Office of Research

About the Office of Research

The Office of Research encourages and supports innovative interdisciplinary research, scholarship and creative activities that contribute to the physical, emotional and economic well-being of the people of Georgia, the nation and the world. Through partnerships and collaborations, we seek to share knowledge, increase innovation and deliver the products of our research to the marketplace.


Karen Burg

Karen J. L. Burg
Vice President for Research

Karen Burg was named Vice President for Research in 2021. She holds the Harbor Lights Chair in Biomedical Research in the College of Veterinary Medicine and previously served as Vice President for Research at Kansas State University.

Burg was recruited to UGA in 2016 as the Harbor Lights Chair in Small Animal Studies as part of the University’s Presidential Extraordinary Research Faculty Hiring Initiative, which brought several internationally recognized scholars to campus. At UGA, she leveraged her experiences as a member of the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps for Learning national teaching team to provide input toward UGA’s successful I-Corps site application. She has served as a member of the university’s Innovation District Task Force, the Innovation District Faculty Advisory Council, the 2025 Strategic Planning Committee and the Aspire Alliance IChange Team, which is working to enhance faculty diversity. In 2022, Burg received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President Joe Biden.

Burg’s research focuses on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, with implications for diagnosing and treating diseases such as cancer. Her research has been supported by more than $20 million in grants, and she is the author of nearly 120 peer reviewed journal publications and the co-author of four books and nearly 40 book chapters. She holds nine U.S. patents, one of which forms the basis of a company that uses 3D cell culture technology to model and predict how tumors will respond to cancer drugs.

Burg earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University and her master’s degree and Ph.D. in bioengineering from Clemson University.

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Derek Eberhart portrait

Derek Eberhart
Associate Vice President
Innovation Gateway
 706-542-2207  |

Derek Eberhart is the associate vice president for research and executive director of Innovation Gateway, UGA’s intellectual property licensing and startup support arm. Derek has a Ph.D. in genetics and molecular biology from Emory University, and worked in biopharma before joining UGA.

Eric Ferreira

Eric Ferreira
Interim Associate Vice President for Facilities & Infrastructure
Facilities & Infrastructure
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Eric Ferreira is interim associate vice president for facilities and infrastructure, with responsibilities on the main UGA campus as well as at remote units on the Savannah River and the Georgia coast. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.

Shelley Hooks portrait

Shelley Hooks
Associate Vice President
Internal Grants and AwardsResearch Personnel
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Shelley Hooks is associate vice president for research and directs UGA’s internal research grants and internal awards programs, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the Visiting Researcher/Scholar Program. Shelley has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Virginia.

Larry Hornak portrait

Larry Hornak is associate vice president for strategic research development and is responsible for integrative team initiatives, supporting large, center-scale team research proposals. Larry has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Rutgers University. He previously worked at AT&T Bell Labs and West Virginia University and as a program manager at NSF.

Christopher King portrait

Christopher King
Associate Vice President
Research Integrity and Safety
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Chris King is associate vice president for research, overseeing the Office of Research Integrity and Safety, which includes human and animal research, biosafety and lab safety, export control, financial conflict of interest, occupational health, and responsible conduct of research. Chris completed a DVM at the VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine and an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at Yale before joining UGA.

Jessica Orbock portrait

Jessica Orbock
Senior Counsel for Research, Office of Legal Affairs and Director of Operations, Office of Research
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Jessica Orbock is the senior counsel for research in the Office of Legal Affairs and director of operations in the Office of Research, and she serves as general counsel to the UGA Research Foundation. Jessica has a J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law and practiced intellectual property litigation at Smith, Gambrell & Russell in Atlanta prior to joining UGA.

Jill Tincher portrait

Jill Frazier Tincher is the executive director of Sponsored Projects Administration and oversees central pre- and post-award administration. Jill has an MBA from the University of Miami and worked at the University of Miami in Florida prior to joining UGA.

Matt Colvin

Reporting jointly to the vice presidents for Research and Public Service & Outreach, Matt represents UGA alongside state and local economic development partners for business recruitment efforts, marketing the strengths of UGA’s talent and research pipeline to companies looking to locate or expand operations in Georgia. Matt earned his MBA from the University of Georgia and is currently pursuing his Ph.D in higher education, also at UGA.

Shawn Hill

Shawn Hill is director of programs and change management, overseeing continuous process improvement with a focus on enhancing services and reducing administrative overhead for the research community. Shawn led a corporate division in the private sector before joining UGA in 2014. He holds a degree in consumer economics from the University of Georgia.

Gary Rachel portrait

Gary Rachel
IT Operations 
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Gary Rachel is the director of information technology and supports application development and infrastructure support, including UGA’s enterprise research systems, as well desktop support. Gary has a Ph.D in forest ecology from UGA.

Micheal Terrazas portrait

Mike Terrazas is director of research communications and is responsible for raising the visibility and profile of UGA research among a number of strategic audiences. Mike has a master’s degree in journalism from UGA and worked at Georgia Tech and Emory University prior to joining UGA.

Shelly Terrazas

Shelly Terrazas is director of finance and human resources, which covers business services, HR and research store units in the Office of Research. She has an M.S. in international affairs from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Georgia State University. She previously served in budget and program management roles at Georgia Tech, Emory University and The Carter Center.

Carl Bergmann Portrait

Carl Bergmann
Special Advisor to the Vice President
Research Core Facilities
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Carl Bergmann is special advisor to the vice president for research core facilities, including units dedicated to microscopy, advanced computing, cytometry, instrument fabrication, translational science, and carbohydrate, genomic and isotope analysis. Carl has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from The Ohio State University.

Amy Ware

Amy Ware
Special Assistant to the Vice President for Research
Office of Research
706-583-0599  |

Amy Ware serves as special assistant to the vice president where she works on a variety of projects and initiatives benefiting the research enterprise. Amy previously served as assistant director of UGA Research Communications. She earned a B.F.A. at Louisiana State University and is pursuing an M.P.A. at UGA.