Remembering Dr. Kakambi Nagaraja: Mentor, Colleague, Leader, and Friend

Kakambi NagarajaThe VBS Department is profoundly saddened to announce the passing of VBS Professor, Kakambi Nagaraja on Wednesday morning, July 22 after a brief illness. Dr. Nagaraja or ‘Raj’ as he was affectionately called by many, came to the University of Minnesota in 1974 from Bangalore, India. He worked towards his Ph.D. degree and was eventually hired by his mentor, Dr. Benjamin Pomeroy in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, a predecessor of the present Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.

Throughout his career, Dr. Nagaraja pursued investigations on poultry infections produced by Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and other microbial pathogens. Raj built bridges and maintained relationships, forging many alliances and partnerships with the Minnesota Turkey Growers and the state's turkey industry, which has been vital to moving poultry research forward at the University of Minnesota.

In addition to his research, Dr. Nagaraja was a mentor and teacher to countless students. He taught undergraduate and veterinary courses and mentored many M.S. and Ph.D. students. Raj said the thing that made him most proud was being able to catch up with his past students to ‘see where they have gone and learn how they had made their own careers.’

Dr. Nagaraja will be remembered for his positive attitude and being a person who genuinely cared about others. He was beloved by all. Raj’s bright smile and booming voice in friendly greeting as it carried through the hallways of the College of Veterinary Medicine will be greatly missed by everyone who crossed his path.

To learn more about Dr. Nagaraja’s life and career, please visit the VBS website. The VBS Department set up a memorial page, which friends are invited to read and pay tribute. If you would like to contribute to Dr. Benjamin Pomeroy's Legacy Scholarship fund to honor Dr. Nagaraja, please visit the UMN Foundation Make a Gift web page.