UNC-Chapel Hill

Addressing Pandemic Problems

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.

Doing COVID-19 Dirty Work

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.

The Known Unknowns

In 2016, a group of North Carolina researchers published evidence of high rates of PFAS in the Cape Fear River basin. While this unregulated family of chemicals is used in the production of everyday goods, its impact on human health is largely unknown. For the past year, scientists from UNC-Chapel Hill, five other UNC system universities, and Duke University, have researched these potentially dangerous chemicals found in drinking water sources across the state.

A Veteran’s View

During his deployments to Afghanistan in 2012 and 2014, Reuben Mabry relied on his artwork for respite. Now a master’s student in UNC’s studio art program, he uses his eight-year career in the U.S. Army as the foundation for his work, creating paintings about the indoctrination of military members.

A Caregiving Community at Carolina

A new program funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation strives to create better work-life balance for UNC physician scientists who have extreme caregiving needs at home.

Secret Sauce

Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory, the only lab of its kind in the Southeast, powers a collaboration among UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State, and Duke for 50 years