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Jill Cunnup is the director of clinical research administration for the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. She has been with UNC for almost 23 years and says she really enjoys working with her colleagues. As many know, Jill wears flip flops almost all the time. Learn about the unique reason why, below. 

What’s your role at the Department of Medicine?

My current role is Director of Clinical Research Administration.

Where are you from?

Bristol, Virginia.

What originally attracted you to work at UNC Department of Medicine?

I was working for a bank and wanted to explore more options in finance.

What is the most interesting project you’ve been a part of so far?

Being involved in clinical research is fascinating on its own. There is not one specific project, but a multitude of studies that were done within our Diabetes Trials unit on “Lizard Spit,” the saliva from a Gila monster, and the evolution of GLP-1’s.

What do you enjoy most about working here?

The people I work with.

How has your role evolved over time since you’ve been here?

I have been here almost 23 years and I think I have done almost all the administrative jobs possible at one point in time. I realized about half way into my career that clinical research operations were where I had the most passion and have worked since then on expanding that role within our division and department.

What is one thing that you wish people knew about your job?

Operations, and not the surgical kind, are the key to success.

What are you most proud of, personal or professional?

Work life balance! It is possible to grow professionally while raising children and surviving at home during COVID.

What’s one thing on your bucket list?

My children are internationally adopted from Kazakhstan and Vietnam and I would like to take them back to visit.

Do you have hobbies outside of work that you enjoy?

I love watching most sports and volunteering for Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Mission.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

“Make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it you’ve go no reason to be afraid” ~ Taylor Swift. Take the time to make the moments into memories.

What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

I think most people know I wear flip flops 95% of the time. What they don’t know is that it’s because I never learned to tie my shoes when I was younger so my parents just put me in flip flops and it stuck with me.