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Fellow of the Year

Fellows' Career Development

Fellow of the Year

Fellows' Career Development

Fellow of the Year winner being presented award
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The Fellow of the Year award is designed to recognize performance above and beyond the call of duty. The award, in the form of a $1,500 travel award and certificate of recognition, is presented annually at NIEHS Science Days.

Nominating Instructions and Eligibility Criteria

PIs, staff scientists, research fellows, visiting fellows, IRTA fellows and biologists are encouraged to nominate an NIEHS/NTP IRTA postdoctoral, visiting or research fellow for this award; please do not self-nominate. Postbaccalaureate, predoctoral, and summer interns are also eligible; however, please ensure a majority of the criteria outlined below is fulfilled. To nominate, please provide at least three letters of support for your nominee that clearly address the criteria described below. Nominees will be evaluated by a committee of previous Mentor of the Year Award recipients and nominees. Please note a candidate is restricted to win this award only once. The Fellow of the Year nominees will be evaluated on criteria important for successful well-rounded independent research careers, including:

  1. Passion for and dedication to research
  2. Leadership (including in research design and implementation, in managing research teams and fostering interpersonal relationships, in any scientifically relevant initiatives, etc).
  3. Service (reviewer for journals, an internal reviewer, participation in committees and scientific societies, outreach activities, etc).
  4. Collegiality (provides feedback for practice talks or on research proposals, available to colleagues for advice, input or collaboration).
  5. Mentoring (demonstrates effective mentoring ability: sets clear expectations, effectively communicates, fosters cultural awareness, balances guidance with encouraged self-direction, etc).
  6. Science communication (presentations at meetings or lab/branch seminars and journal clubs, engages in active dialogue/inquiry with the scientific community).

Please address letters of support to "Fellow of the Year Committee". The lead nominator should ask individuals to send their letters of support directly to:

Fellow of the Year Winners

Ciro Amato

2022 Winner: Ciro M. Amato III, Ph.D. 

Ciro M. Amato, Ph.D., IRTA Postdoc of the Reproductive Developmental Biology Group, Reproductive & Developmental Biology Laboratory, won Fellow of the Year. He studies the development of external genitalia, specifically the penis and how it forms during embryonic development.

Cassandra Hayne

2021 Winner: Cassandra K. Hayne, Ph.D.

Cassandra K. Hayne, Ph.D., IRTA Postdoc of the Nucleolar Integrity Group, Signal Transduction Laboratory, won Fellow of the Year. She also won the Best Oral Presentation for her study of human tRNA splicing mechanisms.

Oswaldo Lozoya

2020 Winner: Oswaldo A. Lozoya, Ph.D.

Oswaldo “Ozzy” Lozoya, Ph.D., won this year’s award. A fellow in the Environmental Epigenomics and Disease Group, he was nominated by group leader Douglas Bell, Ph.D. Bell noted that Lozoya’s application to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) program was so impressive that instead of awarding the $600,000 requested, the review committee awarded the project $1 million.

Fei Zhao, Ph.D.

2019 Winner: Fei Zhao, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral fellow Fei Zhao, Ph.D., of the Reproductive Developmental Biology Group, was named Fellow of the Year. He was selected by the Office of Fellows' Career Development (OFCD) for his research on the development of male and female reproductive tracts. With help from his mentor Humphrey Yao, Ph.D., Zhao found that female mouse embryos actively remove male reproductive systems. Next January, he will start his own lab at the University of Wisconsin.

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