Casey Berger is a PhD student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy within the UNC College of Arts and Sciences. She is a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellow and a William Neal Reynolds Fellow within The Graduate School’s Royster Society of Fellows. She uses high-performance computing to simulate interactions between particles to understand situations that arose in the early universe — and still occur inside our atoms, stars, and special materials like superconductors.
Rising senior Morgan Vickers is an undergraduate research assistant for the Community Histories Workshop in the Digital Innovations Lab. She is a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow double-majoring in American studies and communications studies, with a minor in creative writing within the UNC College of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on mapping historic cities now underwater, with attention to factors like racial dynamics, changing town infrastructure, and occupations.
Katie Stember is a PhD student in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine within the UNC School of Medicine. She is also the founder of Scientists of North Carolina, a social media platform striving to bridge the gap between scientists and the community. Her research focuses on the disease-causing role of T cells in ANCA vasculitis, an autoimmune disease that affects blood vessels throughout the body.
Nur Shahir is a PhD student in the Curriculum in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology within the UNC School of Medicine, as well as a member of the UNC Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity. Her research focuses on computational and statistical methods to investigate the role of the gut microbiome in inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease.
Rising senior Lin Cao is an undergraduate researcher in the Neher Lab within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences, double-majoring in anthropology and biology, with a minor in chemistry. She is also an ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Research. Her research focuses on the maturation and structure of lipases, a group of proteins that digest fats in the body.
Francesca Bernardi is a math PhD candidate within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a member of the Joint Applied Mathematics and Marine Sciences Fluids Lab. She is the co-founder of Girls Talk Math and president of the UNC Association for Women in Mathematics. Through experiments and mathematical modeling, Bernadi examines the behavior of fluids flowing through tubes of various geometric shapes such as square, rectangular, elliptical, and more.
Cheng Cao is a PhD student studying geological sciences within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on understanding Earth’s evolution over time, as well as the chemical processes that take place on the planet’s surface.
Rachel Willis is a professor of American studies, global studies, and economics within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on how sea-level rise, drought, and increased storm severity threaten port communities, influence migration, alter global food sheds, and impact future access to work through complex water connections related to infrastructure for global freight transportation.
As chief of research strategy, Joyce Tan is responsible for the development and implementation of research strategy for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. She works with leadership throughout campus to facilitate interdisciplinary research programs and to grow the university’s global reputation, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. She also promotes research partnerships with external public and private organizations.