As one of the first research facilities in the U.S. to receive a COVID-19 sample and begin testing for potential therapies, UNC’s response to the threat of the coronavirus was immediate and remains unyielding. While some of our researchers have been studying coronaviruses for years, many others have pivoted the focus of their research, refitted their labs, and are working collaboratively to better execute a holistic response to the pandemic.
Terence Johnson is a PhD student in the UNC School of Social Work and a student assistant in the Department of Social Medicine within the UNC School of Medicine. He researches how to create equity within the criminal justice system.
Mohit Bansal is the John R. & Louise S. Parker Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. Through natural language processing and machine learning, he develops programs that help artificial intelligence technology understand and use human-like language.
Angela Smith is an associate professor in the Department of Urology within the UNC School of Medicine and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. She studies how to improve the lives of patients with bladder cancer by amplifying patient voices in research and clinical care.
William Sturkey is an associate professor in the Department of History within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. He studies the history of race in the American South, with a focus on working-class, marginalized peoples. His book “Hattiesburg” is a biracial history of the Jim Crow era in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, which played a central role in the Civil Rights Movement.
Doctor and surgeon. Researcher and teacher. Entrepreneur and mentor. Jen Jen Yeh takes on multiple roles at UNC — and she wouldn’t have it any other way. From treating a variety of cancers to developing a company for an innovative drug-delivering device, she succeeds across fields and strives to share this synergy with her colleagues and students.
Andrea Bohlman is an associate professor in the Department of Music within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a recipient of the 2020 Hettleman Award for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. She explores the diverse music that permeates past and present cultures and why people use music during political movements.
Margarett McBride is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on how neighborhood contexts shape parenting and youth well-being in Black families.
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.