CELLAS ARI'KA HAYES, PHD
FIRST GEN. TO FIRST DOCTOR
Cellas is a neuroscientist on a captivating journey as a Postdoctoral Scholar at his dream institution, Stanford University, where he also holds the esteemed privilege of being a Propel Scholar. The journey began when he embarked on a mission to decipher the under-pinning of the brain involving neuroendocrine signaling contributions to learning, memory, and ischemic stroke. His undergraduate and graduate research journey led him to proudly become a first-generation college graduate (BA 2019) and to be the first Black male to obtain a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences with an emphasis in Pharmacology as he led his 2022-2023 Doctoral Class with the prestigious title of Class Marshall. During his doctoral training, he was the esteemed recipient of the Southern Regional Education Board Scholar at the University of Mississippi and was admitted as a Smith Scholar affiliated through the Graduate Training Educational Center at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Cellas has been known to keep himself busy beyond the laboratory, from serving as a graduate student ambassador to lending his wisdom as the voice of reason on the School of Pharmacy’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The most remarkable feature of his graduate school journey was securing the coveted NRSA F31 from NIH, a feat so astonishing that it had not been achieved at the University of Mississippi for an astounding 37 years. As if that were not enough, he snagged the honor of being the first black trainee to receive this accolade at the institution–talk about making history! His doctoral days were a whirlwind of excitement, focused on unraveling the enigmatic world of neuroendocrine modulators like IGF-1, as they waged war against the daunting adversaries of neurological and physical impairments brought on by ischemic stroke. But now his path has led him onward to the Stanford Unversity where he now dives headfirst into the fascinating realm of vascular contributions to neurodegeneration using a wide away of translation techniques including neuroimaging, large-scale data bases, and epidemiological biostatistical methods. So, there you have it, a brief glimpse into the rollercoaster ride that is his scientific journey. From cultures to molecules, history-making accolades to brain-bending techniques, it has been a wild ride and he is just getting started.