The record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season included 30 storms, and while North Carolina managed to dodge the 12 hurricanes that made landfall, that won’t always be the case in the future. A team of interdisciplinary researchers at UNC is combining their expertise in areas like human health, ecology, and urban planning to create a long-term holistic plan helping vulnerable communities prepare for the next generation of extreme weather events.
Ashleigh Henry is a junior and Chancellor’s Science Scholar majoring in environmental health sciences within the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She studies how body mass index can lead to adverse birth outcomes, such as preterm birth and preeclampsia, and the correlation between consuming water infused with heavy metals and cancer rates.
For decades, scientists warned of the potential for a global coronavirus outbreak. But when SARS-CoV-2 emerged, no therapeutics, drugs, or vaccines were readily available. The Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Discovery Initiative (READDI) — founded by researchers at UNC and the Structural Genomics Consortium — is not only finding solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also drugs and therapeutics for future viral outbreaks.
Saif Khairat is an assistant professor within the UNC School of Nursing and the Carolina Health Informatics Program. He researches how to use robust technologies, such as electronic health records and telehealth, to deliver safe and effective healthcare while expanding health access and equity to all people, including critically ill patients and vulnerable populations.
Since Fall 2019, Research UNCovered has showcased the many faces of research at Carolina, from undergraduate students to faculty, across all disciplines. So far, the series has featured 54 researchers from 10 schools, three centers and institutes, the North Carolina Botanical Garden, and UNC's research offices.
With support from UNC student researchers, Benjamin Mason Meier has finalized a first-of-its-kind textbook integrating human rights policy into public health education — a guiding light to aid the next generation of researchers.
Divya Narayanan is a junior double-majoring in neuroscience and music within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She explores the neural connections between the auditory cortex and thalamus to understand how the brain processes and reproduces sound.
As one of the first research facilities in the U.S. to receive a COVID-19 sample and begin testing for potential therapies, UNC’s response to the threat of the coronavirus was immediate and remains unyielding. While some of our researchers have been studying coronaviruses for years, many others have pivoted the focus of their research, refitted their labs, and are working collaboratively to better execute a holistic response to the pandemic.
Angela Smith is an associate professor in the Department of Urology within the UNC School of Medicine and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. She studies how to improve the lives of patients with bladder cancer by amplifying patient voices in research and clinical care.
Doctor and surgeon. Researcher and teacher. Entrepreneur and mentor. Jen Jen Yeh takes on multiple roles at UNC — and she wouldn’t have it any other way. From treating a variety of cancers to developing a company for an innovative drug-delivering device, she succeeds across fields and strives to share this synergy with her colleagues and students.