (1988-1991).

 

Jeri L. Muniz

Jeri Muniz is the Executive Director of the Department of Contracts and Grants
jeri.muniz@usc.edu

Jeri began working in the field of research administration as a student at the University of California, Irvine. After graduating with a B.A. in Psychology, she began her career in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, but soon found her way back to research administration. During her fourteen year tenure at UCI, Jeri assumed a number of roles in research administration: Grants Officer, Contracts Officer, Trainer, Conflict of Interest Administrator, Assistant Director and Director, Sponsored Projects. Jeri joined the Trojan Family as the Executive Director for the Department of Contracts and Grants in March, 2008. As Executive Director, she is responsible for the overall management and administration of pre- and post-award non-financial services related to extramural proposals and awards.

Jeri is also an active member of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA), former Chair-Elect for Region VI and a frequent presenter on such topics as subrecipient monitoring, working with industry, and strategies for successful negotiations.

 

Julie Slayton

Julie Slayton is the Director of the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects
jslayton@usc.edu

Dr. Slayton serves as the Director of the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects. She is responsible for AAHRPP re-accreditation, reviewing and developing policies, identifying and implementing best practices, and fostering research ethics education for USC. Dr. Slayton previously served as the Chair of the University Park Campus Institutional Review Board from 2014-2019. She serves or has served as a member of the faculty for the Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) Advancing Ethical Research Conference and the planning committee and faculty for the PRIM&R Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research Conference.

Dr. Slayton is Professor of Clinical Education at USC Rossier, where she teaches in the Educational Leadership and Organizational Change and Leadership EdD programs. She is a qualitative researcher, focusing on the quality of instruction provided to children in elementary school classrooms and adults in professional development settings. As a researcher, she continues to be most interested in understanding and creating the learning conditions and the pedagogy/andragogy necessary to improve child and adult learning opportunities in urban preK-20 settings.

Prior to her tenure at USC, Dr. Slayton worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District for almost 10 years. During that time, she served in a variety of research and leadership roles. As the Director for Research and Planning and the Executive Director for the Office of Strategic Planning and Accountability, she directed research and policy analysis related to the implementation of instructional policies and programs in the District. Prior to this position, she served as the Assistant Chief of Staff to the Superintendent, the Chief Accountability Officer for the District and as a Chief Research Scientist for the District’s Program Evaluation and Research Branch. Prior to her work with the District, Dr. Slayton studied charter schools and school finance at UCLA. In addition, Dr. Slayton practiced law and was a consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention on Federal and State laws pertaining to students’ constitutional rights on campus and inter-agency information sharing regarding juveniles who are at risk of or already engaged in delinquent behavior. She holds a BA in History for the University of California, San Diego (1989), a J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law (1993), and a Ph.D. in Education Policy from the U.C.L.A. Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (1999).

 

Donald Casebolt

Donald Casebolt is the Executive Director of the Department of Animal Resources
casebolt@usc.edu

Dr. Casebolt received his B.S. in Animal Science, Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from the University of California, Davis. He completed a National Institutes of Health fellowship in laboratory animal medicine and comparative medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is board certified by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine.

Casebolt has research interests in the fields of comparative virology, molecular-based diagnostic tests for viral diseases, preventive medicine of laboratory animal populations, and laboratory animal analgesia. He has served as a consultant to the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC) and to the Canadian Council on Animal Care and is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Society for Biomedical Research. He is currently a member of the Council on Accreditation for AAALAC, an international accrediting organization that promotes high standards of animal care, use, and well-being to enhance life sciences research and education.

 

Silvia da Costa

Silvia da Costa is the Director of Faculty Research Relations
sdacosta@usc.edu

Dr. Silvia da Costa supports faculty-led research across the university, advocates for faculty research interests, executes special projects and reports and serves as Diversity Officer. Additional areas of oversite and/or support include research initiatives, software development, research culture, communications and messaging, core lab billing, mentoring faculty, and orienting new faculty.

Previously, Silvia worked as a research scientist for Access Business Group, Product Development, investigating the efficacy and safety of medicinal plants for use in therapeutic product development. She holds various product patents.

As a business owner in the scientific field, while living in Spain, she authored European grants for small businesses in technical, IT, engineering and medical research, managing multidisciplinary research teams, securing strategic alliances with private sector entities, universities, government agencies and cooperatives for multi-country partnership grant requirements. Silvia is a native speaker of English and Portuguese and has working knowledge of Spanish, French and Italian.

Silvia holds Doctoral and Master’s degrees in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Southern California. Her research focused on cytoskeletal filament system regulation of membrane traffic in lacrimal gland acini, as well as the development of an experimental disease model for Sjögren’s syndrome. She also hold bachelor’s degrees in Physics, French and Journalism.

 

Martin Koning-Bastiaan

Martin Koning-Bastiaan is the Director of Enterprise Applications
mjkb@med.usc.edu

Martin Koning-Bastiaan is responsible for the iStar research regulatory system and the diSClose conflicts of interest system. These systems support research compliance for several regulatory committees, including the Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) at USC and CHLA; the conflicts of interest in research committees at USC and CHLA; the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at USC; and the Biosafety and Radiation Safety committees at USC. He has been at USC since 2006.

Prior to his current position at USC, he worked as Director of Technology for MERLOT, an international consortium of universities collaborating on the use of online educational resources, originating out of the California State University system. Martin was responsible for the design and implementation of the MERLOT system. He began his technical career as a research scientist in Apple’s Advanced Technology Group in 1997. Martin holds a Master’s degree in Educational Theory from Stanford University and is currently working on a doctorate in Regulatory Science at USC.

 

Kristen Grace

Kristen Grace is the Institutional Research Integrity Officer
gracekri@usc.edu

Serving in the role of a senior scientist-investigator and acting in the role of deputy director at the Division of Investigative Oversight (ORI), Federal Office of Research Integrity (ORI), Dr. Grace was a leading speaker in federal research regulations, research misconduct and the responsible conduct of research (RCR). Dr. Grace has trained and counseled RIOs nationally on the proper conduct of research integrity investigations, utilizing many of the ORI data forensic techniques that she helped develop.

As a physician, she worked closely with the federal Office of Human Research Protections regarding matters of human subject research integrity. Dr. Grace served as Director of Human Subject Research and Compliance at both Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City and at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, where she combined her medical ethics training, regulatory knowledge and commitment to investigative excellence in guiding institutional review boards and clinical research teams.

Dr. Grace acted as subject matter expert for “The Lab” and co-creator of “The Research Clinic,” two interactive instructional videos used by institutions nationwide. Dr. Grace received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the State University of Stony Brook in New York. She trained in OB/GYN at Albert Einstein in New York followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in reproductive sciences at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.