Recent / Past News at UNC Social Medicine

CGS Logo2013

The UNC Center for Genomics and Society has received a 5 year renewal from NHGRI to continue their work! read more »

2013 March

Giselle Corbie-Smith’s Project GRACE Consortium has been selected to receive a 2013 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for community-university partnership. This award recognizes UNC-Chapel Hill individuals, units and organizations for their exemplary engaged scholarship.

2013 Rose Talk Flyer2013 April

Visiting Scholar Nikolas Rose was hosted by the Department for several days in late April, in conjunction with the Institute for Arts & Humanities, the College of Arts & Sciences (Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program), and the Center for Bioethics. Rose is Professor of Sociology & Head of the Department of Social Science, Health, & Medicine at Kings College, London. He gave a public talk on April 26 on opening relations between the human/social sciences and the biological sciences. During his visit, he also participated in colloquia with the Moral Economies of Medicine Working Group, the Philosophical Issues in Psychiatry Research Group, a cross-disciplinary graduate reading group, and Duke Department of Cultural Anthropology. Professor Rose writes widely on intersections of biomedicine & sociopolitical forces. His latest book is Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (Princeton, 2013). His visit stimulated conversations about inter-disciplinary collaborations across the UNC campus as well as expanded collaborations between UNC and Kings College London.

2013 February

The Alan W. Cross Social Medicine Paper Award is now accepting submissions from medical students. Scholarly papers, essays, fiction, poetry, as well as non-print works, are welcome. Deadline for submission is May 24. For more information contact Julia Benoit.

2013 January

Gail Henderson & colleagues published a study in the journal Genome Medicine documenting the enormous diversity of biobanks in the US, raising questions about the best ways to manage and govern them. (Press release here.) Nature Medicine also covers this in its March issue.

Saving Babies?2012 December

Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in a California genetics clinic, Stefan Timmermans and Mara Buchbinder describe the consequences of the rapid expansion and standardization of state-mandated newborn screening over the past decade.

2012 November

George Sheldon, MD was honored by the American College of Surgeons with a Lifetime Achievement Award—only the second ever awarded by the college. More information here.

2012 Fall

The Department of Social Medicine and the UNC Center for Bioethics are delighted to welcome Jill Fisher, PhD, to the UNC faculty, as Assistant Professor of Social Medicine and Core Faculty in the UNC Center for Bioethics. Dr. Fisher is an accomplished sociologist of contemporary clinical research and comes to us from Vanderbilt University. She is the author of "Medical Research for Hire: The Political Economy of Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials", and she has just received an NIH R01 grant to begin a study of "Factors Affecting Healthy Volunteers’ Long-Term Participation in Clinical Trials".


The Sixteenth Annual Alan W. Cross Social Medicine Paper Award was given to Brooke Crossley and Stephen Kimmel. This award recognizes exceptional scholarship by students in Social Medicine classes. Award winning papers 1- epitomize the integration of social and clinical thinking, 2- applies social science and humanities perspectives to the world of medicine, and 3- represents creative efforts to convey or represent the experiences of patients, physicians, and others related to health, illness or treatment. Any scholarly paper, essay, artistic work of fiction or other representational form produced by students for any Social Medicine class assignments is eligible for consideration. Each year the judges are from the Department of Social Medicine’s faculty.

In 2012 the award was renamed to honor Dr. Alan W. Cross, a former UNC faculty member for more than 30 years. Dr. Cross had a passion for medicine, service, health disparities research, education, and social justice. More information about this remarkable man is available here.

Traditionally there is one recipient of the award. However, because of the exceptional quality of work both papers displayed, judges award the honor to two students: Brooke Crossley and Stephen Kimmel. The award was presented at the School of Medicine's 2012 Richard H. Whitehead Lecture at UNC- Chapel Hill.

2012 January

Alan Cross, MD, died peacefully on Thursday, January 5, 2012 at his home with family. For more than thrity years, Dr. Cross was a member of the faculty of the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine. Dr. Cross had a passion for medicine, service, health disparities research, education, and social justice. A pediatrician by training, he was a leader in originating the concept that every child should have a medical home, a principle that has now been nationally adopted. In memory of Alan, an endowed professorship in the UNC Department of Social Medicine has been established within the UNC Medical Foundation.

2011 December

Gail Henderson, PhD is a member of an interdisciplinary team of UNC Scientists who have received an four-year $6.4 million grant to study ways for healthcare professionals to use genome sequencing information in a clinical setting. They have named their project the North Carolina Clinical Genomic Evaluation by Next Gen Exome Sequencing (NCGENES).

2011 November

Barry Saunders' book CT Suite: The Work of Diagnosis in the Age of Noninvasive Cutting receives a favorable review. In the November, 2011 issue of the American Ethnologist, Amit Prasad of the University of Missouri-Columbia hopes that his book review "is helpful in making many other readers embark onto undertaking the journey inside the CT Suite."

2010 April

Giselle Corbie-Smith et al. published an article, "Development of an Interinstitutional Collaboration to Support Community-Partnered Research Addressing the Health of Emerging Latino Populations", in the April issue of the Academic Medicine.

2010 March 17

In the March 17 Issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, our own Jonathan Oberlander discusses the fate of the health care reform legislation that "has languished in political purgatory for the past 2 months, teetering between historic enactment and epic collapse."

2010 February

We warmly welcome Eric Juengst, PhD as Director of the UNC Center for Biomedical Ethics and Professor of Social Medicine, effective September 1, 2010. Dr Juengst will be joining us from Case Western Reserve University, where he currently serves as Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Center for Genetic Research Ethics and Law.

2010 February

In the first book-length biography of Hugh Williamson, Dr George Sheldon presents an appealing portrait of an often overlooked colonial patriot and an important member of the medical establishment in 18th-century America. Sheldon reveals many interesting details about Williamson's multifaceted life.

2010 March

Bernard Gert provides the first book-length account of Hobbes’s political and moral philosophy that makes it clear why he is regarded as one of the best philosophers of all time in both of these fields.

In Memoriam

George SheldonGeorge Sheldon, longtime secondary faculty member in Social Medicine, died on June 16, 2013. He had been a consistent and important presence in our department, particularly in the last decade. His advocacy for, and scholarship in, history of science and medicine has been very important, not just in the School of Medicine, but across the UNC campus. His historically-based Humanities & Social Sciences Seminar, taught to a class of second-year medical students each year, was always highly-sought and well-reviewed. Remembrances of Dr. Sheldon’s work in the School of Medicine can be found here.

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