Postdoctoral Research Award

Created in 2011, these awards recognize the remarkable contributions of postdoctoral research scholars to the UGA research enterprise. The UGA Research Foundation funds up to two awards a year to current scholars.

2023 Recipients

The research of Ellen Haynes, a wildlife veterinarian and epidemiologist, is conducted under a One Health framework, examining infectious diseases that threaten human, domestic animal and wildlife health. As a postdoctoral research associate at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in the College of Veterinary Medicine since June 2021, she has seamlessly integrated into a multi-disciplinary, collaborative research environment. Haynes is a talented and versatile investigator, undertaking microbiological laboratory investigations, live animal research and field epidemiological studies. Equally impressive is the diversity of project topics, including international research efforts involving the Guinea Worm Eradication Program, coordination of regional pathogen surveillance in wild snakes, and contributions to numerous additional research projects involving viral and parasitic diseases of wild mammals. A forward-thinking, meticulous researcher with a strong publication record and a gifted educator, she is a popular invited speaker for numerous student and professional groups as well as prestigious scientific meetings.


Vicente Kenyi Saito-Diaz is on the cusp of establishing himself as an independent investigator pursuing essential questions related to neural development and dysfunction. He is an outstanding scientist who demonstrates great productivity, creativity and insightfulness in his postdoctoral work. Since joining the UGA Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) in 2018, Saito-Diaz has complemented his previously developed skills in cell biology and biochemistry with cutting-edge human pluripotent stem cell technology to study the cellular basis of development of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). His research has resulted in 10 peer-reviewed articles in top journals and additional ones in review or preparation. He aims to gain a deep understanding of developmental processes and molecular mechanisms of PNS at a time when few other researchers worldwide are focusing on any aspect of this system. His exciting interdisciplinary research could answer fundamental biological questions that are key to designing new treatments for PNS diseases and other yet-to-be-developed neural contexts.

Past Recipients