Health

Health: Conquering Physical, Mental, and Public Challenges

Unlocking the Genetics of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders have long been discussed in strictly psychiatric terms, but a study from the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders is reconceptualizing these illnesses. Through international genetic sampling, Cynthia Bulik, the center’s founding director, aims to puzzle out the biological factors behind eating disorders and improve the success of treatments.

Taking a Bite Out of Meat Allergies

Food allergies have long baffled scientists — much is still to be learned about how they develop and why certain people are more susceptible than others. Researchers at UNC may be able to answer some of these questions by studying an unusual food allergy to mammalian meat called alpha-gal syndrome.

Claudio Battaglini

Claudio Battaglini is a professor of exercise physiology in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He studies how exercise can help alleviate cancer treatment-related side effects.

Nilu Goonetilleke

Nilu Goonetilleke is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology within the UNC School of Medicine. She studies the immune cell response to several major human infections, like HIV, and develops strategies to limit the causes and spread of disease.

Expecting the Unexpected

After Myron Cohen watched the first patient at UNC Hospitals die from AIDS in 1982, he knew it was a disease to be reckoned with. He spent the next 40 years helping to recruit the most promising infectious disease experts from across the nation to build a program that’s become a leader in HIV. Today, UNC excels in understanding all aspects of HIV, from prevention to a potential cure — expertise that is now being used to tackle COVID-19.

Seth Noar

Seth Noar is a professor within the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media and a researcher at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. He studies how people can effectively use communication to change behavior and improve health.

Moments of Clarity

In the past, cochlear implants were employed in people with severe hearing loss, improving their ability to hear the conversations around them. But now, studies show that these devices offer benefits to patients with mild or moderate hearing loss - a group that UNC researchers and doctors are soliciting to receive cochlear implants as part of ongoing clinical trials.

Aaron Anselmo

Aaron Anselmo is an assistant professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. He develops new strategies and technologies that alter the microbiome by removing pathogens and increasing beneficial bacteria.

Editing Along Ethical Boundaries

Imagine a tool that could cure thousands of genetic illnesses by replacing faulty strands of DNA. What if that same invention could enhance traits like height and intelligence in children through the manipulation of DNA in embryos? CRISPR, a gene-editing technology, is tricky business — and geneticists at UNC are addressing the ethics surrounding it.

Boosting Teen Spirit

More than 13 percent of U.S. teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 experience a major depressive episode, which can follow them into adulthood. How can families protect their teens’ mental health as they grow? More fun and family time are just a few ways, according to researchers from the UNC Carolina Population Center.