R. Kelly Dawe, a University of Georgia professor for plant biology and genetics, is the first recipient of the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Georgia Research Alliance.

Winners will receive an endowment from the alliance as well as their respective universities.

“This program is designed to help retain Georgia’s best and brightest scholars who may be targeted for recruitment by other states,” said Georgia Research Alliance Vice President Susan Shows. “While we focus on luring the top researchers from around the world to Georgia, we can’t forget to honor promising researchers who are already helping our universities and our economy with their work.”

To be eligible for the award, researchers must have a record of grant productivity, team leadership, and an interest in commercializing research.

Dawe is seeking to develop artificial chromosomes to introduce new genetic traits into plants.

Georgia Research Alliance: www.gra.org