UNC OB-GYN researchers awarded new funding to investigate maternal-fetal transmission of Zika

The $50,000 grants were awarded to three teams of researchers at the UNC School of Medicine.

UNC OB-GYN researchers awarded new funding to investigate maternal-fetal transmission of Zika click to enlarge Dr. Elizabeth Stringer and Dr. Jeff Stringer were among the researchers given grant funding to further study Zika

UNC OB-GYN's Dr. Elizabeth Stringer, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and Dr. Jeff Stringer, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, are among a group of UNC School of Medicine researchers recently awarded Emerging Challenges in Biomedical Research (ECBR) grants, the School of Medicine announced June 9, 2016.

The grants, $50,000 from the school's Office of Research, were awarded to three teams of UNC medical investigators researching the Zika virus.

"Zika is an emerging insect-borne infectious disease, about which little is known even though it was discovered over 50 years ago in Uganda, Africa," said Blossom Damania, PhD, incoming vice dean for research at the School of Medicine and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology.

"The recent spread of Zika across the Americas, and the link to microcephaly has put the virus in the spotlight.

"Here at UNC Chapel Hill, we are fortunate to have infectious disease specialists and virologists who are global leaders in the field," she added, "who are actively working to understand the biology and transmission of Zika virus."

Dr. Elizabeth Stringer and Dr. Jeff Stringer join Aravinda de Silva, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology, Matt Collins, MD, PhD, infectious diseases fellow, and Helen Lazear, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, in studying the epidemiology and effective diagnostics of the maternal-fetal transmission of Zika. Seventy-five percent of people infected by Zika don't show any symptoms, de Silva said during a recent expert panel discussion on Zika research and response in North Carolina.

Read more at the UNC Health Care Newsroom