Research UNCovered


Research UNCovered is a biweekly series showcasing the many faces of research at Carolina, from undergraduate students to faculty, across all disciplines. Every other Wednesday, learn what inspired our researchers to pursue their field, how they’ve overcome obstacles, and a little about their lives beyond their labs and offices.

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Terence Johnson

Terence Johnson is a PhD student in the UNC School of Social Work and a student assistant in the Department of Social Medicine within the UNC School of Medicine. He researches how to create equity within the criminal justice system.

Mohit Bansal

Mohit Bansal is the John R. & Louise S. Parker Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. Through natural language processing and machine learning, he develops programs that help artificial intelligence technology understand and use human-like language.

Angela Smith

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.

William Sturkey

William Sturkey is an associate professor in the Department of History within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. He studies the history of race in the American South, with a focus on working-class, marginalized peoples. His book “Hattiesburg” is a biracial history of the Jim Crow era in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, which played a central role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Andrea Bohlman

Andrea Bohlman is an associate professor in the Department of Music within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. She explores the diverse music that permeates past and present cultures and why people use music during political movements.

Margarett McBride

Margarett McBride is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on how neighborhood contexts shape parenting and youth well-being in Black families.  

Esteban Agudo

Esteban Agudo is a PhD student in the Department of Biology within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He explores how temperature affects the feeding rates of organisms living on reefs and how this impacts ecosystems like the Galápagos Islands.

Clare Harrop

Clare Harrop is a research assistant professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences within the UNC School of Medicine and a fellow in the FPG Child Development Institute. She studies early developmental trajectories in children, particularly girls, with or at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.

Baba Mass

Baba Mass is a research technician in the Voruganti Lab within the UNC Nutrition Research Institute. He studies how genes and diet impact serum uric acid levels — a chemical created when the body breaks down substances called purines. Unhealthy amounts of uric acid can cause kidney and heart problems.

Priscilla Layne

Priscilla Layne is an associate professor in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Through literature and film, she studies German identities, how culture affects national boundaries, and the representation of marginalized peoples.