Amid concerns about grad student mental health, one university takes a novel approach – Alli Schad & Dr. Jean Cook – Science Magazine

photo of Jean Cook PhD Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics

University campuses are hotbeds of mental health concerns, including among graduate students. But the demand for counseling services often outstrips capacity, according to a 2018 report. At the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill, students seeking mental health support are frequently referred to providers off campus. “It’s not that they can’t get treatment; they certainly can. … But it’s also not easy to set up,” says Jean Cook, an associate dean of graduate education at UNC who oversees the university’s biological and biomedical sciences Ph.D. program. Students have to arrange transportation, and for grad students there’s an added layer of complexity because they may have to explain why they need to take multiple hours out of their day to travel to an appointment off campus.

We rank 4th nationally in NIH funding in 2018!

Photo of a building on UNC campus

We received over $19.2 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2018. According to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR), this ranks us fourth among all Biochemistry departments and the 2nd highest among public institutions.

Graduate Student Pedro N. Pozo Publishes in Molecular Biology of the Cell and receives his PhD

photo of Pedro N. Pozo thesis defense 2018

Pedro N. Pozo, graduate student in Cook lab publishes his first-authored paper in MBoC and he receives his PhD.

Jean Cook, Ph.D. Fundamentals of Cell Proliferation Control

photo of Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Jean Cook, PhD leads a team of dynamic researchers in the Biochemistry and Biophysics Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her group explores unique aspects of basic cell proliferation control.