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Program staff

Marjannie Akintunde, Ph.D. 
Program Officer for Biomedical Sciences and Health Equity
Contact: Email | Phone: 510-987-0512

Dr. Akintunde holds a Ph.D. in Immunology with a designated emphasis in Biotechnology from UC Davis where she received multiple fellowships and awards for her research on the health effects of maternal and childhood exposure to environmental toxicants. Unique for a basic biomedical researcher, Marjannie also has diverse research experience including community-based participatory research, regulatory sciences, and policy research. In her previous position in the Office of Research at UC Davis, Marjannie coordinated proposal development and submissions for interdisciplinary large-scale ($5 - 30M) research grants to the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institution of Health (NIH), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). She is passionate about the environmental health impacts of tobacco use, particularly with vulnerable populations including youth and disadvantaged communities.

Danyetta Anderson, Ph.D. 
Program Officer for Biomedical Sciences and Health Equity
Contact: Email | Phone: 510-987-0513

Dr. Anderson holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Ohio State University with a research background in breast cancer. She holds a certificate in Public Health (with a focus on cancer etiology) from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.  While serving as an Assistant Professor at Loma Linda University, Danyetta’s research focus was in the etiology of triple-negative breast cancer and the disparately high incidence in African American women. She is passionate about the cross section between biomedical science and health equity and looks forward to exploring the application of these disciplines in achieving better outcomes for underserved communities.  

Deborah Colosi, Ph.D. 
Program Officer for Environmental Exposure and Toxicology
Contact: Email | Phone: 510-987-6140

Dr. Colosi received her doctorate in Endocrinology from UC Berkeley and her bachelor’s degree in biology from UC Santa Cruz.  Prior to joining TRDRP, she conducted research in the pharmaceutical industry and gained extensive experience as a Program Officer at the National Institutes of Health managing research initiatives focused on advancing basic research findings into human clinical trials to address unmet medical needs.

Ginny Delaney, Ph.D. 
Program Officer for Biomedical Sciences 
Contact: Email | Phone: 510-587-6292 

Dr. Delaney earned her doctorate in Molecular Biology at Cornell Medical College while conducting research at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  She has worked in grant-making at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York and with the Industry-University Cooperative Research Program (IUCRP) at UCOP.  She is passionate about bringing scientific evidence to bear on policy making.

Norval Hickman, Ph.D., M.P.H. 
Program Officer for Social Behavioral Sciences and Public Health
Contact: Email | Phone: 510-987-9032

Dr. Hickman has training in Clinical Psychology and Public Health. He has experience conducting a clinical trial and behavioral interventions for smoking cessation. His publications address smoking prevalence, cessation treatments, psychosocial correlates, and tobacco industry marketing to special populations.

Maggie Kulik, Ph.D. 
Program Officer for State and Local Policy
Contact: Email | Phone: 510-987-0861

Dr. Kulik has a doctorate in Public Health (Social Epidemiology) and master’s degrees in International Economics and Demography. Prior to joining TRDRP she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in tobacco control at UCSF, followed by a faculty position at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She is passionate about understanding the impact of health policies on tobacco use and on population health, and about ways to achieve health equity.  

Becky Theilmann, Ph.D. 
Program Officer for Biomedical Sciences 
Contact: Email | Phone: 510-987-9214

Dr. Theilmann received her doctorate in Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona. Prior to joining TRDRP, she had been a biomedical research scientist at UCSD focused on developing novel MRI techniques combining the expertise of physics, physiology, and medicine. She looks forward to contributing her skills and experiences to support junior investigators in their future efforts to enrich and diversify the academic biomedical scientific community.  

Tracy Richmond McKnight, Ph.D.
Contact: Email | Phone: 510-987-9811

Dr. McKnight received her doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from UC Davis and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Spelman College and Polytechnic University. She served for 15 years on the faculty of UCSF where she led a successful independent research program in neuroimaging of brain cancer. With a goal of making science more accessible to policymakers and community members, Dr. McKnight joined TRDRP, serving as a Program Officer for Cancer and Neuroscience. Concurrently, she worked with Valerion Therapeutics LLC as Director of Translational Research, where she gained direct knowledge of the regulatory process leading to FDA approval of therapeutic agents. Dr. McKnight is passionate about increasing diversity in the STEM fields and supporting research that has a direct and positive impact on the community at large.

Jen Jackson
Project Policy Analyst
Contact: Email | Phone: 510-987-9888

Mrs. Jackson has years of administrative experience working with the California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP), the California Healthcare Foundation, and UCSF's Center for the Health Professions. She works closely with the TRDRP director and staff as well as the Scientific Advisory Committee members and help coordinate special projects within TRDRP.

Inquiries regarding LOI/application forms and instructions or reviewer questions may be directed to the Research Grants Program Office (RGPO): or (510) 987-9386.

Contact Information:
Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP)
Research Grants Program Office 
University of California, Office of the President 
1111 Franklin Street, 11th Floor
Oakland, CA  94607
Phone: (510) 987-9870
Fax: (510) 587-6325