Staff Information and Bios - ISU Office of the Vice President for Research

Staff Information and Bios


Sarah M. Nusser, Vice President for Research

2610 Beardshear Hall

Sarah Nusser is vice president for research at Iowa State University and a professor in the Department of Statistics. She is a faculty member in the Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology and in interdepartmental graduate programs for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Human Computer Interaction at Iowa State University. As vice president for research, Sarah leads efforts to advance and support the research mission at Iowa State University. She supports campus-wide programs for fostering faculty research development, new research initiatives, and new interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaborations. Sarah oversees several interdisciplinary research centers, as well as units that support sponsored funding, responsible conduct of research, and institutional research facilities. Prior to joining the Office of the Vice President for Research in 2014, Sarah served as the director of the Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology at Iowa State University for 15 years, where she conducted research in survey statistics and methodology with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Economic Research Service, and National Institute of Food and Agriculture; National Science Foundation (NSF); National Institutes of Health (NIH); and federal statistical agencies, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau. Sarah has served on numerous scientific panels, advisory committees and governing boards with the National Academies, NSF, NIH, U.S. Census Bureau, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, and statistical societies. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, and has received awards for excellence and service from Iowa State and the ASA. Sarah received a BS in botany from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, MS in botany from North Carolina State University, and PhD in statistics from Iowa State University. 

Guru Rao, Associate Vice President for Research, Research Integrity Officer

2810 Beardshear Hall 

Guru Rao joined the Office of the Vice President for Research in February 2016 as an associate vice president for research. Guru is the Roy J. Carver Professor in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology. He joined Iowa State in 2006 after 18 years as a researcher and senior research leader at DuPont Pioneer. Guru was appointed interim chair of the BBMB department in 2007 and served as chair from 2009-2016. He received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Mysore, India, and his research interests are broad-ranging in the area of protein science. Guru’s focus in the Office of the Vice President for Research includes working with faculty to engage federal and industry funding opportunities, develop interdisciplinary research teams in response to emerging federal priorities, and build relationships with current and prospective research sponsors.

Jim Reecy

Jim Reecy, Associate Vice President for Research

2810 Beardshear Hall 

Professor of animal science and recent director of the Office of Biotechnology Jim Reecy joined the Office of the Vice President for Research June 1, 2017, as an associate vice president for research. Jim joined Iowa State in 1999 as a faculty member in the Department of Animal Science. He became director of the Office of Biotechnology in 2009. He received his doctorate in animal science from Purdue University in 1995. Jim helps researchers connect with funding opportunities and successfully pursue their research goals. 

Surya Mallapragada

Surya Mallapragada, Associate Vice President for Research

2810 Beardshear Hall

Distinguished professor and Carol Vohs Johnson Chair in chemical and biological engineering Surya Mallapragada joined the Office of the Vice President for Research July 1, 2017. Surya has served as faculty fellow in the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost since 2015, and served as chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering from 2009 to 2013. She is also a senior scientist and previously served as program director of materials chemistry and biomolecular materials at Ames Lab from 2004 to 2008. In the Office of the VPR, Surya focuses on research advancement, including engagement with research foundations, developing interdisciplinary collaborations, and continuing her institutional service in nominating faculty for prestigious awards.

Jerry Zamzow, Assistant Vice President for Research

2810 Beardshear Hall

Jerry Zamzow was appointed assistant vice president for research in June 2015. Zamzow has led Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR) and the Office for Responsible Research (ORR) at Iowa State. Zamzow began his career at Iowa State in the animal science department, and he has also worked in the pharmaceutical/nutraceutical industry in the areas of quality assurance and quality control. As assistant vice president for research, Zamzow leads the Office of the Vice President for Research’s efforts in responsible conduct for research and research integrity.

Ásrún Ýr Kristmundsdóttir, Director of Operations

2610 Beardshear Hall

Ásrún Ýr Kristmundsdóttir became director of strategic planning and operations in August 2015.  She is responsible for directing VPR office operations, implementing and monitoring the office strategic plan, and managing the VPR office finance, human resource, communication, training, information systems and facilities. She is currently also the COO for the Iowa NSF EPSCoR Project, a position she has held over the past 3.5 years. Previous experience includes serving as the interim Grants Hub director and pre-award administrator in the Office of Sponsored Programs, both at Iowa State, and over 10 years of managerial experience in a small business environment. Ásrún received a B.S. in fisheries and wildlife from the University of North Dakota, M.S. in genetics from Texas A&M University, and an MBA from the University of Iowa.


Central Administration Staff


Erin Mullenix, Director of Data-Driven Science

1138F Pearson Hall 


Karen Bramow, Administrative Specialist, Executive Assistant to Sarah Nusser

2610 Beardshear Hall 


Kendra Smith, Secretary

2810 Beardshear Hall 


Craig Hamerlinck, Human Resources Coordinator

2810 Beardshear Hall


Amy Harris-Tehan, Researcher Development Coordinator

2810 Beardshear Hall



Jeremy Neppl, Budget Analyst

2610 Beardshear Hall


Dana Wilson, Communications Officer

2610 Beardshear Hall


Chelsea Davis, Communications Specialist

1138C Pearson Hall

Pete Lelonek, Facilities Coordinator

1210 Molecular Biology


Directors of Research Support Units


Sarah Kaatz, Director, Office for Responsible Research

202 Kingland Building

Becky Musselman, Director, Office of Sponsored Programs Administration

1138 Pearson Hall


Mary Sauer, Attending Veterinarian

11 Kildee


Robert Shipley, Director, Laboratory Animal Resources

1426 Veterinary Medicine


Liz Zuercher, Director, Grants Hub

1138 Pearson


Brooke Langlitz, Director, Office of Research Integrity

202 Kingland Building

Center/Institute Directors Reporting to the Vice President for Research

Bioeconomy Institute (BEI) Robert Brown  
Center for Advanced Host Defenses, Immunobiotics and Translational
Comparative Medicine (CAHDIT)
Michael Cho  
Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities (CEAH) Carlton Basmajian  
Center for Metabolic Biology Basil Nikolau  
Institute for Transportation (InTrans) Shauna Hallmark  
Iowa Center for Advanced Neurotoxicology (ICAN) Anumantha Kanthasamy  
Iowa Water Center (IWC) Richard Cruse  
Midwest Forensics Resource Center (MFRC)    
Nanovaccine Institute Balaji Narasimhan  
Partnerships in Prevention
Science Institute (PPSI)
Richard Spoth  
Plant Sciences Institute (PSI) Patrick Schnable  
Statistical Laboratory    
Virtual Reality Applications Center James Oliver  
Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) Alicia Carriquiry  
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