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School of Medicine’s Agrawal tapped for Creighton’s highest teaching honor

DK Agrawal, PhDLongtime Creighton University School of Medicine Professor Devendra K. Agrawal, PhD, is this year’s recipient of Creighton’s Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement. Agrawal will receive the award at Creighton’s commencement exercises, May 13.

Agrawal, who began his tenure at Creighton in 1985, has proven himself not only a curious and inventive researcher, but a gifted teacher and mentor committed to developing the next generation of researchers and clinicians. From his laboratory in the Department of Clinical and Translational Science, which he also chairs, Agrawal’s students are engaging in some of the most cutting-edge research in the world today, all with an eye of taking their work from “the bench to the bedside.”

Creighton’s doctorate in Clinical and Translation Science is the only one of its kind in the region and exists largely due to Agrawal’s efforts in capturing student interest and serving as a willing and interested in mentor for thousands of students in his time at the University.

Agrawal is one of the University’s all-time leaders in grant funding, generating tens of millions of dollars for work on everything from asthma and allergy to cardiovascular diseases. He is presently the principal investigator on seven active research grants from the National Institutes of Health, totaling $15 million. Students have come from across the globe to work with Agrawal, who is known for his free hand and his open door to curious students eager to tackle some of the medical field’s most pernicious problems. Right now, the Department of Clinical and Translational Science boasts 30 students or postdoctoral researchers from 15 countries.

The motivation in taking on so many projects and overseeing the work of so many students, Agrawal says, has the goal of putting more knowledge into the hands of those who are saving lives and working to cure disease. He helps students so that they can, in turn, help patients.

“My goal is not to develop myself — it is to mentor and support others,” Agrawal said. “I want them to be successful.”

Selected from nominations made by Creighton students, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement, the University’s highest teaching award, has been bestowed since 1970. The award highlights the contributions of a full-time educator at the University who has demonstrated mastery in their respective field, an ability to inspire students and present subject matter in an effective manner, a commitment to serving the University and a concern for all students as individuals.

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