The North Carolina Botanical Garden has been conserving Venus flytraps, native to only the North and South Carolina coasts, for nearly 50 years. To better understand these carnivorous plants, UNC researchers are engaged in projects on flytrap genetics and differentiating prey from pollinators.
Researchers at the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center began studying the long-term effects of injury and violence well before they were recognized as public health problems. For 30 years, they have addressed vital societal issues including domestic abuse, car crashes, traumatic brain injury, home and workplace safety, and opioid overdose — and have worked closely with practitioners to change policies and save lives.
For the past 50 field seasons, researchers from the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences have collected valuable data on sharks off the North Carolina coast. The survey — among the oldest of its kind in the U.S. — has lasted for decades due to the dedication of UNC researchers, staff, and students.
Nearly 4 million sports- and recreation-related concussions happen each year. About 300,000 of those occur in football. For a long time, such data didn’t exist because these injuries weren’t understood or taken seriously. Decades before he became UNC’s chancellor, neuroscientist Kevin Guskiewicz strived to create the playbook for preventing and treating concussions — and changed the game forever.
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.
Over its 110-year history, journalism at Carolina has evolved from a single course in the Department of English into the internationally renowned UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. While the program has experienced exponential growth, its commitment to instilling students with innovative storytelling skills remains steadfast.
Jessica Smith is a professor within the UNC School of Government and director of the Criminal Justice Innovation Lab. Her decades-long career at Carolina has evolved alongside the state’s criminal justice system, which she has helped transform using an evidence-based formula for reform.
After Myron Cohen watched the first patient at UNC Hospitals die from AIDS in 1982, he knew it was a disease to be reckoned with. He spent the next 40 years helping to recruit the most promising infectious disease experts from across the nation to build a program that’s become a leader in HIV. Today, UNC excels in understanding all aspects of HIV, from prevention to a potential cure — expertise that is now being used to tackle COVID-19.
Environmental education and research have deep roots at Carolina, but a lot has changed since the natural sciences came to campus almost 200 years ago. From the creation of a sanitary engineering department to relationships stoked by the internet, environmental study at UNC has evolved into a hotbed of research, education, and community outreach.
The Odum Institute, the first social science research center in the world, has trained and supported hundreds of researchers specializing in everything from anthropology to city and regional planning to public health for the past 95 years. And it all exists thanks to the determination of one eccentric man.