School awards biotech entrepreneur Kent Hawryluk with the 2018 Distinguished Alumnus AwardThe School of Science and the School of Science Alumni Association presented alumnus P. Kent Hawryluk with the 2018 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Hawryluk accepted the award October 24 during a presentation and on-stage conversation at Lilly Auditorium.
Hawryluk is a consistently successful entrepreneur who worked in the biotechnology industry while earning his degree from the School of Science. Hawryluk earned a master's degree in biology from the school in 2013. He serves as chief business officer at Avidity Biosciences, a privately held biotech company pioneering new precision medicines for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. He is also a member of the board of directors of Gemphire Therapeutics, a public biopharmaceutical company.
"In the biotech industry today, an advanced degree in science is so valuable," Hawryluk shared. "It helps me better understand opportunities that I look at within both my own company and evaluate other things I may want to get involved with as an investor or board member. It's cutting through it, it's being able to read the journal articles and then ask the right questions."
Hawryluk also shared why he's made it a priority to give back to the School of Science.
In 2016, Hawryluk made a $500,000 gift to the School of Science to endow a scholarship fund to help students finish their degrees. The Hawryluk Family Scholarship provides funding for junior or senior science students to take essential coursework required for graduation. This scholarship is awarded to students with a strong academic record and who work while attending the School of Science.
"This is very near and dear to my heart as a number of students in this situation are weighing providing for their families and/or continuing their studies," Hawryluk said. "In my experience, the working students are often the most diligent and best performers. What I wanted to do was to give consideration and support to students who are managing work and studies--and maybe this can allow them to work a few less hours and devote more time to academics."
"By establishing this scholarship, Kent filled a need for some of our students who need a boost to finish their degrees and, for that, we are very grateful," added School of Science Dean Simon Rhodes.
In addition to the degree he earned at IUPUI, Hawryluk has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree from Princeton University.