While the novel coronavirus has affected us all, it has drastically changed the lives of specific groups of people, from rural populations to long-term care residents to communities of color. Startling statistics among these groups have pushed UNC researchers from a variety of disciplines into action.
While COVID-19 has shaken the world, it has also pushed society to be more innovative and creative — two attributes that have been essential to the success of researchers at UNC. Carolina students, faculty, and staff are engaged in an abundance of projects, making UNC the most cited university in the nation for coronavirus research.
UNC virologists Timothy Sheahan and Ralph Baric have been working around the clock to develop new treatments and vaccines to fight the novel coronavirus. In this Q&A, Sheahan discusses current projects, new discoveries, and the challenges that come with studying a virus like SARS-CoV-2.
Employing wastewater epidemiology — proven useful in outbreaks of polio and opioid use — UNC microbiologist Rachel Noble is leading a state-wide collaboration tracking novel coronavirus outbreaks across North Carolina, gaining insight that testing individuals does not offer. Preliminary results have shown that by using wastewater, researchers can identify COVID-19 hot spots five to seven days before they are reflected by clinical testing results.
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.
Michelle T. King’s research on culinary nationalism and Chinese cuisine lands at the intersection of gender, food, and transnational Chinese identities. Her newest book project explores these topics through the life and career of Fu Pei-mei — Taiwan’s pioneering female cooking personality and cookbook author.
Food is so much more than what we eat, nourishing us beyond our bodies. This sentiment lies at the core of PhD student K.C. Hysmith’s research. She studies the deeply ingrained cultural meaning of food, unpacking how it affects class, gender, race, and socioeconomic status.
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.
Jieni Zhou is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She studies how shared positive experiences in romantic relationships contribute to relationship quality and physical health outcomes.
For nearly a century, the University of North Carolina Press has been shining a spotlight on its home state and region. Conceived by its founders as an incentive for university faculty to engage in research by giving them a local outlet for publication, it soon became much more: an amplifier of voices and a tool for change.