A professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Holly Sellers is UGA’s 2019 Inventor of the Year and the first woman to receive the distinction since 2001.
As reported in the Athens Banner-Herald, a researcher at the Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center, Sellers’ research has led to 12 invention disclosures and five U.S. patents.
Her technologies were made available to industry partners by way of over 20 license agreements, leading to four commercial poultry vaccines and numerous autogenous vaccines that support and secure Georgia’s $22.9 billion poultry industry.
“The poultry industry has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I knew early on that I wanted to pursue a career in science that supported this great industry,” Sellers said. “The opportunities at UGA have allowed me to do research on issues that are important to the industry. The diagnostic support provided by PDRC provides the industry with science-based information so it can make informed decisions about the health of its flocks. In the end, we support the industry’s goals of securing a safe, sustainable and quality source of food to feed the world.”
Sellers does clinical and molecular virology research with a focus on viruses that cause respiratory, enteric and musculoskeletal diseases in poultry, dealing with the identification, characterization and control of those viruses. She also directs virology services at the PDRC and mentors graduate and professional students. Sellers got both her master’s and Ph.D. in medical microbiology from the College of Veterinary Medicine and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stephen F. Austin University.
“Dr. Seller’s accomplishments have truly been remarkable. As head of virology diagnostics at the Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center, she works closely with the poultry industry to improve the health and well-being of poultry across the state and the country,” said Mark Jackwood, the J.R. Glisson Professor of Avian Medicine and head of the department of population health and PDRC. “Her tireless efforts have led to rapid diagnostic tests and innovative vaccines saving the industry millions of dollars year after year. We are very proud of her outstanding achievements.”
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