Five Postdoctoral Scholars Making an Impact

In celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, NYUAD highlights the important research postdoctoral candidates are conducting on campus.

From Himalayan linguistics to the prevention of noncommunicable diseases, postdoctoral associates on campus conduct research hand-in-hand with faculty that make an impact on the world. 

A total of 154, NYU Abu Dhabi postdoctoral associates are working across all academic divisions and on research projects within the University's centers and labs.

“Postdocs are central to the campus research mission and bring critical expertise to their faculty, research labs, and broader campus communities. Postdocs are  They are diverse; we’ve had postdocs from over 58 countries, and so they bring a wealth of cultural knowledge to our global community. They also serve as role models for our graduate and undergraduate students, and many of them serve as mentors, including shepherding students through capstone research," said Carol Genetti, vice provost for graduate and postdoctoral programs NYUAD.

They bring expertise from international laboratories, often with ongoing collaborations to assist the broader reach of NYUAD’s global research efforts focusing on interdisciplinary and stand-alone projects in engineering, marine science, history, economics, neural science, cyber security, art history and philosophy, mathematics, and genomics.

“I want to underscore the central contribution of our Postdocs to our community, and our progress and position as a research institution. Their hard work and new ideas keep the light of our research burning bright. By celebrating, mentoring, and learning from them, we ensure that we will be able to pass along the torch to the next generation. Our Postdocs are our future faculty and leading researchers, and I am so grateful to have such a remarkable group as part of our community.” Professor of Biology Sehamuddin H. Galadari, senior vice provost for research and managing director of the Research Institute NYUAD.

In celebration of these pillars of our research enterprise, we feature five postdoctoral associates who explain their work on campus and the role NYUAD has played in shaping their academic careers.

Farah Ahmed

I have been fortunate enough to be one of the first three researchers to join the NYUAD Water Research Center. This gave me the opportunity to not only carry out my research in membrane-based desalination and water treatment, but to also be actively involved in capacity-building for the center through participating in hiring committees, writing grant proposals and acquiring new  essential equipment.

It has been an absolute delight for me to see the Water Research Center grow into a diverse team of researchers in the short time I’ve spent here. As a postdoc, I really enjoy the excitement and independence of experimental research and being able to dedicate my time to research activities, which I think is very different from the added load of “distractions” and deadlines faced by a graduate student. On the research front, I am thrilled that I get to work in an area of utmost global and regional importance: materials and processes for energy-efficient desalination.

Fatima AlMaisary

I have been at NYUAD’s Public Health Research Center (PHRC) since its foundation in 2015. The PHRC established the UAE Healthy Future Study, a longitudinal research study focusing on cardiovascular disease and its risk factors. Within this project, I have grown both professionally and academically. Five years later after I obtained my PhD, I was proudly appointed as a postdoc at the center.

As a postdoc today, I enjoy working independently and lead my own research questions, but also have the support and guidance of the best epidemiologists.At the PHRC, I am fortunate to work with leading scientists not only within the institution, but also with collaborating universities in the UAE, US and UK. The rich exposure I get here to different aspects of a research project and scientists will shape me into the researcher I aspire to become. 

Daehong Min

I am a postdoctoral associate at the social science division. My research covers topics in Microeconomic theory, especially information design problems. Information design studies strategic interaction between information "generators" and information users. For example, one of my published research looks at how the information generator's data manipulation backfires on the information generator and hurts the information users.

I joined the NYUAD postdoctoral program in 2019, which has successfully shaped my academic career. The program and NYUAD community have supported my research in every dimension. For example, I can communicate and collaborate with outstanding researchers from all over the world;  I have benefited a lot from senior scholars' mentoring; My family and I feel included in a safe community, allowing me to focus on my research. I hope this program continues to  prosper and to keep nurturing young scholars in the future for the common good.

Nirmin Juber

I am a postdoctoral associate at the Public Health Research Center, NYUAD. As an epidemiologist, I am passionate about conducting epidemiological studies aimed at the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the population. My current research is related to women's health and I am interested in investigating early-life risk factors and the prevalent NCDs among women in the UAE, such as gestational diabetes and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

As an associate for less than a year here at NYUAD, I have been receiving a lot of support around and starting to get to know what currently other postdocs are doing, thanks to frequent programs and events for postdocs. I look forward to growing my skills during my appointment here in order to contribute more to the improvement of health in society.

Kaustuv Kanti Ganguli

I have been a Scholar in Residence at the Center for Digital Scholarship at NYUAD. The most fascinating experience was the freedom to exercise computational skills into a liberal arts framework in a cross-disciplinary environment — best of all worlds converging at one place! I am a part of the Music and Sound Cultures (MaSC) research lab where experts from different disciplines come together with a view to collectively understanding the art and science of music. It was indeed an enlightening journey to combine empirical and humanistic methods from sound artefacts to study the cultural migration around the Arab world — we fondly call it Sonic Digital Humanities. 

It has not only been the academics but the community and facilities that made my journey even more special — interacting with artists of diverse genres, recording in top notch studios, and the vibrant social events were one of its kind. Last but not the least, I had the privilege of serving as the Chair of the Postdoctoral Council Steering Committee and as a member of the  Academic Strategy Task Force.