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Dr. Robert Townley Named “2008 Great Allergist”

Dr. Robert Townley Named “2008 Great Allergist”

Robert G. Townley, M.D., Creighton University professor of medicine and medical microbiology and immunology, is one of two physicians to be selected recently as a “2008 Great Allergist” by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). The award is given to academy members in recognition of their contributions to advancements in their field.

Since earning a medical degree from Creighton’s School of Medicine in 1955, Townley has been a pioneer in the study, research and practice of allergy and immunology for the region with a lifelong career goal of finding a cure for asthma.

He helped develop and study techniques to measure airway hyperresponsiveness, the twitchiness of the airways, which is now a critical part of the definition of asthma. His seminal work on families with asthma led to many important observations about key genetic aspects of the inheritance patterns for asthma and allergens.

Townley has studied and defined some of the major factors involved in the development of asthma. This work has ultimately led to his important contributions to a number of clinical trials using novel molecules to treat asthma. Townley was assistant chief for the Department of Asthma-Allergy at National Jewish Hospital in Denver, 1962-66. He has spent most of his career at Creighton, serving as chief of the Division of Allergy/Immunology, 1969-2000. He started an allergy fellowship program at the Creighton in 1971.

A prolific writer, Townley has more than 500 publications to his credit, including abstracts, journal articles, chapters and three co-authored textbooks. Many of his more than 200 abstracts have been presented at national meetings.

Townley has frequently volunteered his services in Omaha and third-world countries to medically underserved populations. He regularly is a supervising physician at the Magis Clinic, a free medical clinic directed by Creighton medical students for the homeless and underserved in Omaha.

Among the awards he has received are Creighton School of Medicine’s Distinguished Research Career Award, the Department of Medicine’s Ignation Award Citation, and AAAAI’s Distinguished Clinician Award. His name regularly appears in the book “Best Doctors in America.”