Kurt Gilliland, PhD

Kurt Gilliland, PhD

Assistant Professor
Assistant Dean of Curriculum and Evaluation 
UNC-Chapel Hill 

224 Taylor Hall
Campus Box 7545
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7545
919-966-1912


Education and Training

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BA
North Carolina State University, MS
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, PhD

Areas of Interest

Medical Education Research. Translational Education at Carolina (TEC) is a new curriculum that will transform the way medical students learn the art and science of medicine through integrated basic science and clinical skills blocks, longitudinal patient care experiences, and flexible clinical experiences that give them opportunities in specialty fields well before they apply to residency programs. The redesigned curriculum will reflect the needs of future physicians, the desire for early differentiation and exploration, and the realities of adult learners today.  In particular, the 16-month Foundation Phase replaces the traditional curriculum often seen in the first two years of medical school. The foundational blocks will integrate normal and abnormal human conditions, teach the basics through cases and clinical experiences, and rely extensively on active learning techniques.  Evaluation of this unique curriculum will allow not only for continuous modification of the curriculum itself but also for significant contributions to the educational literature.

Scientific Research. The normal human lens is transparent for the purpose of optimally focusing light on the retina. When the lens loses its transparency and becomes opaque, it is known as a cataract, a condition in which light is scattered instead of focused. Cataract, the leading cause of blindness worldwide, may be a multifactorial disease with many sources of light scatter. One particular source of light scatter in human age-related nuclear cataracts is likely to be rare lipid spheres within the cytoplasm known as multilamellar bodies (MLBs). Characterization of the morphology and distribution of MLBs is establishing that these structures are potential light scattering centers that may contribute to the opacity in the cataract. 

Awards and Honors

2014 First-year Basic Science Course Award (co-director)
2013 First-year Basic Science Course Award (co-director)
2011–present Fellow, UNC Academy of Educators (AOE)
2009-2013 Wallace ’69 and Phyllis Baird Medical Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor (term professorship)
2012 First-year Basic Science Course Award (co-director)
2011 First-year Basic Science Course Award (co-director)
2010 UNC School of Medicine Whitehead Lecturer
2010 First-year Basic Science Course Award (co-director)
2009 First-year Basic Science Course Award (co-director)
2009 UNC AOE Innovation in Teaching Award
2008 First-year Basic Science Course Award (co-director)
2008 Larry Keith Award for Excellence in Teaching
2008 “Honorary Coach of the Game” Faculty Award
2007 First-year Basic Science Course Award (co-director)
2007 First-year Basic Science Teaching Award
2006 First-year Basic Science Course Award (co-director)    

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