Faculty in the Division of Infectious Diseases also work for UNC’s Institute of Global Health & Infectious Diseases (IGHID). In 2014, the Institute managed more than $43 million in research revenue, the second largest concentrated research effort on UNC’s campus. Click here for the latest statistics about UNC.
UNC research programs are having an impact both domestically and internationally. In May 2015, UNC and GSK, a leading pharmaceutical company, announced a unique collaboration to investigate a cure for HIV through the formation of Qura Therapeutics on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus. In 2011, UNC researchers announced a major discovery in the fight against HIV, proving treating people living with the virus makes them less infectious. Treatment as prevention was recognized by the prestigious journal Science as the 2011 “Breakthrough of the Year.”
Abroad, UNC-Project Malawi continues to make impressive strides in malaria, HIV and cancer research. We are one of only 10 sites conducting a phase III trial of the first malaria vaccine. The U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded the IGHID and UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center $3.7 million to create the UNC Malawi Cancer Consortium to investigate cancers that affect people living with HIV. The site also recently joined the NIH-funded HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN).
UNC-Project China is leveraging the public’s input to design prevention strategies. Crowdsourcing has been used to generate videos encouraging HIV testing and photos promoting condom use.
Gastric diseases, specifically rotavirus and norovirus, continue to cause the unnecessary deaths of Nicaraguan children. In 2014, we introduced our first Nicaragua Pilot Research grants. Funded projects include two initiatives to identify the risk factors associated with norovirus infection.
Ebola emerged as a devastating public health crisis in West Africa in 2014. Two IGHID clinicians are leading a novel trial to test whether using the blood plasma of Ebola survivors can successfully save those fighting the deadly disease in Liberia.