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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Sikoya Ashburn

Sikoya Ashburn is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She uses neuroimaging to understand how the cerebellum affects higher cognitive functions and neurodevelopmental disorders, like ADHD, in children.

Sayan Banerjee

Sayan Banerjee is an assistant professor in the Department of Statistics and Operations Research within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He studies emerging patterns in large random systems.

Anna Fraser

Anna Fraser is PhD student in the Department of Chemistry within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She designs, synthesizes, and characterizes polymers for water purification.

Lamar Graham

Lamar Graham is an assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Studies within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He studies historical grammar and sound changes within the Spanish language and compares them to those found in other Romance languages.

Anna Geib

Anna Geib is a junior double-majoring in exercise and sport science within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and nutrition within the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She studies how diet and exercise improve the quality and length of life in different populations and is particularly interested in how it can mitigate the risks of space flight.

Rainier Masa

Rainier Masa is an assistant professor in the UNC School of Social Work. He studies the intersection of socioeconomic precarity, stigma, and HIV in adolescents and young adults.

Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith is a PhD student in the Department of Earth, Marine, and Environmental Sciences within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. By observing squid, she researches how bacteria acquire and exchange DNA from other bacterial cells — a process called horizontal gene transfer — to improve our understanding of bacterial evolution.

Maggie Melo

Maggie Melo is an assistant professor within the UNC School of Information and Library Science. She studies how design and spatial interventions can be integrated into makerspaces and other environments to foster the inclusion of diverse user communities.

Nihar Vaidya

Nihar Vaidya is a junior double-majoring in computer science and statistics and analytics within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He is also a Chancellor's Science Scholar. He uses computational neural networks to analyze brain patterns found in MRI data sets to predict when patients may encounter seizures caused by epilepsy.

Paige Ouimet

Paige Ouimet is a professor of finance in the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Through the lens of societal challenges like income inequality, gender diversity, and the opioid epidemic, she studies how businesses impact society and how society impacts businesses.