Our Research

UNC has one of the largest global OB-GYN teams in the US. The Division of Global Women’s Health works to improve women’s health by tackling important problems relevant to women in low-resource settings. Our six faculty and four fellows work in Malawi, South Africa and Zambia.

We typically have around 20 active projects, ranging from clinical trials focused on prematurity to tests of new devices for cervical cancer screening and treatment to implementation studies aimed at improving services for women and babies living with HIV.

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Our Current Projects

17P

A trial of 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P) to reduce preterm birth among women receiving antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy.

An 800-participant study of HIV-infected pregnant women to assess the effectiveness of 17P in this population, which has increased risk for preterm birth.

Ablation

Development, field testing and evaluation of the efficacy of a hand-held, portable and affordable thermo-coagulator to prevent cervical cancer in low- and middle-income countries

This IARC-led study aims to improve treatment of women in “screen and treat” cervical cancer programs through development and testing of thermal coagulators.

Alere                                                            

Point-of-care virologic testing to improve outcomes of HIV-infected children

A clinical trial of the field effectiveness of new point-of-care technology in identifying HIV-infected newborns and starting immediate antiretroviral therapy.

COVENANT

A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of HPV vaccination to reduce cervical high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions among HIV-infected women participating in an HPV test-and-treat program (COVENANT)

A trial of HPV vaccination to reduce cervical HSIL in HIV-infected women.

Digi-Scope

A viable solution for a see and treat paradigm for cervical pre-cancer in Africa.

UNC will lead the Zambia study site for this Duke-led project to develop a portable hand-held colpospectroscope to diagnose cervical dysplasia in a single patient visit.

ECHO

Multi-center, open label, randomized clinical trial of effect of progestin-only contraception versus the IUD on the risk of HIV acquisition in young women

UNC participates in this FHI360-led study and supports the Zambia site, which is enrolling 600 HIV-uninfected women.

eLearning

The UNZA eLearning Platform for Research Training

eLearning is developing an intensive curriculum in Applied Public Health Informatics, with two online courses through the University of Zambia focused on statistical programming, data management, and basic biostatistics.

UJMT

The UNC-Johns Hopkins-Morehouse-Tulane Global Consortium

UJMT provides mentored Fogarty Global Health Fellowships to US and international fellows interested in global health careers. UJMT supports field opportunities in 13 focus countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

K24

Mentoring new investigators in PMTCT implementation research

An NIH Midcareer Investigator Award focused on PMTCT implementation research, including a study of the implementation of point-of-care tests for infant HIV diagnosis.

Komen

Implementing breast cancer care efficiency in Zambia through specialized health provider training and mHealth evaluation of patient outcomes

Expanding access to breast cancer care by providing mid-level health providers, and following up patients for up to 3 years to better understand outcomes.

Scaling

Evidence-based approaches, financing, and tools for cost-effective scale-up of cervical cancer prevention in sub-Saharan Africa.

This RTI-led study will conduct a process evaluation of the Zambia cervical cancer prevention program and develop guidance for larger scale program implementation.

SMI

Malawi Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood Initiative

SMI aims to achieve measurable improvements in quality, accessibility and utilization of maternal and neonatal services by supporting the Malawian government’s Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood Initiative.

SOAR

Supporting Operational AIDS Research

UNC is part of a Population Council-led consortium that aims to develop evidence relevant to HIV prevention and treatment programs. UNC faculty are leading two SOAR studies and contribute to several more.

T32

UNC Global Women’s Health Fellowship

This T32 provides mentored fellowship for obstetrician-gynecologists starting careers in global women’s health. Field placement opportunities in Malawi, South Africa, and Zambia with mentoring by UNC faculty.

VP

A pilot study of vaginal progesterone to reduce preterm birth among women receiving antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy

A feasibility study of 140 women to assess adherence to self-administration of vaginal progesterone, and qualitative assessment of barriers to use.

ZAPPS

Preventing Preterm Birth in Zambia

Enrollment of 2000 pregnant Zambian women in a well-characterized cohort with a focus on accurate dating and collection of biological specimens during pregnancy and delivery.

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