Programs & Centers

Center for Bioethics

The UNC Center for Bioethics is an interdisciplinary center, housed in the School of Medicine. The Director Eric Juengst, PhD, is a faculty member in the Department of Social Medicine, and  engages with faculty from all units on campus to develop research, teaching, and service in the field of bioethics.

Center for Genomics and Society

The UNC Center for Genomics and Society is an NHGRI-funded interdisciplinary research center, housed within the Carolina Center for Genome Science at UNC Chapel Hill. Six of 18 investigators, including the Director, Gail Henderson, are faculty in Social Medicine, which also provides space for post doctoral students, trainees and research assistants.  The Center for Genomics and Society is funded to conduct an integrated set of research, policy, and education projects to explore ethical, legal, and social implications of large scale genomic research. Selected projects include:  participant and investigator views of genetic registries and "biobanks," attitudes toward pharmacogenetic testing in the clinic, and ethical issues raised by expanded newborn screening.

Center for Health Equity Research (CHER)

The UNC Center for Health Equity Research (CHER), directed by Giselle Corbie-Smith, brings together scholars, trainees, and community members from diverse disciplines by forming collaborative multidisciplinary teams with a shared commitment to health equity, innovation and translational research; this shared commitment serves as a bridge among their disciplines and levels of experience. CHER members generate new knowledge and contribute to the science of health equity research thus driving innovation in collaboration with underserved communities to improve health.

Medical Anthropology Program

Medical anthropology addresses the biological, cultural, and political-economic dimensions of health, illness, and healing historically and at present. Research includes attention to the body as a site of symbols and evolutionary processes, suffering and healing as interpretive processes, and the multiple facets of affliction at individual and collective levels. The UNC Medical Anthropology Program spans the theories and methods of the 3 Concentrations in our Anthropology department: Evolution and Ecology (EE), History, Meaning and Materiality (HMM), and Social Formations and Processes (SFP).  Mara Buchbinder, Sue Estroff, and Barry Saunders are Social Medicine faculty who serve on the Medical Anthropology Program.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program

The UNC Department of Social Medicine hosts the National Program Office for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program. The Clinical Scholars program fosters the development of physicians who are leading the transformation of health care in this country through positions in academic medicine, public health, and other leadership roles. Through the program, future leaders will learn to conduct innovative research and work with communities, organizations, practitioners and policy makers on issues important to the health and well-being of all Americans. The goal of the program is to integrate Scholars’ clinical expertise with training in program development and research methods to help them find solutions for the challenges posed by the U.S. healthcare system, community health and health services research. The program offers a master’s degree graduate-level study and research in a university-based postresidency training program. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program generally involves two years of study with generous protected time for research. Interested Scholars will be considered for a third year of support. Desmond Runyan is the National Program Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program.