The Presidential Awards are the highest honor given by Duke to staff and faculty members. Many of this year's winners helped Duke rise to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficult national dialogue on race and social justice, including Neurobiology's own Dr. Kafui Dzirasa.
In addition to doing groundbreaking research using neuroscience, bioengineering and computational approaches to examine the roots of mental illness, Kafui Dzirasa is a tireless advocate for, and mentor to, underrepresented minorities in science and medicine. He’s worked to create a lab defined by inclusion and become a national voice on issues of racial inequality in science and academia.
“Dr. Dzirasa is a truly unique member of our community: a trailblazer, an innovator, a caring colleague, an activist and an inspirational leader across many dimensions,” wrote Moira Rynn, chair of Duke’s Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and one of Dzirasa’s nominators. “He is a powerful force for positive growth and change at Duke, and his contributions make our institution—and the world—a better place.”