Proposal Development Office Team

Kiran Kocherlakota, PhD

Director

Dr. Kiran Kocherlakota received her PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from Penn State University. Beyond her proficiency in laboratory techniques, Kiran has cultivated a keen interest in research administration, amassing valuable experience in this domain.  She has provided budgetary, operational, and administrative oversight for various research centers and institutes. She has written and edited manuscripts, book chapters and grants. She has helped research faculty successfully compete for program funding from several major sponsors. In her role in the SoM Proposal Development Office, Kiran continues to help faculty members identify funding opportunities and prepare competitive grant proposals.

Lee Fradkin, PhD

Research Development Specialist

After a lengthy actively pipetting research career, Lee joined the PDO in November 2023.  He grew up in Detroit, Michigan (Motown) and received his Ph.D. in molecular biology at UCLA. He was an Associate Professor at the Leiden University Medical Center (The Netherlands) for 15 years. The lab was focused on understanding the roles of alternative Wnt protein receptors and members of the Dystrophin Glycoprotein Complex in the developing nervous system.  Upon returning stateside, he took the position of Senior Basic Life Research Scientist with Dr. Mark Skylar-Scott in the Department of Bioengineering and the BASE Cardiac Initiative, leading the synthetic biology and generation and purification of hIPSC growth factor efforts. Lee lives with his partner, their teenage son, golden retriever and two cats on the San Francisco Peninsula. 

Heike Schmidlin, PhD

Research Development Specialist

Dr. Heike Schmidlin received a PhD in Immunobiology from the University of Amsterdam investigating gene regulation in human lymphocyte development. Following her degree, she worked for over 15 years as a life science industry professional with global pharmaceutical and consulting organizations, including innovation consultancy for biotechnology R&D, clinical operations management and medical advisory. Heike provides expert consultation for the development of grant proposals and in the past decade helped raise R&D funding for numerous life science and green tech innovation projects, through EU and US grants. 

Navil Lopez

Research Administrator 

Navil provides support to the Proposal Development Office by working with the team to prepare strong and impactful grant proposals. Contact Navil for any inquiries for the team or other general questions.