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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Sing Wai Wong

Sing Wai Wong is a third-year periodontology resident in the UNC Adams School of Dentistry. He studies how autophagy — the process by which the body cleans out damaged cells to regenerate new, healthy cells — affects bone loss in the mouth.

Irene Manning

Irene Manning is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She develops functional materials that capture PFAS — chemicals created in the production of goods like Teflon, stain-resistant fabrics, and food packaging — and remove them from water.

Anthony Charles

Anthony Charles is the director of global surgery for the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases and the Oliver Rowe Distinguished Professor of Surgery in the UNC School of Medicine. He works to reduce barriers to surgical access and improve surgical quality and outcomes in low- and middle-income countries.

Rachel Woodul

Rachel Woodul is a PhD student in the Department of Geography within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a research assistant at the Carolina Population Center. She uses geographic information systems to model infectious disease spread, with a specific focus on epidemics and pandemics.

Geovani Ramírez

Geovani Ramírez is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of English and Comparative Literature within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He combines Latina/o studies, environmental humanities, and disability studies to better understand the social and ecological networks within Latina/o literature.

Ashleigh Henry

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.

Saif Khairat

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.

Research UNCovered, 2019-2020

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.

Frank Leibfarth

Frank Leibfarth is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He studies how to transform chemical building blocks into plastics to provide new and useful solutions for sustainability and human health.

Daphne Klotsa

Daphne Klotsa is an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Physical Sciences within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She studies the physics of swarms — systems that exhibit emergent collective and cooperative behavior such as flocks of birds, schools of fish, and crowds of people — in order to engineer similar systems composed of moving parts, from self-propelled nanoparticles in solution to cars in traffic.