Research Development Team

Brandon Gaut, PhD

Associate Dean for Research and Innovation

Address: 5205-B McGaugh Hall
Phone number:

Brandon has been a faculty member at UC Irvine since 1998.  His research focuses on the evolutionary genetics of plants and particularly studies the processes that shape genetic diversity in crops.  He has published over 150 papers and book chapters, and he has given more than 130 invited lectures throughout the world. He has been an Alfred P. Sloan Young Investigator, the President of the international Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, and the Chair of his department.  He is also an AAAS Fellow, but he is most proud of his undergraduate teaching awards.  Whenever possible, he heads outside to hike, surf and bike throughout his native Southern California.

Melinda Gormley, PhD

Research Development Officer

Address: 5103 Natural Sciences II
Phone number:

Melinda assists faculty with various aspects of grant development, from identifying appropriate funding opportunities to editing drafts. She has been working in research development since 2010 and writing about science and scientists for much longer, having received her Ph.D. in history of science. Melinda is Secretary of AAAS Section L for the History and Philosophy of Science. Melinda enjoys working on DIY projects and exploring locally.

Yergalem T. Meharenna, PhD

Training Grant Officer

Address: 5212 Natural Sciences II
Phone number:

Yerga has a PhD in genetic engineering, and worked as a crystallographer for more than 13 years. She has been serving as a campus resource and expert for preparing training grants for three years. She assists the faculty in both the School of Biological Sciences and School of Medicine. In her role, she navigates NIH requirements during the development, preparation and submission of training grants, especially the extensive Data Tables, which need exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail. After dealing with the Tables, she relaxes with her Yoga, Meditation, & Aromatherapy.

Jason Park

Pre-awards Manager

Address: 5205 Natural Sciences II
Phone number:

Jason has been at UCI for 15 years and has previous experience in the Schools of Medicine and Engineering. His primary role in the School of Biological Sciences is to help faculty prepare grant applications by interpreting the guidelines, developing budgets, and coordinating the required elements with collaborators and other institutions.  He also helps with post award management of extramural awards.  In his free time, he enjoys golf, tennis and biking.

Megan Vu

Principal Pre-awards Analyst

Address: 5207 Natural Sciences II
Phone number:

Megan has worked at UCI for 13 years. Her primary role in the School of Biological Sciences is to help faculty in the Department of Developmental and Cell Biology with preparing grant proposals for submission.  She has broad experience, but her speciality is preparing proposals for NIH. When she is not working on grants, Megan enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends, and supporting her beloved UCLA Bruins.

Carmen Bastos

Senior Pre-awards Analyst

Address: 5203 Natural Sciences II
Phone number:

Carmen has worked in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology as a Finance Analyst since 2006, where she gained her expertise with NSF proposals.  She recently joined the pre-award team to assist EEB faculty with grant proposals for submission. Outside of work, Carmen enjoys hiking and camping with family and friends in the desert, mountains, and coastal regions of California.

If you are unsure who to contact, please send an email to