UNC Research

Stopping Harm Before It Starts

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.

Pedro Sáenz

Pedro Sáenz is an assistant professor and director of the Physical Mathematics Laboratory in the Department of Mathematics within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He works to demonstrate that some odd behaviors displayed by electrons and other atomic-sized particles can be recreated with larger particles visible to the human eye.

Running Interference

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.

Dain Ruiz

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.

Leave It to Beavers

As urban regions in the Southeast continue to grow and develop, harmful pollutants enter nearby waterways more frequently. UNC researchers think one of the best solutions to prevent this may be investments in the habitats of the furry neighbors already in our backyards: beavers.

Paving New Paths to Choline

UNC Nutrition Research Institute assistant professor Isis Trujillo studies choline, an essential nutrient that is critical for brain development in the womb. A former postdoctoral researcher, she now runs her own lab and is exploring choline’s impact on gene expression to uncover how maternal nutrition influences fetal brain growth.

Christina Rudosky

Christina Rudosky is a teaching assistant professor of French in the Department of Romance Studies within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She studies surrealism and why objects were coveted, collected, and brought to life through writing and art during this 20th-century avant-garde movement.

Julian Rucker

Julian Rucker is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a fellow in the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity. He studies beliefs about structural racism, perceptions of societal racial inequality, and motivations to rectify racial disparities.

For the Love of Fabric

How does the visual richness of clothes contribute to who we are? After nearly 50 years of designing costumes at UNC, Bobbi Owen is retiring. Her expertise in period-piece costume design has brought countless characters and productions to life at PlayMakers Repertory Company.

A Sharper Image

UNC researchers Jianping Lu and Otto Zhou have spent the last two decades refining technology that makes X-ray machines smaller, faster, safer, and sharper — research that’s changing the world of dentistry, medicine, and security.