Distinguished scientist: Benson Edagwa, PhD

Benson Edagwa, PhD

Benson Edagwa, PhD

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony on March 9 for UNMC’s Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist, New Investigator and Community Service to Research Award recipients.

Distinguished Scientist

The Distinguished Scientist Award — which is sponsored by the chancellor — recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists at UNMC during the past five years.

  • Name: Benson Edagwa, PhD
  • Title: Associate professor, UNMC Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience
  • Joined UNMC: July 2012
  • Hometown: Kenya

Please describe your research focus in three words or less:

Long-acting effective and safe therapies

Why is research important in the world today?

The goal of our research is to create ultra-long-acting medicines to be dosed once every six months or every year to facilitate treatment and prevention of hepatitis B (HBV) and HIV-1 infections. We also are developing long-acting treatments for tuberculosis (TB), chronic pain management and opioid use disorders.

My research will make a difference because:

My research will make a difference for people who are living with or are at risk of acquiring HBV, HIV and TB infections and struggle with adherence to daily lifelong therapy. We also are working on making a difference in the fight against addiction and other chronic conditions through our long-acting drug delivery platform. Notably, we created Exavir Therapeutics Inc. to transform our scientific discoveries into products that will have a positive effect on human health.

The best advice I’ve ever received is:

Before getting started, try to understand the box before thinking outside of it.

Three things you may not know about me are:

  • My mother placed me in science after working me so hard on her farm in the village. My wife is a big supporter of my dreams.
  • I prefer to work with my students in the laboratory, and since joining UNMC, I have co-mentored 12 PhD students, 13 undergraduates and high school students and currently am training six graduate students.
  • God has blessed my wife and me with two amazing boys.


  1. Huangui Xiong says:

    Congratulations !

    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Thanks so much, Huangui

  2. Giovanni Consolino says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Edagwa! Thank you for all you do.

    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Thanks so much, Giovanni

  3. Vicky NMulo says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Endagwa!
    Your research makes a difference!

    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Thanks so much, Vicky

  4. Natalia Osna says:

    Benson, my congratulations! You deserved it! !

    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Thanks so much, Natalia and for the great collaboration

  5. Larisa Poluektova says:

    Congratulations and best wishes!

    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Thanks so much for your continued support and collaboration, Larisa

  6. Yunlong Huang says:

    Congratulations on your incredible success Dr. Edagwa!

    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Thanks so much, Yunlong

  7. Prasanta Dash says:

    Many Congratulations Benson. Happy For your achievements.

    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Thanks so much, Prasanta

  8. Howard Gendelman says:

    This award is special in so many ways. It is not simply a tribute to an individual, Dr. Benson Edagwa, but to our Medical Center and to witness the evolution and achievements of a distinguished scientist to a lofty level. As we all know and appreciate, Benson evolved from a postdoctoral fellow to one of the leading scientists and innovators in UNMC’s and dare say the world’s history. Watching his development in this environment, collaboratories, mentorships, and community involvement-opportunities have merged together to facilitate this incredible individual; he has succeeded at the highest levels. This of not simply his grants, his publications, the company, and the future visions but testimony of what can happen right here. We are all so proud of his achievements and his leadership will propel him and this institution to a very different level.

    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Always grateful for your unwavering support, leadership and collaboration, Dr. Gendelman

  9. Benson Edagwa says:

    Thank you All for the kind words and support! Am blessed to be surrounded and supported by a great team, collaborators, environment and community

  10. Tom O’Connor says:

    Way to go, Benson!

    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Thanks so much, Tom

  11. Siwei Zhao says:

    Congrats Dr. Edagwa!

    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Thanks so much, Siwei

  12. Heidi Kaschke says:

    Hongera, Dr. Edagwa!

    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Ahsante sana, Heidi

  13. Janice and Jimmy says:

    Congratulations Benson!\

    Janice and Jimmy

    Advanced Microscopy Core Facility

    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Thanks so much for your continued support, Janice and Jimmy

  14. Precious S Davis says:


    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Thanks so much, Precious

  15. Emily Wekesa says:

    Congratulations Prof Edagwa. I am happy for you. May Our Good Lord continue blessing you with knowledge and wisdom.
    I would suggest that you also research for new antibiotics. AMR is a silent pandemic.

    Emily Wekesa, Kenya

  16. Benson Edagwa says:

    Noted and thanks, Emily

  17. Jonathan L. Vennerstrom says:

    Congratulations to you for your outstanding work!

    1. Benson Edagwa says:

      Thanks so much Dr. Vennerstrom, I continue to learn from research leaders like yourself

Comments are closed.