Division of Infectious Diseases
Dr. Parr is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine Department of Medicine. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Stanford University, followed by his M.D. at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. Dr. Parr’s interest in the infectious diseases of poverty took shape at UVA during his time in Dr. Richard Guerrant’s lab at the UVA Center for Global Health, where he designed and tested a new real-time PCR assay for Cryptosporidium.
Following medical school, Dr. Parr completed residency in internal medicine at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He was selected for the Doris and Howard Hiatt Residency in Internal Medicine and Global Health Equity, through which he received an M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health and performed clinical work abroad in Haiti, Rwanda, Guatemala, and Peru. During residency, he studied drug-resistant tuberculosis in Peru with Dr. Mercedes Becerra and colleagues at Partners In Health. Dr. Parr joined the Brigham and Women’s Division of Global Health Equity after residency and continued this work as a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. He subsequently moved to UNC to complete a fellowship in infectious diseases and later joined the faculty.
Dr. Parr’s research continues to focus on the infectious diseases of poverty, with translational projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and other sites. His research concentrates on the molecular epidemiology of malaria, but he has recently expanded his research program to include other diseases that disproportionately impact marginalized populations worldwide, including viral hepatitis and syphilis.
Dr. Parr’s malaria research focuses on improving malaria diagnostics, both through surveillance of parasites with a genetic mutation that makes them undetectable by commonly used rapid diagnostic tests and the development of new diagnostic tools. He has served as an invited expert at a WHO technical consultation and established UNC as a founding member of a new WHO laboratory network related to these topics. As a result, he collaborates with malaria control programs and ministries of health to support surveillance of “diagnostic resistant” malaria across Africa. Dr. Parr’s viral hepatitis research involves molecular epidemiology and implementation science projects designed to reduce the burden of viral hepatitis in the DRC. His syphilis research involves using cutting-edge genomic tools to catalog Treponema pallidum subs. pallidum genetic diversity to support vaccine development, and he now serves as the director of the genomics core for a vaccine development project that spans sites in Malawi, Columbia, China, North Carolina, and the Czech Republic. He also attends on the infectious diseases inpatient services at UNC Hospital and serves as Associate Editor for global health for Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation.
When not at work, Dr. Parr enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids, roasting coffee, eating baked goods, and dreaming about fly fishing.