University of Chicago RDS

The Best People, The Best Ideas, The Best Research

We attract smart, interesting, and principled people who come from a variety of backgrounds including academia, social enterprise, business, law, development, and non-profits. This diversity allows us to bring an innovative, and sometimes unorthodox, approach to research strategy. As a team, we collaborate and learn from each other, our faculty partners, and their work. We value giving our team members an equal seat at the table.

Our team is composed of members from three campus units: Research, Innovation and National Laboratories, the Office of Alumni Relations and Development (Foundation Relations), and the Office of Civic Engagement (Federal Relations). This unique composition allows us to work on projects across campus as well as federal and foundation funding opportunities. Our goal is to accelerate complex research projects while navigating barriers among faculty, funders, and University leadership in the most effective, efficient, and experienced way possible.

Kate Von Holle
Kate Von Holle
Director of Federal Research Development
Kate Von Holle
Director of Federal Research Development

I enjoy acting as a resource for faculty. My job allows me to learn about many different topics, and encourages me to be able to communicate that information to a broad variety of audiences.

Spending the past eight years of my career in Washington DC, working with the sole aim to understand the workings of the executive and legislative branches has prepared me for the unique challenge of navigating the federal agencies on behalf of the University of Chicago. I spent my first year in Washington as a science fellow at the State Department, learning the intricacies of international science policy with regard to marine conservation issues. Moving on to work at a scientific non-profit like the American Geophysical Union prepared me to work with scientists, and helping them communicate with their Congressional delegations and informing of them of new developments in science policy and funding. Lastly, my previous position working for the UK government at the British Embassy in Washington DC allowed me to work with a broad swath of the science agencies, engaging them on many different levels, leading me to develop an in-depth understanding of how they operate. All of these experiences gave me unique insights which have informed my work at RDS.

I appreciate trying out the variety of restaurants that DC has to offer, as well as working off those calories by getting outdoors whenever possible in a variety of pursuits which include running, co-ed softball, and surfing.  

B.S. Biology, College of William & Mary, full athletic scholarship for basketball, M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy, University of Illinois, full academic fellowship.

kvonholle@uchicago.edu
Julia Lane
Julia Lane
Executive Director (SSD/PSD Point Person)
Julia Lane
Executive Director (SSD/PSD Point Person)

To me, good research serves to create an environment where curiosity and unorthodox thinking are valued. At RDS, I love that I am surrounded by people with very different intellectual histories, who are not afraid to question assumptions or champion socially impactful research.

I have experience working in innovative, fast-paced, and often risky environments -- from a startup and venture capitalist firm in Chicago to an NGO in rural China. I learned not only how to be comfortable with uncertainty, but also how to get things up and running quickly and effectively in chaotic environments. My experience with high-level research in graduate school has reinforced the notion that innovative ideas should not be hindered by bureaucratic obstacles or imperfect execution.

In my role at RDS, I strive to make navigating these hurdles as easy and painless as possible. I give messy things structure in an artful and principled way. No task is too insignificant to be done with elegance.

M.A. in International Relations, Committee on International Relations at the University of Chicago, B.A. in International Comparative Politics and History (with honors), The American University of Paris.

jlane2@uchicago.edu LinkedIn
Kate Waimey Timmerman
Kate Timmerman
Director, Foundation and Corporate Relations
Kate Waimey Timmerman
Director, Foundation and Corporate Relations

I have a passion for science that has endured since my childhood days attending Space Camp. I believe that rapidly advancing research should be disseminated to both academics and an informed public in order to ensure integration with broader society.

As an advisor at RDS, I draw on my advanced training in the sciences and experience in biomedical research to facilitate interdisciplinary research in fields such as neuroscience, population health, and environmental law. I also integrate traditional and next-generation methodologies to ensure communication of such research to diverse audiences. Prior to joining this team, I served as the director of science communication and program director for the Oncofertility Consortium at Northwestern University, where I developed strategic media plans, implemented print and social media campaigns, and co-edited a textbook on Oncofertility Communication. This background provides me with the experiences and skills to support the launch and dissemination of ambitious research programs here at the University of Chicago.

I am currently on the boards of Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Illinois, which provides financial awards to academically outstanding graduate students in the STEM fields, and Timmerman Ventures, which oversees all aspects of the launch and development of a well-rounded toddler.

B.A. Neuroscience, Oberlin College; Ph.D. Neuroscience, University of California at Davis; Postdoctoral fellowship, University of Chicago in the Department of Human Genetics.

ktimmerman@uchicago.edu LinkedIn
Elena Zinchenko
Elena Zinchenko
Director of Research Innovation (Harris Point Person)
Elena Zinchenko
Director of Research Innovation (Harris Point Person)

I love research for its systematic capacity for surprise and beauty. It is also a framework for how to change the status quo - something that I have been engaged in my whole life.

Growing up in Northern Siberia, I tried to challenge the way things were done – I did it by co-founding some of the first non-profit organizations in the area. After coming to the US on a scholarship, I worked with hi-tech startups to push forward the adoption of new technologies. I went to graduate school because cognitive science is reframing some age-old philosophical views about the relation between the mind and the brain. For my doctorate, I studied abstract thinking development in young children, and in my post-doctoral studies I worked on determining the brain activation signatures that support metaphoric thinking across lifespan. I now run the Big Ideas Generator at RDS - supporting early-stage, risky and very ambitious research projects. It speaks to my intellectual passions and my impatience about making things better and more fun.

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science, Booth School of Business; Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago; Doctorate in Human Development and Psychology, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

elenaz@uchicago.edu LinkedIn
Lindsey Rogers
Lindsey Rogers
Assistant Director, Research Initiatives, Foundation and Corporate Relations
Lindsey Rogers
Assistant Director, Research Initiatives, Foundation and Corporate Relations

After spending a few years in the private sector, I switched to higher education with the goal of using my analytical skills, curiosity, and understanding of human behavior to help advance the pursuit of knowledge and push humanity forward. As a member of the RDS team, I’m thrilled to help faculty on their path to solving problems and better understanding the world at large.

Before taking on my current role, I worked at the University as a prospect research analyst in the Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations. In this position, I gained a deep understanding of the private funding landscape and the trends driving it. Prior to that, I worked as a consumer analyst at Mintel, a market intelligence agency, where I was involved at all stages of the research process, from developing research objectives, to designing questionnaires, to analyzing data. I also consulted with clients, helping them to understand findings and develop research-based strategies.

I’ve always been enthralled by people and their stories, as evidenced by my love for narrative non-fiction and my early experience writing features for my hometown newspaper. This interest in people has translated into a fascination with assembling and developing effective teams, something I hope to do across the University as part of my role.      

B.S. Mass Communication (public relations emphasis) and double minor in rhetoric/writing and marketing, St. Cloud State University.

lsrogers@uchicago.edu LinkedIn
Katie Bailey
Katie Bailey
Associate Director, Research Initiatives, Foundation and Corporate Relations
Katie Bailey
Associate Director, Research Initiatives, Foundation and Corporate Relations

The pursuit to understand ourselves and our world is both gratifying and awe-inspiring. In seeking answers, we often raise more questions, highlighting not only the value of research but also how much we have yet to learn.

My scientific training and experience in genetic research have taught me how to think critically about a problem, ask the right questions, and strategically pursue solutions. In studying complex diseases affecting multiple biological systems, I integrated ideas and evidence supporting each varied piece of the puzzle to assemble a unified picture. As part of the RDS team, I leverage this experience to bring people and ideas together, facilitating interdisciplinary research initiatives that would not be possible in isolation.

Beyond my work developing innovative research ideas, I am a board member and co-founder of CHIentist, a collaborative organization dedicated to building connections among the stakeholders in Chicago’s life science ecosystem to facilitate the exchange of ideas and opportunities. I am also an avid Irish dancer, teacher, and choreographer.

Ph.D. Human Genetics, University of Chicago; B.A. Biological Sciences, Specialization in Neuroscience, University of Chicago

Kalyana Pingali
Kalyana Pingali
Associate Director of Research Development (IME Point Person)
Kalyana Pingali
Associate Director of Research Development (IME Point Person)

After getting exposure as a Chemical Engineer in process industries and also as a Professor of Chemical Engineering in academic institutions for 20 years, I developed a strong passion for transformative science with firsthand knowledge of innovations, proof-of-concept, prototyping, scalable technology development and entrepreneurship.

Prior to joining UChicago, I served as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Western Michigan University and Assistant Research Professor in Chemical Engineering for an Engineering Research Center (ERC) at Rutgers University, where I worked with multi-disciplinary faculty, scientists and industries. Before coming to academia, I worked as a Chemical Engineer in various chemical manufacturing/process plants for 9 years.

This background helped me to develop comprehensive project management and leadership expertise needed to identify critical problems to advance a technology and secure funding in an academic environment. I also helped researchers develop strategic plans, structured thinking, and hierarchical approaches to identify the significance of translating the innovative idea into a novel product.

The past experience has enabled me to adapt to effective challenges at RINL/RDS team. In my current role at UChicago, I strive to combine innovation, education and research experience for the development of an inter-disciplinary research ecosystem. 

I associate success in life with a combination of happiness (state of mind), positive work-life balance (work, family, friends), achievement and enjoyment, and good health. During my downtime, my central activities include: engaging in Indian Carnatic music, playing musical instruments, painting, writing poetry and reading spiritual, philosophical, Sanskrit and Telugu literature.

Post Doctorate (Chemical Engineering), Rutgers University; PhD (Chemical Engineering), New Mexico State University; MS (Chemical Engineering), New Mexico State University; MBA, New Mexico State University.

kpingali@uchicago.edu
Paula Carney
Paula Carney
Associate Director of Research Development (BSD Point Person)
Paula Carney
Associate Director of Research Development (BSD Point Person)

An interest in biomedical research was sparked as a child when a sibling was diagnosed with a rare congenital disease. That curiosity ultimately led to exploration of community- and policy-level applications of scientific discovery and a passion for facilitating research development and mentoring others.

My scientific training in nutrition and food science and experience in program development, community-level interventions, public health policy and academic research enables me to work across a wide range of disciplines and research methodologies, in the US and International academic settings. I enjoy facilitating processes and systems that have impact on the research enterprise.  I like to create opportunities that enables researchers to engage in discovery, research translation and dissemination, especially through research teams. I am a Certified Facilitator in the NIH-supported National Research Mentoring Network and have presented workshops to faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and students through Northwestern University. 

I serve on the selection panel for the American Association of University Women’s Selected Professions Fellowships.  As a panel member, I am humbled to read applications from women of color who are entering the medical profession, learn of their amazing accomplishments and the impact they plan to have in their chosen areas of specialization.  I also serve on the Mundelein Alumnae Board at Loyola University’s Gannon Center for Women and Leadership.

B.S. Nutrition and Food Science, Mundelein College (Loyola University); M.S. Food Science, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Ph.D. Learning Design & Technology, Wayne State University

pcarney@uchicago.edu