Heart disease is the number-one killer in the U.S. — but what if there was a way to regenerate healthy heart cells? Cue Li Qian, who received the 2019 Hettleman Prize for Scholarly and Artistic Achievement for her groundbreaking work in cardiac reprogramming.
By the time she was 14 years old, Vaishnavi Siripurapu had already developed a passion for feminism and reproductive health. After working in a university biology lab in high school, she set her sights on a career that combined her love of science with that of gynecology. Now a sophomore at UNC, she researches ways to educate young people about sex and relationships.
Don Fejfar is a junior and Morehead-Cain Scholar majoring in biostatistics within the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He studies how disease relates to food and water quality, security, and accessibility on Isabela Island in Galápagos, Ecuador.
Julianna Prim is a PhD student in the Human Movement Science Curriculum within the Department of Exercise and Sports Science and the Department of Allied Health Sciences' Division of Physical Therapy. She helps develop concussion-testing protocols for active duty military members and uses brain stimulation to treat individuals with chronic low-back pain.
There are a host of ways neuroscientists can study the brain. Some analyze its chemistry, others its structure. UNC researcher Flavio Frohlich examines its electrical system, what he calls the "language of the brain," and investigates how miscommunication in these signals can play a role in psychiatric illnesses.
Nearly 35 percent of Americans are considered obese — a diagnosis that has become so common the American Medical Association recognizes it as a chronic disease. While the diagnosis is the same for all, the treatments vary; what works for one person typically doesn’t work for another. In response, researchers from across UNC have joined forces to tackle this ever-growing problem.
In 2016, a group of North Carolina researchers published evidence of high rates of PFAS in the Cape Fear River basin. While this unregulated family of chemicals is used in the production of everyday goods, its impact on human health is largely unknown. For the past year, scientists from UNC-Chapel Hill, five other UNC system universities, and Duke University, have researched these potentially dangerous chemicals found in drinking water sources across the state.
Before 2001, the use of prescribed psychoactive medications in U.S. Army warzones was restricted. But an increase in mental health awareness, low recruitment numbers, and longer deployments during the War on Terror — the longest-running conflict in American history — has shifted the rules and regulations for military mental health treatment. UNC medical anthropologist Jocelyn Chua speaks with active duty service members, veterans, and health care providers to learn more.
There are a thousand ways service members can receive mild traumatic brain injuries during training and active duty. Ten years ago, basic concussion testing protocols didn’t account for the intense activities required of this population. UNC researcher Karen McCulloch has worked to change that.
Karen Sheffield is a doctoral candidate in the UNC School of Nursing. Her research focuses on developing strategies to reduce the long-term health effects of psychological trauma, anxiety, and depression on women’s health and birth outcomes.