Dain Ruiz is a rising sophomore majoring in biology and a Chancellor’s Science Scholar within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He studies expansion disorders caused by repetitions in DNA — like Huntington’s Disease, Friedreich’s Ataxia, and Myotonic Dystrophy — to develop therapeutics to treat them.
For decades, scientists warned of the potential for a global coronavirus outbreak. But when SARS-CoV-2 emerged, no therapeutics, drugs, or vaccines were readily available. The Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative (READDI) — founded by researchers at UNC and the Structural Genomics Consortium — is not only finding solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also drugs and therapeutics for future viral outbreaks.
Eating disorders have long been discussed in strictly psychiatric terms, but a study from the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders is reconceptualizing these illnesses. Through international genetic sampling, Cynthia Bulik, the center’s founding director, aims to puzzle out the biological factors behind eating disorders and improve the success of treatments.
Imagine a tool that could cure thousands of genetic illnesses by replacing faulty strands of DNA. What if that same invention could enhance traits like height and intelligence in children through the manipulation of DNA in embryos? CRISPR, a gene-editing technology, is tricky business — and geneticists at UNC are addressing the ethics surrounding it.
David and Karin Pfennig have created a home away from home in the Arizona desert. For about five weeks every summer, the couple studies spadefoot toads. Long days and nights are filled with collecting specimen, conducting experiments, and recording observations. Not only do they bring along graduate students, but also a pair of special assistants — their daughters.
Nearly 35 percent of Americans are considered obese — a diagnosis that has become so common the American Medical Association recognizes it as a chronic disease. While the diagnosis is the same for all, the treatments vary; what works for one person typically doesn’t work for another. In response, researchers from across UNC have joined forces to tackle this ever-growing problem.
Oliver Smithies, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s first full-time faculty member to win a Nobel Prize and a world-renowned giant in the field of gene targeting, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 10, at UNC Hospitals after a short illness. He was 91.
UNC clinical researchers begin the largest-ever genetic study of autism to elucidate the complex genetics of the condition.
Stephanie Zerwas is an assistant professor of psychiatry within the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders. Her research focuses on genetic risk factors, early screening and detection, and using technology to improve treatment for eating disorders.
The NC TraCS Institute and a Translational Team Science Award help collaborators uncover what could be the cause of painful chronic ear infections that plague people with chromosomal and genetic conditions