Charles B. Cairns appointed UNC School of Medicine, chair of Emergency Medicine

Dr. Charles B. Cairns has been appointed professor and chair of the department of emergency medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He replaces Dr. Judith Tintinalli, who is stepping down after 17 years as chair.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Dr. Charles B. Cairns has been appointed professor and chair of the department of emergency
medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He replaces Dr. Judith
Tintinalli, who is stepping down after 17 years as chair.


Cairns comes to UNC from Duke University, where he served from 2004 to earlier this year as
associate chief of emergency medicine at Duke University Medical Center and director of emergency
medicine research at the Duke Clinical Research Institute.


However, Cairns has deep roots in Chapel Hill. His father, Robert Cairns was a professor in the
psychology department in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences from 1973 to 1999 and founded the
Center for Developmental Science. His mother, Beverley Cairns, helped launch the center’s
internationally acclaimed Carolina Longitudinal Study in 1981. Cairns earned his medical degree at the
UNC School of Medicine, where he was a Holderness Medical Fellow. His brother, Bruce Cairns, M.D.,
is a professor in the department of surgery at UNC and medical director of the N.C. Jaycee Burn
Center at UNC Hospitals.


Cairns completed his emergency medicine residency and emergency medicine/cardiology research
fellowship at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif. After serving as an assistant
professor of medicine at UCLA, he moved to the University of Colorado, where he served as an
attending physician in the emergency department and as director of the Colorado Emergency
Medicine Research Center. As the center’s director, he developed a research fellowship program and
was instrumental in the naming of the center as one of the first three national Emergency Medicine
Foundation Centers of Excellence.


In 2000, Cairns received the Outstanding Contribution in Research Award from the American College
of Emergency Physicians.


School of Medicine contact: Tom Hughes, (919) 923-6964, tahughes@unch.unc.edu
News Services contact: Patric Lane, (919) 962-8596, patric_lane@unc.edu