Awardees photo

Nominees and Winners of the 2021 UC Davis Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research

Postdoctoral Scholars Association (PSA) is delighted to announce the nominees and winners of the 2021 UC Davis Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research. The award for excellence in postdoctoral research is offered to recognize the vital role that postdoctoral scholars play in maintaining the reputation of excellent research at the University of California, Davis.

List of nominees for the 2021 UC Davis Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research:

  1. Dr. Christen Grettenberger
  2. Dr. Essam Abdelfattah
  3. Dr. Fabio Anza
  4. Dr. Gina Sideli
  5. Dr. Iael Hoffman
  6. Dr. Igor Vinograd
  7. Dr. Kayla Palakurthy
  8. Dr. Maria Maldonado
  9. Dr. Melike Babucci
  10. Dr. Michelle Cohn
  11. Dr. Miguel Valderrama-Gomez
  12. Dr. Phung Thai
  13. Dr. Sarah Haynes
  14. Dr. Thomas Gonzalez Fernandez
  15. Dr. Victoria Ngo
  16. Dr. Xiaodong Qian

Winners of the 2021 UC Davis Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research:

Dr. Michelle Cohn is a Postdoctoral Fellow and Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation (NSF), Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE). Dr. Cohn postdoctoral program is based in the Department of Linguistics, UC Davis.  Her research as a postdoc tests how humans interact with voice-AI assistants (e.g., Siri, Alexa). In just the last two years, she has published 17 papers (10 first-author), mentored 8 graduate students and 9 undergraduates in independent projects, and received 2 external grants, including a training grant through the National Science Foundation. She has also been highly successful at sharing her research with the general public. At the 2020 UC Davis Picnic Day, she led two virtual ‘booths’. This year, she has received press attention for a project on speech communication with face-masks, doing interviews with local news and radio. She helped organize the 2019 Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute hosted by UC Davis. Recently, she organized the UC Davis Human-Computer Interaction Research Group to bring together more than 30 faculty, postdocs, and students from departments across campus in monthly meetings.

Dr Essam Abdelfattah is a Postdoctoral Scholar in Dairy Epidemiology lab in the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis. Dr. Abdelfattah’s research focus on improving health and welfare of agricultural animals.  Since 2018, he has been leading the research effort to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture to meet Society’s interest in reduced antimicrobial drug (AMD) use while maintaining health and welfare of dairy cattle. He Has completed one of the most comprehensive and largest AMR studies conducted in the dairy industry. In addition to research duties, Dr. Abdelfattah has been an active officer of the UC Davis Postdoctoral Scholars Association since 2015.

Dr. Fabio Anza is a Postdoctoral Scholar, Templeton “Power of Information” Independent Research Fellow at Complexity Sciences Center, Department of Physics, UC Davis. His work at UC Davis is focused on an approach to Quantum Mechanics, called Geometric Quantum Mechanics, to tackle quantum dynamics, quantum thermodynamics and quantum information processing. The major outcome of this research thrust is a new framework, with a novel series of analytic and numeric tools, to study stochastic quantum dynamics, its computational capabilities and information-theoretic resources. This also unlocks a series of concrete questions, currently under investigation, mostly within the following research areas: non-equilibrium thermodynamics of quantum systems; noisy quantum information processing; dynamics of open quantum systems. The work also closes an existing gap between the theory of dynamical systems and quantum physics. This will allow to answer key questions from quantum information and quantum computation as: How random is a stochastic quantum dynamics? What is the structural complexity of a quantum model? How much memory does a quantum process have?




O. Adewale Osipitan, 

Chair,  UC Davis Postdoctoral Scholars Association