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NameDepartmentResearch TypeFunded?ContactResearch ThemeResearch Description
Bhatt, AadraMedicineTranslationalYesaadrab@med.unc.eduGut bacterial metabolism of host endobiotics and xenobiotics, and impact on the intestinal epithelium Dr. Bhatt has studied the interplay between persistent microorganisms and the host in a variety of physiologic contexts. As a graduate student, she discovered the mechanisms by which a persistent oncogenic herpesvirus induces cancer by reprogramming host cellular signaling and metabolism. During her postdoctoral training with Dr. Matthew Redinbo, she worked alongside structural and chemical biologists to uncover mechanisms by which the intestinal microbiota impacts the incidence and progression of cancer, and how microbial enzymes alter the therapeutic efficacy of anticancer compounds. In collaboration with Dr. Nancy Allbritton, she has developed tools to study host- microbe-drug interactions ex vivo using organotypic cell culture platforms. As a new Assistant Professor at UNC, she is combining her multidisciplinary training to uncover reciprocal interactions between the intestinal microbiota and pharmaceutical compounds, and their implications on host gastrointestinal health.

Dr. Bhatt’s multidisciplinary research combines the diverse disciplines of chemical and structural biology to study how intestinal microbiota can alter the metabolism of various pharmaceutical compounds, and the resultant effects on the intestinal epithelium. By including gnotobiotic mouse models of inflammatory bowel disease, in addition to wild type mice, Dr. Bhatt is executing granular and mechanistic studies of host-microbiota interactions, and how they impact gastrointestinal health.
Kimple, Adam OtolaryngologyClinicalNokimplead@med.unc.eduSinus diseaseMy research and clinical practice are centered around patients with sinonasal diseases. I generally operate 1 day a week, and see patients in clinic 1.5 days per week and have dedicated research time. Chronic rhinosinusitis affects ~10% of the US population and causes substantial morbidity. I am the co-chair in an international multicenter study aimed at understanding the nasal phenotype and endotype of patients affected by primary ciliary dyskinesia and primary immune deficiency by studying mucosal biomarkers. I am a co-Principal Investigator on a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative grant titled "Mapping the Pediatric Airway." The overarching objective of this initiative is to construct a comprehensive single-cell reference atlas, covering the spectrum from the nasal passages to the alveoli, in children ranging from birth to adolescence (up to 12 years of age). Mentees typically contribute to one of the larger ongoing projects and identify a project that they can be first authors on for a submission to a national meeting
Gulati, Ajay Pediatricsbasicnoagulati@med.unc.eduMicrobial influences in inflammatory bowel diseasesMy lab is interested in developing safer therapies for the treatment of children with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Presently, most medications used to treat these patients rely on suppression of the immune system and have a high potential for side effects. However, the immune system is only one of the factors that drives intestinal inflammation in IBD. Both the gut microbiota (the normal bacteria that live in our gut) and the intestinal epithelium can modulate host inflammatory responses. One cell type that lies at the intersection of the gut microbiota and the intestinal epithelium is the Paneth cell. These are intestinal epithelial cells that secrete natural antibiotics known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). AMPs, in turn, are able to modulate gut bacterial communities. Our overarching hypothesis is that augmenting Paneth cell function will help control gut bacterial communities to reduce chronic intestinal inflammation. To test this hypothesis, we utilize specimens from 2 sources: 1) Genetically-engineered mice that are susceptible to intestinal inflammation; and 2) Tissue and stool specimens from children with IBD. Interestingly, we have found that both susceptible mice, and IBD patients have Paneth cell abnormalities that our lab is in the process of characterizing. We expect this work will lead to novel, minimally-toxic therapies for IBD.
Ammerman, Alice Nutrition, Gillings; Center for Health Promotion and Disease PreventiontranslationalYesalice_ammerman@unc.eduApplied Nutrition and Food Systems ResearchA research project addressing health disparities, chronic disease risk reduction, food insecurity, and rural economic development through production and distribution of locally sourced frozen meals (including culturally adapted and medically tailored) through Medicaid and other reimbursable programs
Stuebe, Alison Obstetrics & Gynecologytranslationalnoastuebe@med.unc.eduThe psychobiology of pregnancy, lactation, and mother-infant attachmentMy research focuses on mechanisms of maternal-infant interaction, with an emphasis on lactation and postpartum depression. In the Mood, Mother and Infant study, we are quantifying the role of oxytocin and HPA-axis dysregulation in postpartum depression and impaired mother-infant attachment. Our hypothesis is that PPD is associated with reduced oxytocin and maternal HPA axis dysregulation. These changes reduce maternal sensitivity, impairing dyadic development and increasing risk for insecure attachment. Participants join the study in the third trimester of pregnancy, and mothers and infants present for lab visits at 2, 6 and 12 months postpartum. Medical students have the opportunity to participate in study visits at the MotherInfant Biobehavioral Lab, working with mothers and infants to collect biological samples, heart rate variability data, and videotaped mother-infant interactions.
Khandani, Amir H Radiologyclinicalnokhandani@med.unc.eduPET ImagingI am an expert in positron emission tomography (PET). My research interests lie in understanding the basic principles of PET imaging with various radiotracers such as FDG (radioactive glucose) or FLT (radioactive thymidine), what their uptake in the cell means and how the information can be translated to the disease process.
Shaheen, Amy Internal Med-General medicineclinicalnoshaheen@med.unc.eduquality and safety in primary careThe quality of care that one receives is variable. Some of the determinants of health include race, gender, socioeconomic status and education. Unfortunately, sometimes it also depends on where and by whom one gets care. Even within our system we see huge variations in care. I have been working for the last few years on decreasing variation in primary care. We have done that in a number of ways, including establishing registries, developing electronic health alerts, and engaging in quality improvement work. Some of the recent projects with which I have been involved include studying the variation of care in benzodiazepine and narcotic prescribing in the UNC IM clinic, decreasing variation of care in acute low back pain, and reducing variation in the pre-authorization process.
While quality improvement research is not new, our understanding of what makes a project sustainable is less so. The current project will look at factors that determine a sustainable project in 10 practices. The project will involve surveying participants, evaluating QI data, and creating a checklist to be passed to the next group working on a QI project in the practice. While \"hand-off documents\" have been used for patient care, they have not been tried for QI. The study will involve identifying key elements and getting feedback from participants. We will also have access to the QI data through the primary care collaborative for the practices where the participants will do their QI work. This data will help determine success of the projects.
Weil, Amy MedicineTranslationalnoamy_weil@med.unc.eduProjects involving Trauma-informed, Resilience-oriented care implementation in medical education and in the Epic chart, Narrative medicine project related to SHS4 RICE writingsI am working with medical students and a statistics graduate student currently on a survey project to better understand student and faculty exposures to adversity and positive experiences (ACES and PACES) , knowledge about and training in providingTrauma-informed, Resilience-oriented, Equity-focused care and education. Students are interested in using data generated for publication (IRB exempt) and to catalyze improvements in curriculum.
I am also working with IM and FM residents and a national group to improve patients’ ability to express preferences for care related to trauma exposure. This project has opportunities for IRB writing, educational material creation for staff, patients, colleagues, survey creation, data tracking, implementation troubleshooting and potentially publication.
Finally, a group of us are working on compiling student writings from SHS4 RICE for publication. A passion for narrative medicine, writing skills as well as prior experience with publication of narratives would be welcomed
Bortsov, Andrey Anesthesiologytranslationalnoabortsov@aims.unc.eduGenetics and epigenetics of post-traumatic painWe employ a variety of computational and statistical approaches to identify genetic and epigenetic predictors of chronic musculoskeletal pain after trauma. Those include analyses of genetic polymorphisms and genome-wide DNA methylation. Students interested in learning advanced statistical and computational techniques using SAS, R, Haploview, etc are encouraged to contact me at
Smith, Angela UrologyClinicalNoAngela_smith@med.unc.eduPatient-reported outcomes in GU malignanciesMy research involves the study of patient-reported outcomes in GU malignancies. I have a large pragmatic trial comparing treatment of invasive bladder cancer. I also conduct research in patient engagement in cancer studies.
Vergun, Anna D. Prospective, observational study on postoperative pain medication use in children following orthopedic trauma surgery: are we prescribing too much ?This will be a prospective, observational cohort study to determine how much pain medication is being used by children following surgical treatment of common pediatric fractures. The common practice amongst surgeons is to prescribe at least a week supply of narcotic pain medication for children after surgery, however, it is the author\'s experience that most children require only one or two days of medication and most do not require narcotics. We plan to enroll patients immediately after their surgery and follow them with phone calls at home during the first postoperative week to determine their pain levels and pain medication requirements. We hope to better understand postoperative pain in this cohort and offer surgeons better guidelines for prescribing narcotics.
Charles, Anthony Surgerytranslationalnoanthchar@med.unc.eduPredictors of Mortality and other outcome measures in Trauma PatientsThe purpose of this study is to ascertain risk factors for death from trauma. The large cohort allows for simultaneous evaluation of known mortality risk factors along with controlling for factors to assess the influence of each independently. Individually, base deficit, temperature, hypotension, age, and injury severity have been shown to be associated with an increased risk of death. However, in the English literature, there is no data on the independent predictive power and interaction of these risk factors.
Other outcome measures we are studying include, Hospital Length of stay, Intensive care unit length of stay. discharge destination and complications
In addition, as we have an aging population we are proposing to look at the influence of pre-existing cormorbid diseases on trauma outcome using the Charlson Co-morbidity Index.
The state of North Carolina has a developed trauma system, with hospitals with varying trauma verifications and capabilities. We are interested in the mortality effect of direct transportation of a trauma victim to a trauma center as opposed to transfer to the nearest hospital.
Data sources available for use include: National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB), North Carolina Trauma Registry and the University of North Carolina Trauma Registry.
Isaacson, Ari Radiologyclinicalnoari_isaacson@med.unc.eduEmbolization and Advanced Vascular ImagingMy interests lie in utilizing embolization to treat common conditions in a minimally invasive manner. I am currently the PI for pilot studies evaluating prostatic artery embolization to treat BPH and geniculate artery embolization to treat knee pain secondary to osteoarthritis. I am slo interested in studying how to use advanced imaging tools for pre-procedural planning in order to make interventional radiology procedures safer and more efficient.
Davis, Arlene BioethicsBasicNodavisam@med.unc.educlinical ethics in intensive care unitsThe MICU Burnout Study team (Hitesh Patel, MD, PI; Kunal Patel, MD; Jean Cadigan, PhD; Arlene Davis, JD, and others) is conducting an IRB-approved mixed methods study in the UNC Medical Center MICU to explore how resident burnout arises in this unique setting in order to: (1) identify drivers of burnout specific to the MICU; (2) identify interventions to improve the MICU experience; and (3) provide the best educational experience possible for the variety of residents who rotate through the unit. Because burnout is often accompanied by moral distress and ethical conflicts and impacts patient care, practical ethics can offer an important perspective in data collection, analysis, and development of interventions. A medical student working with the interdisciplinary team during Summer 2022 could participate in (1) analysis of the various survey, interview, and focus group data collected to date, (2) further literature review in intervention design and testing, and (3) initial pilots of various interventions.
Skinner, Asheley Pediatricstranslationalnoasheley@unc.eduChild MaltreatmentWe do a variety of research related to child maltreatment and, specifically, the Child Medical Evaluation Program. I am a PhD Health Services Researcher who works with MDs and other clinicians. Our goals are to improve the quality of medical evaluations of children with suspected maltreatment.
We are currently working on a project examining long bone fractures in children and the usefulness of skeletal surveys to identify other injuries.
Although the skeletal survey project is a current priority, I have many additional projects and interests, including child maltreatment, obesity, injury prevention, and substance use.
Belger, Aysenil Neurobiology of risk for psychosis in adolescents We use convergence across neuroimaging, clinical and electrophysiology methods to identify neurobiological mechanisms associated with severity of subclinical symptoms of cognition and emotion impairments in adolescence.
Sartor, Balfour Gastroenterology & Hepatologybasicyesrbs@med.unc.eduHost/Microbial interactions in intestinal inflammation and homeostasisThe major focus of Dr. Sartor`s laboratory is to better define the role of commensal enteric bacteria in mediating immune-mediated chronic intestinal inflammation vs. mucosal homeostasis in genetically susceptible vs. resistant hosts, respectively. This research employs gnotobiotic rodent models in which the enteric bacteria can be precisely manipulated, using the National Gnotobiotic Rodent Resource Center (P40 RR018603) that he directs. Primary models are IL-10 deficient mice colonized with E. coli and Enterococcus faecalis and isogenic mutants of these species in which various bacterial virulence genes have been deleted to determine their functional role (RO1 DK 53347) and HLA B27/ï¢2 microglobulin transgenic rats colonized with Bacteroides vulgatus and other Bacteroides species (RO1 DK40249). In vitro mechanistic studies complement these in vivo investigations. These investigations explore both host and bacterial factors that mediate inflammation vs. homeostasis, particularly host immunoregulation and commensal bacterial virulence genes and the effect of inflammation on bacterial gene expression. Additional funded studies investigate the mechanisms by which diet, particularly dietary iron, aluminum and sucrose, potentiates experimental intestinal inflammation, exploring the effect of dietary components on enteric bacterial composition and gene expression (Crohn`s and Colitis Foundation of America Senior Research Award), the role of dietary iron on Bacteroides fragilis function (R21 AI079183), the role of enteric bacteria and bacterial TLR ligands on hepatic fibrosis and neoplasia (RO1 DK 076920), the therapeutic potential of probiotic bacterial species on hepatic inflammation and fibrosis (R21 AT003878) and the role of enteric bacteria and bacterial components on radiation-induced intestinal injury (U19 AI 067798).
Griffith, Boyce Mathematics, Biomedical Engineering, Applied Physical SciencesTranslationalYesboyceg@email.unc.eduMathematical and computational biomedical engineeringOur research focuses on mathematical modeling and computer simulation of cardiovascular function and dysfunction. Research topics include fundamental research on methods to enable physiological simulation, tools for medical image-based model construction, and applications in physiological simulation. This research falls within the scope of mathematical and computational biomedical engineering. We are actively working to develop computer simulation-based tools for modeling medical devices. For instance, with UNC clinicians, we are actively developing computer models of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVr) devices that can assist in device selection and device design. We are also developing computer models of cardiac electromechanics that can simulate interventions such as cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Finally, in work that has been in collaboration with regulatory and academic partners, we are aiming to demonstrate that our simulation tools are capable of providing regulatory grade evidence for a range of cardiovascular devices. Doing so will require careful validation using both in vitro and in vivo models
Button, Brian Medicine / Marsico Lung Institute TranslationalYesbbutton@med.unc.eduAirway biology in health and disease The goal of my research is to understand how altered mucus properties are responsible for reduced airway clearance rates in persons with muco-obstructive lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis, asthma, and cystic fibrosis. To address these questions, we develop and utilize novel approaches to investigate the biochemical and biophysical properties of airway mucus. As a model system, we utilize both in vitro cell culture models of the human airway, as well as freshly excised tissue from chronic bronchitic and cystic fibrosis lungs. From a therapeutic point of view, we are working to identify putative rehydrating and mucolytic agents which can make mucus flow better, and thus, stimulating clearance in patients with these life-altering diseases.
Diekman, Brian Biomedical EngineeringTranslationalYesbdiekman@email.unc.eduCartilage aging and regenerationThis project utilizes animal models (mouse and rat) to understand the role of aging in limiting the potential for cartilage regeneration. The inability of cartilage to heal effectively after injury is one driver of the development of osteoarthritis. There is evidence for regenerative potential in immature cartilage tissue that is lost upon maturity. Our hypothesis is that signals present in mature cartilage limit the proliferative capacity of chondrocytes. By altering the signaling pathways through genetic manipulation, we hope to identify targets for therapies that would not only boost cartilage regeneration but also protect tissue from the effects of aging that predispose cartilage to become dysfunctional during aging.
Gallippi, Caterina Joint Department of Biomedical EngineeringTranslationalYescmgallip@email.unc.eduUltrasound Imaging of Cancer or Renal Transplant StatusResearch in the Gallippi lab focuses on clinically translatable medical ultrasound technology development, with particular emphases on imaging suspicious breast masses for diagnosis and treatment monitoring in women and on imaging transplanted kidneys for early detection of antibody-mediated rejection in allograft recipients. Work entails ultrasound beam sequence design, data collection, and data processing in custom tissue-mimicking materials, preclinical models, and patients. Prior experience with computer programming, image and signal processing, acoustics, physics, optics, or acoustics is desired but not required
Shiau, Celia Biology and Microbiology & Immunology basicYesshiauce@unc.eduMacrophage, Inflammation, Neuroimmunology Development and function of tissue-resident macrophages

Macrophages are highly dynamic and widespread blood cells that play many important functions in vertebrates. They are the main phagocytes throughout the body, responsible for clearing away dying cells, damaged tissue, and pathogens, to maintain tissue integrity. Macrophages circulate in the bloodstream as monocytes or are stationed in strategic locations of the body as tissue macrophages where their phagocytic roles are critical, such as microglia in the brain, Kupffer cells in the liver, Langerhans cells in the skin, and osteoclasts in the bone. Overall, the developmental process by which macrophages take residence and differentiate into tissue macrophages remains poorly understood. We are currently investigating the transcriptional and cellular regulation underpinning the differentiation of the diverse tissue macrophages.

Cell-cell interactions between macrophages and other systems

The influence of macrophages on the development and homeostasis of various organs can be far-reaching. Yet the normal roles and mechanisms of macrophages and microglia in the healthy body and brain, respectively, remain far less understood than their functions in disease and injury. Of particular interest is the function of microglia in the healthy brain. Although not well understood, they have been implicated in shaping brain circuitry and neuronal development as well as in possibly affecting behavioral outcomes. We are also focusing on the critical role of macrophages in preventing inappropriate activation of inflammatory processes that would otherwise damage healthy tissues. We are addressing fundamental areas of macrophage biology in the context of how macrophages participate in the nervous system as well as other areas of the body prone to inflammation.
Dekaney, Chris Surgerybasicnodekaney@med.unc.eduRole of Paneth Cells in damage repair.Paneth cells make up part of the intestinal stem cell niche. Following damage we observe that the number and size of Paneth cells within this niche increase during regeneration concomitant with intestinal stem cell expansion. This lead us to ask why this increase in Paneth cells occurs and how this increase occurs. To these ends, we are investigating the roles Paneth cells play in intestinal regeneration and the mechanism(s) involved in expansion of the Paneth cells during repair. Understanding these areas will allow us to have a better understanding of the intestinal stem cell niche during repair, but will also provide us with valuable insight in how to control Paneth cell numbers and potentially Paneth cell secretory products. Participation in this project will provide students with exposure to molecular biology, histology, cell culture, microscopy, proteomics and data analysis.
Dekaney, Chris Otherbasicyeschris_dekaney@ncsu.eduMechanisms and Function of Paneth Cell Expansion After Doxorubicin-Induced DamageWhile the intestinal epithelium has a remarkable capacity to repair and regenerate after injury, our understanding of underlying mechanisms of epithelial repair is incomplete. Intestinal stem cells (ISC) play a central role in repair of intestinal epithelium following damage and are under the influence of numerous factors which make up the ISC niche such as Paneth cells (PC) which reside at the base of small intestinal crypts intercalated among ISCs. This places PCs in an advantageous position to influence ISCs impacting survival, proliferation or cell fate decisions during epithelial repair. We recently reported dramatic PC expansion, associated with ISC expansion, in mice following intestinal epithelial injury by the commonly used chemotherapeutic drug, doxorubicin (Dox). Students involved in this project will take part in defining the mechanisms and mediators of PC expansion and the functional significance of PC expansion on enteric microbiota and ISC expansion following the damaging effects of chemotherapy on the intestinal epithelium. Students will be exposed to molecular biology (PCR, protein electrophoresis), histology and morphometry, cell culture, and flow cytometry.
Mack, Chris Pathology & Laboratory Medicinebasicyescmack@med.unc.eduVascular disease and hypertensionAlthough we are interested in many areas of cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology, much of our work revolves around the question of how changes in gene expression in vascular smooth muscle affect the development of cardiovascular disease. Major projects include;
1)The genetics of hypertension – With the help of our clinical and bioinformatic colleagues, we generate and analyze genetic, gene expression, and clinical data sets to identify the mechanisms by which common genetic variations control vessel contraction, blood pressure, and the development of hypertension.
2)The epigenetic regulation of contractile gene expression in vascular smooth muscle – We use a variety of genome-wide approaches to identify the enhancer elements, transcription factors, and chromatin modifiers that drive the SMC-specific expression of many contractile genes.
3)Cytoskeletal and contractile signaling in vascular smooth muscle – We continue to characterize the RhoA-mediated signaling mechanisms that control actin polymerization, actin-myosin-based force generation, and myocardin factor nuclear localization in smooth muscle.
Kistler, Christine Family MedicineclinicalnoChristine_Kistler@med.unc.eduUrinary Tract Infections in Nursing homes\'m looking to conduct a summer project from late May/start of June through the first week of August examining the work-up for urinalysis and urine cultures in 4 NHs in Central North Carolina. The goal is to get preliminary data for the development of a risk calculator for UTI in nursing home patients. We will be going to the sites and doing chart reviews at the 4 sites once a month over the course of the summer. Each NH may require two days to do the chart reviews, depending on the number of U/As and cultures done. The project includes chart review, data collection, and data entry. I will provide mentorship through the process and the student will be assisted in submitting an abstract for AGS and co-authoring a manuscript.
In general I conduct work on clinical decision making around the care of older adults. I have focused primarily on preventive services such as cancer screening and immunizations, but also am working on e-cigarettes and antibiotic use.
Sayed, Christopher DermatologyClinicalNocsayed@med.unc.eduHidradenitis suppurativaThis project is intended to review our experience performing unroofing and local excision procedures in hidradenitis suppurativa in a subspecialty clinic focused on this devastating disease. We plan to analyze safety, effectiveness, and patient satisfaction. It will be designed as a retrospective chart review using Carolina Data Warehouse and pre-selected patient lists to identify patients. Telephone and mailed surveys may also be used.
Doerschuk, Claire MedicinebasicYescmd@med.unc.eduLeukocyte function in pneumonia and acute lung injury Dr. Doerschuk's research interests address host defense mechanisms in the lungs, particularly the inflammatory and innate immune processes that are important in the pathogenesis and course of bacterial pneumonia and acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome. Basic and translational studies address the mechanisms of host defense during pneumonia in response to bacterial and viral pathogens that cause common and clinically important community-acquired and nosocomial pneumonias. Her focus is in the mechanisms of leukocyte recruitment and function, particularly neutrophils and macrophages, neutrophil-endothelial cell interactions, and effector functions of neutrophils during inflammation and innate immune responses in the lungs. Studies of leukocyte kinetics include neutrophil production and release from the bone marrow and their sequestration, adhesion and migration into lung tissue. More recently, her studies address leukocyte kinetics, immune responses and host defense following exposure to combustion products from burn pits. The ultimate goal is to utilize this knowledge to develop therapies that enhance the inflammatory response when it is beneficial to the host and dampen this response when it is harmful.
Barrington, Clare Public Healthtranslationalnocbarring@email.unc.eduHIV/AIDS preventionThe overall goal of my research program is to examine social and contextual influences on health and health behaviors to inform the development of culturally relevant population-level public health policies and programs. I draw on theories from across the social sciences and use a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. I am particularly interested in examining the influence of social networks on sexual risk behaviors and how networks can be used as effective tools for HIV/AIDS prevention. Most of my research is in the context of concentrated HIV epidemics of the Caribbean and Central America, in particular the Dominican Republic where I have several ongoing collaborations. In addition to my work in the Dominican Republic, I am collaborating with researchers from the Center for Disease Control’s Global AIDS Program in Guatemala on two studies with men who have sex with men: the first is a comparison of sampling strategies used to obtain population estimates of HIV prevalence and the second is a formative evaluation of sexual health services for this population. I am also starting to do work on HIV among Latinos in North Carolina and have a small pilot study funded by the Center for AIDS Research to conduct life histories of Mexican men living with HIV/AIDS.
Madison, Clark Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery Translational Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery The focus of my research is in surgical innovation related to eyelid and facial reconstruction and nasal airway obstruction. My publications include descriptions of innovative procedures and techniques that improve outcomes, as well as studying the pathophysiology that explains these improvements, including aOCT (anatomical optical coherence tomography) and CFD (computational fluid dynamics). Projects are ongoing.
Crystal SchillerPsychiatryclinicalnocrystal_schiller@med.unc.eduNeuroendocrinology of Reproductive Related Mood DisordersMy research focuses on the influence of sex steroids on brain function and affective regulation in women. I currently am conducting two NIH-funded projects in this area: First, we are examining the effects of a scaled-down hormonal model of pregnancy and parturition on neural reward processing, affective processing, and depressive symptoms in women with and without a history of postpartum depression (NIMH R21). Second, I am measure activity in the neural reward system in perimenopausal women with and without MDD using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at baseline and following estradiol treatment (NIMH K23). In addition, I am collaborating on NIH and foundation-funded projects examining 1) stress physiology in premenstrual dysphoric disorder, 2) hormone influence on eating pathology in perimenopausal women, 3) genetic biomarkers of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and 4) acceptance and commitment therapy group treatment for perinatal women with mood and anxiety disorders. Ultimately, I hope my primary line of research will 1) advance our understanding of the effects of ovarian hormones on the brain and how these effects contribute to the triggering of and susceptibility to mood disorders in women; and 2) help to identify neural and endocrine markers of depression risk, thereby improving our ability to predict illness onset and develop novel approaches to prevention and treatment.
Cene, Crystal Wiley MedicineTranslationalYescrystal_cene@med.unc.eduPatient and Family Engagement in Heart Failure CareClose to 40% of older adults in general and heart failure patients specifically, are accompanied to medical visits by a family member. These family members are very influential in supporting patients as they manage their heart failure, yet their contribution is often under-appreciated by health care providers. The quality of communication between patients, family members, and health care providers greatly influences how well heart failure patients take care of their illness at home (i.e. self-management). Our prior study demonstrated, using analysis of audiotaped data from actual visits, that heart failure patients and family members are not actively engaged during visits, as indicated by asking fewer questions and giving less information. This is disturbing given known knowledge deficits among heart failure patients and family members about heart failure.

Strategies such as pre-visit prompt lists can enhance engagement by encouraging patients and family members to ask relevant questions and discuss sensitive topics with health care providers. A prompt list is a structured list of questions or topics related to illness, treatment, and support that is developed from interviews with patients, family members, and health care providers. Prompt lists are completed by patients and family members before a visit. Prompt lists have been shown to increase the number and relevance of questions asked by patients and family members. However, several important gaps in the literature exist. First, the effect of prompt lists on self- management behaviors has not been tested. Second, few studies have used them with family members. Lastly, prompt lists have not been tested in heart failure patients. Most of the research on their use has been conducted in cancer patients facing oncology-specific clinical decisions. To address these gaps, we developed a pre-visit prompt list for use with heart failure patient-family member dyads (using cognitive interviews). We are currently conducting a pilot randomized trial in 30 heart failure patient-family dyads. We randomize participants to receive the prompt list vs. usual care and assess feasibility, acceptability, and effects on behavioral outcomes.

A student participating in this project would have the opportunity to assist with: data collection in the clinic and writing abstracts and manuscripts to be submitted for publication (on which the student could be a co-author). The student could also have the opportunity to work on other related projects lead by Dr. Cene focused on developing practical tools to enhance engagement among patients with multiple chronic conditions and their family members.
Bulik, Cynthia PsychiatrytranslationalYescbulik@med.unc.edueating disorders genetics The Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative is a global study centered at the UNC Center of Excellence of Eating Disorders (CEED) (see Join faculty and trainees from many disciplines (medicine, genetics, psychiatry, psychology, public health, social work, nursing and more) to develop recruitment campaigns and design substudies to be performed as part of this initiative. EDGI is led by Dr. Cynthia Bulik and the Deputy Director is Dr. Laura Thornton. Join meetings with EDGI teams from other countries: New Zealand, Australia, UK, Denmark, Sweden, Mexico, Italy, and Taiwan. Bilingual students in any of the languages spoken in those countries are of particular interest. Gain a full understanding of the inner workings of team science and benefit from working alongside CEED faculty and summer research fellows. Historically all summer trainees are supported in preparing at least one manuscript for publication.
Neutze, Dana Family Medicineclinicalnodana_neutze@med.unc.eduQuality Improvement in Primary CareMy work involves improving various preventive and chronic disease metrics for our patients at the Family Medicine Center. I participate in a collaborative of Primary Care Practices across the UNC Healthcare center. I am looking at non-traditional approaches to delivering care.
Del Gaizo, Daniel OrthopedicsclinicalnoDaniel_DelGaizo@med.unc.eduOrthopaedicI am a orthopaedic surgeon specializing in hip and knee arthroplasty. I have a number of clinical projects that students could be involved in as well as ideas for new projects that a student could \"make their own\", particularly if they were interested in dedicating a year to research. Also, if a student has a particular interest in a specific field of orthopaedic research we can work together to devise a study utilizing resources here at UNC that will be successful at answering a pertinent question and ultimately be published in a peer reviewed journal. I do not have any open funding for students but I can assist in applying for numerous funding opportunities that are available.
Berkoff, David OrthopaedicsClinicalNo

MSK Ultrasound - elastography The project that we will be working on will be the use of ultrasound compression elastography in the evaluation of rotator cuff musculature in persons with and without rotator cuff pathology. Elastography is an existing feature that works off of a traditional ultrasound platform adding a feature of tissue elasticity evaluation to the data typically obtained with conventional ultrasound. Currently this technology is primarily used in the imaging primarily of breast tissue. There is interest in using this same technology to potentially evaluate tendon pathology. I have proposed to look at subjects with and without known rotator cuff disease and compare the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscle elastography measurements between the two groups.
Chesnutt, David Ophthalmologyclinicalnodavid_chesnutt@med.unc.eduRelationship between intraocular and intracranial pressureAnother clinical research theme that I have is exploring the relationship between intraocular pressure and intracranial pressure and evaluating ways to measure the relationship and ways to alter the relationship for therapeutic benefit.
Fleischman, David OphthalmologyClinicalNodavid_fleischman@med.unc.eduGlaucomaA retrospective case-controlled investigation comparing the intraocular pressure and hypertensive phase of glaucoma surgery patients treated post-operatively with topical NSAIDs, taken alone or in combination with topical corticosteroids, or treated with topical corticosteroids alone.
Ransohoff, David Gastroenterology & Hepatologyclinicalnoransohof@med.unc.eduEvaluating markers for cancerMy research focuses on evaluating diagnostic tests for cancer, particularly colorectal cancer (CRC). Current work includes evaluating colonoscopy for CRC screening and surveillance; evaluating stool DNA markers for CRC screening; and developing proteomic assays for a variety of cancers. Another interest is in evaluation of the process of guidelines-development for policy-making.
Sasaki-Adams, Deanna NeurosurgeryClinicalYesdeanna_sasaki-adams@med.unc.eduAneurysmsWe are looking at the correlation between inflammatory changes and aneurysm development in a rabbit model. This research is funded through a grant from the Brain Aneurysm Foundation.

A second project is looking at the functional outcomes with respect to psychiatric and cognitive issues that arise after patients suffer from aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Perkins, Diana Psychiatrytranslationalyesdiana_perkins@med.unc.eduInvestigating schizophrenia vulnerability with peripheral blood biomarkers, genetic vulnerability, and patient derived stem cellsSchizophrenia and related psychotic disorders are common, affecting 1 out 50 people. The onset is typically in adolescence and early adulthood, with a chronic course. Schizophrenia is one of the leading causes of disability in young people. Our lab is working to understand vulnerability to psychosis with an eventual goal of prevention. We focus on persons at the earliest, prodromal stages, or at the first psychotic episode. We are examining blood biomarkers, including those derived from plasma (proteins, RNA, small molecules) and DNA. In addition we are developing a disease state model using patient derived stem cells.
Culton, Donna DermatologyTranslationalNoculton@med.unc.eduAutoimmune disorders of the skinI study autoimmune disorders of the skin and mucous membranes including pemphigus, pemphigoid and oral lichen planus.
Evon, Donna Medicine - GI and HepatologyclinicalNodonna_evon@med.unc.eduLiver / Behavioral /Psychology I am a clinical health psychologist and behavioral researcher who has worked in the field of chronic liver disease for 18 years. I have extensive experience in patient-centered outcomes research. Broadly speaking, my research interests include: (a) evaluation of bio-psycho-social factors associated with chronic liver disease, (b) understanding the patients’ perspective using patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures and qualitative methods, and (c) development and testing of psychosocial/behavioral interventions to improve health outcomes for liver disease populations. I utilize both qualitative and quantitative methods in my work, with a heavy emphasis on using PRO measures. I also enjoy collaborating with patients as research consultants on my projects. I am interested in psychosocial interventions for patients with chronic liver disease.

For summer 2024, I have an interest in working with a med student on conducting a scoping review of psychological/behavioral interventions for patients with cirrhosis that would lead to a publication. There will also be a need for a literature review of telehealth interventions in liver disease and assistance on manuscripts related to symptoms of primary sclerosing cholangitis, a rare liver disease of the bile ducts.
Fitzpatrick, Douglas Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgerytranslationalyesdcf@med.unc.eduTranslational Projects with Cochlear ImplantsDespite hearing loss requiring a cochlear implant, in almost patients the cochlea still shows responses to sound that can be measured with an electrode at the round window during surgery. In addition to providing important information about cochlear physiology in each subject, the responses can also be used to monitor and avoid trauma to the delicate cochlear structures during surgery. Parallel recordings are made using an animal model to help understand the complex and varied responses obtained from humans. The project is a collaboration between attending surgeons and auditory system scientists in the ENT department. Medical students have and continue to make substantial contributions, and we welcome any who have an interest in a summer project or in a year of research.
Chang Emily Medicine Contrast ultrasound I have a project using contrast ultrasound in patients with kidney disease. We are in the process of publishing exploratory results about the use of this technology for estimating kidney function. We would like to pull data from the charts of this cohort of patients with their most recent biomarkers to see if our imaging data has any predictive power.
Fraher, Erin Family Medicinetranslationalnoerin_fraher@unc.eduUnderstanding specialization trends in Family Medicine training and practiceOur health workforce research program is seeking a medical student interested in health policy and health workforce issues. Led by Erin P. Fraher, PhD MPP, the mission of the Program on Health Workforce Research and Policy is to provide timely, objective data and analysis to inform health workforce policy in North Carolina and the United States. This summer, we will be using data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to investigate the magnitude and timing of residents who switch specialties during training. We’ll also use data from the American Board of Medical Specialties to examine trends in certificates of additional qualification (CAQs) by FM physicians. We will test the hypotheses that:
1. FM residents are much less likely than General Internists to specialize but that a non- insignificant portion of FM residents switch specialty during residency training
2. FM residency programs gain a not insignificant number of residents from other specialties
3. Family medicine physicians are increasingly specializing in sports medicine, sleep medicine, pain medicine etc.
This project requires strong data analysis and writing skills, familiarity with Excel and an interest in health policy and health workforce.
Anton, Eva Cell Biology & Physiologytranslationalnoanton@med.unc.eduMechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disordersImpaired primary cilia function in cortical neurons and the resultant changes in neural circuitry may lead to the emergence of neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and intellectual disabilities. We are testing this hypothesis by examining how disrupted primary cilia signaling affects the formation and function of neuronal circuitry, dysfunction of which is widely implicated in the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders. We employ a powerful combination of mouse genetics, electrophysiology, in vivo live cell imaging, behavioral assays, and chemogenetic manipulation of ciliary signaling to decipher the convergent mechanisms underlying neuronal connectivity. By determining the changes in cortical neuronal connectivity and function following primary cilia dysfunction, in the context of patient mutations in ciliary genes associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, the outcome of these studies will help pinpoint the signaling pathways highly relevant to circuit malformations in neurodevelopmental disorders.
Dellon, Evan Gastroenterology & Hepatologytranslationalnoedellon@med.unc.eduEpidemiology and diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitisMy research focuses on enhancing the diagnosis, characterizing the epidemiology, and optimizing the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), with the overall goal of improving patient care and outcomes. EoE is a newly described disease which has been increasing in incidence and prevalence over the past decade, and is now a major cause of upper GI morbidity. This condition disproportionately affects younger patients, and trouble swallowing and food impaction are the hallmark symptoms in adults. I have both prospective and retrospective studies of EoE which are ongoing, with existing databases that would provide a good opportunity for clinical and translational research to further characterize patients with EoE, assess for risk factors, or optimize diagnosis.
Ferris, MariaPediatricsClinicalNomaria_ferris@med.unc.eduSlef-management and Health Care TransitionWe measure self-management and health care transition from pediatric- to adult-focused care among adolescents and young adults with chronic health conditions. Our tools and interventions are designed to improve this process
Sylvester, Francisco PediatricsClinicalNofsylvester@unc.eduVitamin D and inflammatory bowel diseaseStudy the relationship between vitamin D and IBD activity
Church, Frank Hematology & Oncologybasicnofchurch@email.unc.eduContribution of Senescence to the Age-Associated Risk of Venous ThromboembolismThrombosis is a life-threatening condition affecting thousands of men and women in the United States each year. The risk of venous thrombosis or venous thromboembolism (VTE) increases as we age, although the precise mechanism is not known. Expression of the tumor-suppressor gene p16ink4a (p16) increases with age and is associated with cellular senescence. However, it is not known if p16 is involved in the relationship between aging, senescence and the increased risk of venous thrombosis. We are testing a hypothesis that senescence (and aging) is associated with impaired hemostasis and will contribute to a prothrombotic phenotype. We are performing several different studies: (a) transgenic mouse model of p16 over-expression has a mild prothrombotic phenotype; (b) aged mice (1.5-2 years old) naturally up-regulate p16 expression and show age-related senescence; (c) in vitro model of human endothelial cell expression that become senescent (with several compounds used in drug-coated stents that promote localized cellular senescence); and (d) we would like to gather translational data regarding p16 expression linked to the risk of deep vein thrombosis. The contribution of senescence in the vasculature to the age-associated risk of venous thromboembolism is still a new field. We are beginning to better understand the role of cellular senescence linked to arterial disease occurrence; by contrast, we understand very little about the influence of senescence to venous thromboembolic diseases. Thus, we are trying to better understand the pathophysiological link between the occurrence of VTE with age and senescence.
Conlon, Frank Geneticsbasicnofrank_conlon@med.unc.eduPathways and mechanisms of congenital heart disease.Our lab is talking an integrated approach using proteomic and genetics strategies to identify the molecular networks that are required for normal embryonic and adolescent cardiac development and how perturbations in these pathways lead to congenital heart disease. Projects in the lab would include genetic interrogation of cardiac transcriptional repressor complexes in mice and the isolation and characterization of endogenous cardiac interactomes. These projects are supported by RO1 grants HL112618 and HL127640.​
Dichter, Gabriel Psychiatrytranslationalnodichter@med.unc.eduFunctional Brain Imaging of Psychopharmacolgic Treatment for Autism Spectrum DisordersAs Director of the UNC-CH Clinical Affective Neuroscience (CAN – Laboratory, my research interests are geared towards understanding the pathophysiology of a range of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Specifically, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), psychophysiological tools, eyetracking technology, and behavioral assays to examine how individuals with autism spectrum disorders and affective disorders differ from unaffected counterparts as well as to understand the normalization of brain function following effective interventions for these conditions. Our work is funded via a range of private and federal grants and is conducted by a team of post-docs, medical students, graduate students, and research coordinators. The fMRI research takes place at the Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center (, a world-renowned, state-of-the-art facility with two research-dedicated 3T scanners and a dedicated staff of physicists, engineers, and programmers. I am also an Investigator within the UNC Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD), and as such benefit from the recruitment and diagnostics tools of this P30-funded autism research center. The board strategy of the lab is to first validate clinical neuroscience methods in non-clinical contexts, then to apply paradigms in acute psychiatric conditions, and finally to test our assays as potential biomarkers of treatment response
Stouffer, George Cardiologyclinicalnorstouff@med.unc.eduPersonalized medicine - Using pharmacogenomics to choose anti-platelet medicationsA patient\'s response to clopidogrel, a P2Y12 inhibitor, can be estimated based on genotype of CYP2C19 genotype. This is an ongoing project looking at the effects on outcomes and economics of using a genotype guided strategy to choose anti-platelet medications after intracoronary stent placement.
Corbie, Giselle Social MedicineTranslationalNogcorbie@med.unc.eduHealth Equity Research -- cardiovascular disease and community resources referral systemOur R01 project, Implementation of EMR-Integrated Referrals to Link Clinical and Community Services to Reduce Health Inequity provides student researchers the opportunity to investigate research questions to better support clinics in rural settings to implement new resource referral technology systems and to improve the self-management and health outcomes associated with cardiovascular diseases among patients. The overall objective of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility and impact of referral to community health-promoting resources in a rural community health system and identify scalable interventions to improve cardiometabolic health that leverage existing community assets. We welcome applications from student researchers who are committed to health equity and wanting to conduct analysis on existing data from this study.
Mody, Gita Clinical outcomes research, health services research, global health Mody Research Program Goal:
• To optimize clinical and patient-centered outcomes for patients undergoing high-risk surgery

• Optimizing Quality of Life after surgery using patient-reported outcomes
• Use of Health Information Technology (HIT) and devices to improve perioperative care and surgical outcomes
• Understanding and addressing disparities in surgical outcomes
• Global Surgery capacity building

Current research questions include:
• What is the impact of remote monitoring systems using electronic patient-reported outcomes on outcomes after thoracic surgery? (Currently enrolling to “Improving Quality of Life after Thoracic Surgery using Patient-Reported Outcomes (TS-PRO)”; ID: NCT04342260).
• What are predictors of return to baseline quality of life after thoracic surgery? After trauma injury admissions?
• What are the health-related quality of life and clinical outcomes of esophageal cancer patients in Malawi?
Wu, Guorong PsychiatryBasic ScienceYes

sex difference in Alzheimer's disease Understand the pathogenesis mechanism of sex-by-APOE interaction by using multi-omics data analysis.
Won Shin, Hae Neurologyclinicalnoshinhw@neurology.unc.eduEpilepsyOur UNC comprehensive epilepsy center has multiple unique clinical research interests and opportunities, including epilepsy moniotring unit (EMU) safety, epilepsy surgery outcome, resting fMRI and DTI in epilepsy surgical evaluation, and more. These areas are my main interest as well.
Herfarth, Hans Gastroenterology & Hepatologyclinicalnohherf@med.unc.eduDevelopment and Implementation of a Patient SurveyPatients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) have access to multiple sources of information about their disease on the Internet. The aim of this project is the development of a questionnaire to find out how, when and why patients use what kind of Internet resources about IBD. After the development phase the questionnaire will be distributed to patients visiting the IBD Multidisciplinary Center at UNC and the results analyzed accordingly.
Muss. Hyman Hematology & Oncologyclinicalyesmuss@med.unc.eduCancer Care in Older PatientsThe Geriatric Oncology Program at UNC`s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researches different aspects of cancer treatments within the elderly population receiving care at UNC. The risk of developing cancer increases with age yet cancer research for older patients has not received enough attention. It is important to find the best treatment practices for this growing group as the US population ages so that physicians can effectively address their unique needs. Current projects include the `Carolina Senior` registry, an initiative to complete a Geriatric Assessment with all incoming senior patients at the UNC cancer hospital and a study to measure and compare the expressions of p16, a molecular biomarker of aging, in breast cancer patients 65 and older who have completed primary cancer therapy. Many other studies are in development or pending. Our group is also working with new technology, namely Teleform which is software that allows direct transfer of data from specific forms into a computer database. We have plenty of opportunities for a medical student who is interested in developing a project that explores the genetic, social or technological aspects and challenges of treating cancer in older patients.
Carroll, Ian Gastroenterology & Hepatologytranslationalnoian_carroll@med.unc.eduEnteric microbial regulated adiposity and behavior in anorexia nervosaThe goals of my research are to determine the mechanisms through which specific members of the intestinal microbiota influence gastrointestinal physiology, weight regulation, and behavior. My laboratory has developed and validated techniques to collect and store biological human and murine samples for microbiological analyses. We have also developed a technique for isolating bacterial DNA from human fecal and colonic mucosal samples. Our research team used in vivo and in vitro methods to determine the functional impact of enteric microbes and the metabolites they produce on diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, and anorexia nervosa.
Hoffman, Irving Infectious Diseasesclinicalnohoffmani@med.unc.eduThe prevention and treatment of malaria, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseasesConducted primarily in Malawi, my research involves a phase III malaria vaccine trial and malaria surveillance, clinical trials to test the use of antiretrovirals in the HIV infected and uninfected for prevention, validation of point of care tests for CD4 and HIV viral loads and the identification of patients co-infected with traditional sexually transmitted diseases abd acute HIV for HIV vaccine development and HIV prevention.
Smith, J Keith Radiologytranslationalnojksmith@med.unc.eduNeuroradiologyBrain tumor imaging, Traumatic brain injury, Normal brain development
Garcia, J. Victor Infectious Diseasestranslationalyesvictor_garcia@med.unc.eduIn vivo analysis of HIV persistence: towards a CURE for AIDSSince the beginning of the AIDS epidemic almost 40 million people have been infected. Many that receive appropriate medical care including antiretroviral therapy live highly productive lives. However, these patients live with the stigma of being HIV infected and the need to continue treatment for life. Our goal is to elucidate the molecular basis of HIV latency and persistence with the long-term goal of eradicating the virus from the host. For this we use highly innovative in vivo models that permit the in vivo analysis of HIV replication and presistence.
Margolis, Garcia et al Science 2016.
Honeycutt et al J. Clin. Invest. 2016.
Garcia, JV J. Clin. Invest. 2016.
Olesen et al. J. Clin. Invest. 2016.
Swanson et al. Cell. 2015.
Kovarova et al. PloS Path. 2015.
Abedini-Nassab et al. Adv. Mater. 2015
Faber, James Cell & Molecular Physiologytranslationalnojefaber@med.unc.eduHuman Retinal Vascular Patterning and Palmar Collateral Blood flow as Non-Invasive Predictors of Pial Collateral CirculationMy laboratory’s interests concentrate on the collateral circulation (“endogenous bypass vessels”) in brain, heart and peripheral limb. Compared to the general arterial-venous and lymphatic circulations, much less is known about collateral vascular biology. For example, until our work nothing was known about when or how these unique anastomosing vessels form or the molecular mechanisms involved. We have that discovered that these vessels form late in gestation after the general and lymphatic circulations have become established. Our studies have also found that the extent (ie, density, diameter, length—thus conductance) of the native pre-existing collateral circulation in healthy individuals (inbred mouse strains) varies dramatically from naturally occurring genetic polymorphisms, and showed that these differences have a major impact on tissue injury and collateral flow recovery in mouse models of occlusive disease, including middle cerebral artery occlusion. We have also identified the first two genes (Vegfa and Clic4) whose expression significantly impacts formation of the native collateral circulation, and have used quantitative trait loci and SNP association mapping to identify additional candidate genes responsible for genetic variation in extent of the collateral circulation. Besides genetic factors, we are also studying the effect of environmental factors, disease risk factors, and gene-environment interactions for adverse effects on formation and maintenance of the collateral circulation in utero, perinatally,and during growth to adulthood and thereafter, as well as effects on extent of collateral remodeling in occlusive disease.
Available funds will be necessarily devoted to costs of retinography and ultrasonography.
Brice, Jane Emergency Medicineclinicalnobrice@med.unc.eduEmergency Medical Services and Disaster ResearchMy research focuses on aspects of care that occur before the patient reaches the hospital. In particular, my research examines stroke care provided by emergency medical services (EMTs and paramedics), access to care issues, and disaster preparedness. I have also done work with health literacy issues, access to care for minority populations, and EMS workforce issues. I am open to student-initiated ideas as well.
Mwanza, Jean-ClaudeOphthalmologyClinicalNojean-claude_mwanza@med.unc.eduComparison of Visual Field Using a Tablet-based Perimeter and Humphrey Field AnalyzerBACGROUND
Glaucoma is the second case of blindness worldwide. It is a slow progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting the optic nerve. It is characterized by the dysfunction and then death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons, leading to morphological changes to the optic nerve head (ONH) and visual field deficits. If left untreated or inadequately treated glaucoma slowly leads to irreversible blindness. Both medical and surgical treatment are effective in controlling intraocular pressure (the main risk factor) in most cases and slow considerably the progression of the disease and therefore prevent visual impairment. In the United States, the number of people with glaucoma rose from 2.2 million to 2.7 million from 2000 to 2010,[1] with projections to increase to 4 million in 2030 and 6.3 million in 2050. The prevalence of glaucoma varies across regions, but it is highest in Africa[2-6] More importantly, of all people with glaucoma in the United States, approximately 50% are undiagnosed. Such rates are even higher in low-income countries. In sub-Saharan Africa for example, 87.1% to 98.5% of people with glaucoma diagnosed in population-based surveys were not aware that they have it.[5-11] Thus the key to preventing visual impairment and its consequences such as falls, bad quality of life, is early detection of glaucoma, particularly in populations at risk.
There have been several attempts to develop glaucoma screening various methods such as those focusing on intraocular pressure measurement, appearance of the optic nerve head or questionnaires, but those methods proved to be less sensitive and less specific. Because glaucomatous visual field deficits are specific, a screening method based on visual field testing may help detect glaucoma in population at risk.
However such a screening cannot be performed using the method of visual field testing used in the clinical setting (Humphrey Field Analyzer, HFA) because it is time-consuming. A good method screening method should be inexpensive, portable, easy to use, administer, and interpret, and comfortable for the subjects.

TestFlight is a tablet-based application called MRF for Melbourne rapid Field on the iPad platform that has been developed with the ultimate aim of facilitating perimetry outside the traditional clinical setting. It features a blind spot monitor, reliability tests, and fast thresholding using Bates logic. It provides the same testing modes and outputs as the HFA. In addition to the test pattern used on HFA (which allows comparison), it also has its own specific testing pattern with more test points. It is easy to use, it only take about 2 minutes per eye. Prior to using it in population screening, it needs to be tested in clinic to see how it performs in real glaucoma patients

1) To compare the perimetric results from the iPad-based app (Melbourne Rapid Fields or MRF) to those of HVF 24-2 SITA Standard testing mode.
2) To evaluate accuracy of the MRF, an iPad app, for performing perimetric screening
3) To correlate the results of MRF and HFA.

Consecutive patients attending their clinical appointment in the glaucoma clinic and scheduled for HFA will be recruited for the study. They will qualify for the study if they are at least 18 years old, have diagnosed with glaucoma in at least one eye, are willing to perform the tablet-based visual field prior of following the HFA, have best corrected visual acuity of 20/40 per qualifying eye. Patients with diabetic proliferative retinopathy, neurological disorders, or those on medication that may affect visual field will be excluded. A total of 80 patients with glaucoma at different stages (early, moderate, advanced) will be enrolled in the stud. Each patients will undergo both tests the same day, in no particular order although we prefer MRF first while they are waiting for HFA. 30 0f these patients will also undergo spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) of the ONH and the macula
Because HVF testing is usually performed once a year, patients will be perform both tests a year later the day HFA is scheduled.
Study parameters on both tests will include 1) mean deviation, 2) pattern standard deviation, 3) number of missed locations, 4) false positive rates, 5) false negative rates, 6) time to complete the test, 7) the number of points worse than 5% probability level of total deviation map.

The analysis will include comparison of the study parameters from the two tests (paired t-test) and correlating them (Pearson correlation). Person correction of deviation and pattern standard deviation with OCT parameters ( retinal nerve fiber layer thickness, ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer thickness, rim area, vertical cup-t-disc ratio) will also be performed.

1. Quigley HA, Broman AT. The number of people with glaucoma worldwide in 2010 and 2020. Br J Ophthalmol 2006; 90:262-267.
2. Tham YC, Li X, Wong TY, et al. Global prevalence of glaucoma and projections of glaucoma burden through 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ophthalmology 2014; 121:2081-2090.
3. Kyari F, Abdull MM, Bastawrous A, et al. Epidemiology of glaucoma in sub-saharan Africa: prevalence, incidence and risk factors. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol 2013; 20:111-125.
4. Ashaye A, Ashaolu O, Komolafe O, et al. Prevalence and types of glaucoma among an indigenous African population in southwestern Nigeria. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2013; 54:7410-7416.
5. Budenz DL, Barton K, Whiteside-de Vos J, et al. Prevalence of glaucoma in an urban West African population: the Tema Eye Survey. JAMA Ophthalmol 2013; 131:651-658.
6. Ntim-Amponsah CT, Amoaku WM, Ofosu-Amaah S, et al. Prevalence of glaucoma in an African population. Eye (Lond) 2004; 18:491-497.
7. Buhrmann RR, Quigley HA, Barron Y, et al. Prevalence of glaucoma in a rural East African population. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2000; 41:40-48.
8. Ekwerekwu CM, Umeh RE. The prevalence of glaucoma in an onchoendemic community in South-Eastern Nigeria. West Afr J Med 2002; 21:200-203.
9. Kyari F, Entekume G, Rabiu M, et al. A Population-based survey of the prevalence and types of glaucoma in Nigeria: results from the Nigeria National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey. BMC Ophthalmol 2015; 15:176.
10. Rotchford AP, Johnson GJ. Glaucoma in Zulus: a population-based cross-sectional survey in a rural district in South Africa. Arch Ophthalmol 2002; 120:471-478.
11. Rotchford AP, Kirwan JF, Muller MA, et al. Temba glaucoma study: a population-based cross-sectional survey in urban South Africa. Ophthalmology 2003; 110:376-382.


the Student will be responsible for recruiting and enrolling study patients as well as administering the tablet visual field test. The HFA test will be performed by the hospital technician. The student will also be responsible for managing the data. He will taught proper methods of data management and basic statistical data. analysis
Yeh, Jen Jen Surgerytranslationalyesjjyeh@med.unc.eduGenomics and therapeutics in pancreatic cancerDr. Yeh is a physician-scientist with an active surgical oncology practice focused on endocrine and pancreatic cancers. Her research and surgical oncology practice has focused on identifying vulnerabilities in pancreatic cancer in order to develop better treatment for patients using a combination of translational approaches. Using her surgical expertise she initiated a large Patient-Derived Xenograft Program with a major emphasis on the establishment of both primary and metastatic pancreatic tumors in order to use this platform for therapeutic and biomarker evaluation. Recently her group identified new subtypes for pancreatic cancer that was published in Nature Genetics. Pancreatic cancer is a particularly difficult cancer to analyze because of its confounding and dense stroma and low tumor content. To solve that problem her group used a computational approach to separate the normal from the cancerous tissue and the stroma. These results help understand some of the controversy in the field regarding pancreatic stroma and will set the groundwork for future clinical trials, allow treatments to be assigned based on the subtypes, and guide the development of new therapies. The multidisciplinary nature of her work highlights her ability to meld disparate disciplines for pancreatic cancer research.
Baker, Jessica Psychiatrytranslationalnojessica_baker@med.unc.eduRisk factors and correlates of eating disordersThe student would have the opportunity to work with Drs. Jessica Baker or Melissa Munn-Chernoff in the Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders.
Broadly, our research focuses on the biological and genetic vulnerability for eating disorders; the genetic overlap between eating disorders and other comorbid disorders; and defining biological and genetic markers of eating disorder recovery. Additionally, our research focuses on the risk for eating disorders in a college student population and how the risk for eating disorders and substance use disorders interacts during the college years. Ultimately, these findings would be translated to improve and individualize eating disorder treatment programs as well as to develop intervention and prevention programs for college students.
Stewart, Jessie Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Department of RadiologyClincalNojessie_stewart@med.unc.eduInterventional Radiology- women's healthI focus on clinical and translational research in the field of interventional radiology. I specifically focus on women's health interventions, such as uterine fibroid embolization and the treatment of pelvic congestion syndrome and how to improve outcomes and experiences for our patients.
Giudice. Jimena Cell Biology & Physiologybasicnojimena_giudice@med.unc.eduAlternative splicing in development and diseasesAlternative splicing is a posttranscriptional mechanism that explains how individual genes can produce more than one transcript due to the inclusion or exclusion of specific regions originating multiple protein isoforms with diverse features. More than 90% of human genes undergo alternative splicing. During development multiple transcriptional networks are coordinately regulated to drive organ maturation, tissue formation, and cell fate.
A wide variety of human diseases are caused by mutations within cis-acting sequences of pre-mRNAs that produce aberrant splicing and alter function of the mutated allele (Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Cystic fibrosis, among others). In addition, certain splice isoforms are depleted or induced in cancer, diabetes, or muscular dystrophies suggesting specific physiological roles. Defects in functions or expression of RNA-binding proteins and core spliceosome constituents induce splicing mis-regulation in multiple severe diseases.
Tissue specific alternative splicing is critical to maintain tissue identity. Brain, heart, and skeletal muscle are the tissues where the most tissue specific splicing takes place raising the questions of: how developmental stage- and tissue-specific splicing influences protein function and how this regulation occurs. To investigate this big-picture question, our research program has three angles:
- the molecular mechanisms that explain how alternative splicing regulates the expression of trafficking and membrane dynamics proteins in normal development and diseases.
- how alternative splicing impacts on the functions of membrane trafficking proteins in internal cell architecture and physiology.
- the roles of epigenetic dynamics on alternative splicing regulation in postnatal striated muscle development.
Wu, Jing Neurologytranslationalnojwu@neurology.unc.eduDeveloping novel therapy in primary brain tumor and improve quality of life of brain tumor patientsAs a fellowship-trained neuro-oncologist, I am interested in taking care of patients with primary CNS tumors; developing investigator-initiated clinical trials to examine new combined therapies and overcome treatment resistance in malignant gliomas. I am also interested in clinical studies to improve brain tumor patients’ quality of life and symptoms control. My research involves in both translational and clinical research in CNS tumors. In the laboratory, I am studying molecular mechanisms of IDH mutation in gliomagenesis by using in vivo and in vitro models. I am also collaborating with other UNC scientists specializing in cancer genome bioinformatics and drug development with a goal to translate the bench discoveries into novel and personalized treatments for malignant brain tumor patients.
Taylor, Joan Pathology & Laboratory Medicinetranslationalnojmt3x@med.unc.eduDevelopment of Human Hypertension; Discovery of Novel Means to Mitigate Cardiac NecrosisWe have two projects to chose from
1) Translational: Although several large GWAS identified a novel locus in the ArhGAP42 gene that was associated with blood pressure (BP), no causal link has been established between these SNPs and the pathogenesis or outcomes of hypertension. Our group has shown that ArhGAP42 is specifically expressed in smooth muscle and negatively regulates BP in mice by inhibiting RhoA activity and that the minor allele at rs604723 was associated with increased ArhGAP42 expression in human arterial samples. Our genotype/phenotype analysis revealed that the minor BP allele increases ArhGAP42 expression and protects against the development of hypertension in Caucasians. Interestingly, the protective allele is under-represented in African Americans. This project we will use DNA samples from case-controlled studies to determine if allelic variations in ArhGAP42 affect genetic risk for hypertension in African Americans and will explore associations with clinical manifestations(i.e. hypertensive arterionephrosclerosis)in both races.
2) Basic Science: Hearts are vulnerable to a multitude of pathological insults including ischemia-induced necrosis. Previously, necrosis was viewed as a passive/irreversible cell death and was ignored as a target for clinical intervention. However, recent work indicates that necrosis is a reversible cell signaling process. We recently performed a novel genome wide siRNA screen to identify new modulators of calcium induced necrosis. This project would focus on determining which of these factors promote survival of cardiomyocytes in response to ischemia in the hopes of identifying new therapeutic targets to treat ischemic heart disease.
Vavalle. John Cardiologyclinicalnojohn.vavalle@unc.eduTAVR - Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: Improving patient selection and clinical outcomesOver the last several years, there have been rapid advances in our ability to perform minimally invasive heart valve replacements and repairs using catheter-based devices. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) provides a life-saving procedure for those who are high risk for surgical valve replacement. There is a very large and growing unmet need for percutaneous valve replacement and repair due to the aging US population. Severe symptomatic aortic valve stenosis carries a very poor prognosis without valve replacement. However, many of the patients in need of valve replacement are at high risk for surgery. Therefore, transcatheter aortic valve replacement becomes the best therapy for them.
Since this technology is so new, there are many unanswered questions about the best use of this technology. Complications such as paravalvular leak, heart block, and vascular injury remain a big limitation to this therapy. Much research is needed to best identify which patients will benefit the most from this technology and to improve the application of these new devices. There are robust clinical databases that are stored at UNC and beyond that can be accessed to ask these important questions. Given that this field is so new, the opportunities for research are wide open and a motivated student would be able to lead a research project under the mentorship of the UNC Heart Valve Team.
Berg, JonathanGeneticstranslationalnojsberg@med.unc.eduApplication of genome-scale sequencing to gene discovery and clinical careAs a clinician and researcher, I am deeply interested in the development and application of genetic tests in patients and their families. The recent revolution in genetic sequencing technology has led to an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the underlying etiology in families with genetic conditions, ranging from the discovery of novel disease susceptibility genes in large pedigrees, to the application of genome-scale sequencing in a clinical context.
I am a board certified medical geneticist in the UNC Adult and Cancer Genetics clinic. My clinical effort involves the evaluation of individuals and families with Mendelian disorders, including hereditary cancer syndromes, connective tissue disorders, and other rare genetic conditions. My ongoing research efforts extend directly from my clinical activities.
My laboratory is enrolling probands with a strong family history of cancer but negative results on clinically available genetic tests. We hypothesize that these families harbor rare deleterious mutations in potentially novel cancer susceptibility genes and we are utilizing high-throughput sequencing to identify candidate disease-causing mutations.
I am also co-PI of an NHGRI-funded U01 Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER) project called “NCGENES” that examines the utility of whole exome sequencing (WES) in a clinical context. This project will examine the diagnostic utility of WES as well as the impact of incidental findings discovered during the course of testing.
Both of these projects provide ample opportunities for students to explore either bench science, informatics approaches, or both.
Schisler, Jonathan Pharmacologytranslationalyesschisler@unc,eduTargeting pathologies related to protein quality control in the heart and brainThe Schisler Lab works on the integration of complex genomic-biologic data to elucidate risk relationships in both murine and human systems with a focus on cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and protein quality control mechanisms. My primary focus is to develop models to integrate datasets derived from clinical genomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics allowing our lab to further interrogate gene and protein function in health and disease using molecular, cellular and biochemical approaches. The Schisler Lab is keenly interested in cellular regulatory mechanisms including post-translational regulatory pathways, such as protein ubiquitination, in both health in disease. E3 ligases are enzymes that modify substrate proteins via ubiquitination, the addition of a small ubiquitin protein, that can either alter protein function or target the substrate protein to the proteasome for degradation. Our research in this field initially focused on the role of the E3 ligases CHIP and MuRF1 in cardiovascular function. Recently we identified the first human causal mutation in CHIP that results in cerebellar ataxia and hypogonadism; as such, my laboratory expanded its ability to include neuro and neuro-endocrine approaches in our mouse and cell-based models to complement our cardiovascular research program.
Serody, Jonathan Microbiology & ImmunologytranslationalyesJonathan_Serody@med.unc.eduBasic biology and translational approaches to understanding graft-versus-host disease and tumor immunologyI have been involved in research as a principal investigator into the basic biology and translational approaches to improve our understanding of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and tumor immunology for over ten years. Our laboratory was the first to demonstrate that migration was critical to the pathophysiology of GvHD. Approaches that we pioneered for evaluating GvHD such as in vivo imaging and the use of fluorochromes to track donor and recipient cells have become critical tools for all researchers in this field. Our laboratory has made fundamental contributions toward understanding (1) cellular migration and GvHD (2) regulatory T cell function in GvHD and (3) T cell subsets critical to the pathophysiology of GvHD. Several of our initial findings such as the role of NF-κB in GvHD have been directly translated to the clinic in the past ten years. In addition to our GvHD work, our group completed the largest trial of dendritic cell vaccination in the treatment of breast cancer, has pioneered the use of viral vectors as vaccine platforms for solid tumors and has made critical observations into the function of fibrocytes as mediators of tumor metastasis.
Eron, Joseph Infectious Diseasesclinicalnojeron@med.unc.eduAntiretroviral therapy of HIV infected patientsMy research is includes clinical trials, epidemiological and translational studies of HIV infected patients in domestic and developing world settings with a focus on antiretroviral therapy, treatment outcomes, resistance and prevention. Current projects include comparative clinical trials of novel antiretroviral combinations, clinical and translational studies in individuals with acute HIV infection, comparisons of treatment outcomes between clinical trial patients and patients treated in the context of clinical care and outcomes of second line therapy in individuals treated in sub-Sarahan Africa (in collaboration with primary investigators in Malawi).
Tucker, Joseph Infectious Diseasestranslationalnojdtucker@med.unc.eduCrowdsourcing HIV test promotion in ChinaCrowd wisdom may be a powerful force to transform sexual health campaigns. My research focuses on this and related sexual health research bringing together infectious diseases, innovation, and social science. I have sixteen years of experience undertaking HIV/STI research in low and middle income country contexts. Much of my research has focused on China because of the pronounced resurgence of syphilis in addition to a strong capacity for coordinated public health responses. My team’s ongoing research uses crowdsourcing to promote HIV testing and linkage to care (PI, NIAID 1R01AI114310-01), examines the social science and ethics of curing HIV (PI, NIAID 1R01A108366-01), explores the health of African migrants in Guangzhou, and helps rebuild trust in patient-physician relationships (Harvard China Fund, China Medical Board). Our collaborative research brings together US trainees (Fogarty, Fulbright, Doris Duke) and Chinese trainees (PI, FIC 1D43TW009532-01) to work on joint sexual health research. Our project on the social roots of syphilis in China helped catalyze policy change. Since 2008 I have worked with the Guangdong Provincial STD Control Center, the provincial authority responsible for STD control and prevention, to form a UNC-South China STI Research Center. I serve as Chairman of the Steering Committee for SESH (Social Entrepreneurship for Sexual Health), a research project focused on tapping crowd wisdom to promote sexual health. Our SESH project was identified as one of the top 25 global innovators by the WHO-TDR Social Innovation in Health Initiative.
Monaco. Julie Family Medicinebasicyesjulie_monaco@med.unc.eduMedical Director Roles in North Carolina County Health DepartmentWith the growing need for primary and preventive health care services, county health departments are in a position to play a critical role in meeting the needs of local populations. Family physicians are the majority of medical directors of North Carolina health departments and are uniquely suited to provide leadership in these settings. However, both systematic data on medical director roles and opinions, and formal guidance for medical directors are lacking in the family medicine literature. This project proposes to address this gap. This information will better inform policy makers who deal with health department roles and the overall medical safety net, helping them better meet the primary care needs of local populations. It will also help Departments of Family Medicine better train and support medical directors who are family physicians.
Mohlke. Karen Geneticsbasicyesmohlke@med.unc.eduHuman genetic susceptibility to cardiovascular risk traitsMy research goals are to understand the genetic basis of cardiovascular risk, including traits related to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and dyslipidemia. My human genetics and genomics lab has expertise in mammalian complex traits, functional studies, and diabetes genetics and includes both bench and computational scientists. We work with samples and data from the Finland United States Investigation of NIDDM Genetics (FUSION) study, the Cebu (Philippines) Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey (CLHNS), and the Metabolic Syndrome in Men (METSIM) study, and we collaborate with several large consortia performing genome-wide association meta-analysis and sequencing. We are identifying novel disease loci; evaluating the interactive effects of age, sex, physical activity and dietary intake with genetic variants; using cellular assays to recognize underlying genes at novel association signals; and identifying the molecular mechanisms by which DNA variants affect gene function leading to disease. We have identified allele-specific regulatory effects of cholesterol- and diabetes-associated SNPs in open chromatin predicted regulatory regions. At type 2 diabetes loci, we have identified genes that influence glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Taken together, these studies make the molecular and biological links between human DNA variants and the diseases to which they contribute.
North. Kari Public Healthtranslationalnokari_north@unc.eduGenetic EpidemiologyI am an expert in the genetic epidemiology of complex traits, and I lead multiple large-scale genetic studies in collaboration with multiple international genetic consortia. I am the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Genetic Epidemiology of Causal Variants across the Life Course study (CaLiCo), a consortium of population-based studies that have entered a partnership with the Population Architecture and Genomics in Epidemiology (PAGE) study. I am also a PI on a grant exploring the genetic epidemiology of obesity in large cohort studies (R01 DK075681); a grant evaluating the impact of exome variants influencing adolescent weight gain in the ancestrally diverse National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (R01 HD057194); and a grant leveraging ancestry to map genes for adiposity in Hispanic descent individuals (R01 DK101855). I also direct a T32 NHLBI training grant (T32 HL129982) The Genetic Epidemiology of Heart, Lung, and Blood traits training grant. At the University of North Carolina, I lead the Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Genetic Epidemiology group, whose research takes place at the intersection of human genetics, epidemiologic methodology, statistical techniques, and interdisciplinary translational research. The environment and infrastructure that I have built at UNC-CH has provided a fertile ground for innovation and the rapid development of my lab’s research agenda. We are performing genome wide association studies and whole genome sequencing studies, as well as methylation and gene expression studies, primarily in populations most burdened by CVD. This comprehensive approach will lead to a more complete understanding of the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors.
McGinigle, Kate SurgeryClinicalYesmcginik@med.unc.eduVascular disease and outcomesI have many interests within the area of outcomes in vascular disease, specifically peripheral arterial disease. I am involved in multiple projects using large databases and registries. I am also working in conjunction with the biostatistics department to apply machine learning to a cohort of PAD patients in order to better define and stage PAD.
Bradford. Kathleen Pediatricsclinicalnokbradfor@med.unc.eduImproving Mean Hospital Discharge Time at the North Carolina\'s Children HospitalMy continued focus is the delivery of efficient, high-quality care of children including those with complex and chronic health diseases. I have a specific interest in patient outcomes, coordination and communication of care, the hospital discharge process, patient satisfaction, and patient safety. My quality improvement training includes completion of the Cincinnati Children’s Advanced Improvement Methods course, Six Sigma Yellow, and Blue Belt training and LEAN training. I am member of the UNC Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement and recipient of a 2015 Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement seed grant to improve the discharge process at UNC. Currently, I am working as a Quality Improvement Coach for Population Health Partners to support the CDC’s EMPower initiative by coaching several hospitals throughout the United States on their journey to Baby Friendly designation.
Caron. Kathleen Cell & Molecular Physiologybasicnokathleen_caron@med.unc.eduGenetic Models of Cardiovascular Development and DiseaseAdrenomedullin and its receptors are highly expressed in endothelial cells and are required for the normal development of the cardiovascular system, including the heart, lymphatic vessels and placenta. Using a variety of gene targeted animal models we have characterized a novel role for adrenomedullin and its receptors in the development and function of these cardiovascular organs. Our interests in cardiovascular biology are broad and highly integrative, since we have discovered that the functions of adrenomedullin signaling are largely influenced by other angiogenic and endocrine factors, hypoxia and innate immune responses. Therefore, our current studies are geared toward providing novel insights into the complex processes that govern the establishment of lymphatic and placental vascular beds and how perturbations in these specialized vessels can have deleterious consequences such as lymphatic disorders or poor pregnancy outcomes. We are currently focusing on the effects of perturbed lymphatic function on the absorption of lipids from the digestive tract. Elucidation of these integrated signaling pathways may ultimately form the basis of GPCR-targeted approaches for the therapeutic amelioration of cardiovascular conditions, including lymphedema and associated intestinal lymphangiectasia and preeclampsia.
Donhue, Katrina Family Medicinetranslationalyeskdonahue@med.unc.eduPractice Based Research at UNC, how busy clinicians can engage in research in their practice settings. The North Carolina Network Consortium (NCNC) is a network of 8 primary care practice based research networks, consisting of over 300 practices in 62 counties with over 40million in grant funding since 2007. Current studies include:
a) Comparative effectiveness study of home glucose monitoring in patients with type 2 diabetes. In the “real world” clinic setting does routine glucose self-monitoring improve glycemic control and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes not on insulin.
b) Enhancing an iteratively developed office based Tobacco treatment intervention by partnering with both patients and practices.
These studies involve engaging with community/patient stakeholder groups to enhance the impact and patient centeredness of the interventions. We are examining the ways community and patient stakeholders engage with research teams and practices to create stakeholder informed approaches to enhancing care delivery. As stakeholder involvement in the research process is a newer concept we also will share the lessons learned as these partnerships are created.
The student will be involved in different aspects of research, including interviewing patients, performing chart reviews, entering data and performing and interpreting simple data analysis.The research experience offers: a training module in ethics and patient oriented research methods; experience in survey data collection and chart review in primary care practice sites; opportunity to spend several days shadowing a clinician in the office if desired; mentorship and support from experienced investigators and.
Guskiewicz, Kevin Orthopedicsclinicalnogus@email.unc.eduSport ConcussionI was the founding director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center (2010) and the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes (2001) at UNC-Chapel Hill. Over the past 18 years, my clinical research program has focused on sport-related concussion. Our research team, which includes neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuropsychologists, neuroradiologists, epidemiologists, biomedical engineers, athletic trainers and team physicians, has investigated the effect of sport-related concussion on balance and neuropsychological function in high school and collegiate athletes, the biomechanics of sport concussion, and the long-term neurological effects of concussion in retired professional football players. More recently, we have expanded our research to the military, to compare neurocognitive and neuroimaging (DTI) results in soldiers pre and post blast-injury. Additionally, we have begun studying the effects of North Carolina\'s recently passed Gfeller-Waller Concussion Act on the way physicians manage concussion. As background, our research team typically mentors 8-9 graduate students, 4 undergraduates, and 2 residents/fellows in a given year. I have received 24 funded research grants, and published over 130 journal articles and 8 textbook chapters on sport concussion. I have presented over 250 national and international lectures on the topic of sport-related concussion. In 2010 I was named to the NCAA’s Concussion Committee and the NFL’s Head, Neck, and Spine Committee. In September 2011, I was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, given annually to individuals who \"show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work.\"
Hanson, Laura Division of Geriatrics, Department of MedicineClinicalYeslhanson@med.unc.eduPalliative care and dementia researchOur research team includes expertise in Geriatrics and Palliative Care, and we conduct research to improve care for older adults and seriously ill patients. Current projects include descriptive and interventional research studies to measure and to improve the quality of healthcare in serious illness. Studies enroll vulnerable populations including older adults with dementia, advance care planning for people with serious illness, and patients and families in hospice care. Current research projects include a randomized trial of palliative care for people with dementia and their families, research on innovative measurement of outcomes for people with dementia, and research on measurement of the quality of dying and death for people with serious illness across different countries
Qian. Li Pathology & Laboratory Medicinebasicyesli_qian@med.unc.eduCellular Reprogramming for Heart RegenerationOur laboratory is interested in developing innovative approaches to regenerate or repair an injured heart. Our goal is to understand the molecular basis of cardiomyocyte specification and maturation and apply this knowledge to improve efficiency and clinical applicability of cellular reprogramming for treating heart disease. To achieve these goals, we utilize in vivo modeling of cardiac disease in mouse, including myocardial infarction (MI), cardiac hypertrophy, chronic heart failure and congenital heart disease (CHD). In addition, we take advantage of traditional mouse genetics, cell and molecular biology, biochemistry and newly developed reprogramming technologies (iPSC and iCM) to investigate the fundamental events underlying the progression of various cardiovascular diseases as well as to discover the basic mechanisms of cell reprogramming.
Rahangdale. Lisa OBGYNClinical Yeslisa_rahangdale@med.unc.eduCervical dysplasia Treat CIN 2-3 with topical therapies to reduce risk of recurrence in HIV + women in South Africa
Tarantino, Lisa GeneticsBasic ScienceYeslisat@med.unc.eduAddiction GeneticsOur laboratory is interested in identifying genes and genetic pathways that contribute to risk for addiction. We do this by studying addiction-relevant behaviors in genetically defined animal models. Our research includes aspects of genetics, genomics, molecular biology and neurobiology.
Chen, Luke Gastroenterology & Hepatologybasicnolchen@nccu.eduMechanism of gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett\'s esophagus and esophageal cancerThe goal of this research direction is to study the roles of gastroesophageal reflux, genetic and epigenetic pathways in the development of GERD, BE and EAC, in cell culture, animal models, and humans. In addition, we are also interested in the molecular aspect of esophageal development.(
Bartelt, Luther Medicine--Infectious Diseases/Microbiology and ImmunologyTranslationalYesluther_bartelt@med.unc.eduMicrobiota-gut pathogen interactionsDespite long recognition that gut commensal provide resistance against intestinal pathogens, the mechanisms of this interaction are poorly understood. Our translational work has identified that dietary influences are major mediators of microbiota-dependent resilience to acquisition of intestinal pathogens. Our work has focused primarily on the problem of global childhood malnutrition. Malnutrition continues to affect >162 million children worldwide. Longterm sequelae of malnutrition include increased risk of infection-related mortality, poor neurocognitive development, and impaired vaccine responses. Recurrent intestinal pathogens, including parasites, are syndemic with childhood malnutrition in low-resource settings. How these environmental microbial exposures promote gut dysfunction or modulate host immunity are poorly understood, and therefore current treatments for malnutrition are of limited benefit. Using novel murine gnotobiotic infections models of human enteric parasites, our first project aims to understand the pathogenesis of parasite-induced chronic intestinal dysfunction and the impact of intestinal parasitic infections on host immunity, co-infections, and adaptations to nutrient deficiency. Our studies dissect environmental, resident microbial, dietary, and host influences on these outcomes in order to improve restorative interventions in malnourished children. Other projects include understanding how limited dietary intake increases risks to colonization with AMR pathogens. We draw on a library of >2000 clinical strains of Klebsiella and E coli in collaboration with AMR pathogen expert David van Duin. This work involves bacterial phenotyping in reductionist systems to mimic the intestinal microenvironment and tests in experimental murine models. A third project builds on activities in the UNC SARS-CoV-2 SeroNet Center of Excellence aimed at understanding the determinants and functions of antibody responses to specific viral antigens. We collaborate with investigators in Microbiology/Immunology, Infectious Diseases, the CGIBD and Microbiome Core, and Nutrition
Azcarate-Peril, M. Andrea Medicine, GI DivisionTranslationalNoazcarate@med.unc.eduModulation of the gut microbiome by probiotics and prebioticsThe overall goal of my research is to investigate the impact and mechanisms involved in the beneficial modulation of the gut microbiota by prebiotics (functional foods that stimulate growth of gut native beneficial bacteria) and probiotics (live bacteria that benefit their host). I specifically aim to develop prebiotic and probiotic interventions as alternatives to traditional treatments for microbiota-health related conditions, and to advance microbiota-based health surveillance methods.

Prebiotics are resistant to digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract, arrive at the colon intact and increase the abundance of specific primary and secondary degraders with the final result of an expanded probiome, beneficial members of the intestinal microbiota. We have shown that pure prebiotics modulate gut microbiome composition and activity in humans and animal models increasing gut beneficial bacteria. In humans, the modulatory influence of pure galactooligosaccharides significantly improved clinical outcomes for lactose digestion and tolerance. Our current research investigate prebiotics as gut microbiome modulators of age-associated diseases to identify mechanisms of prebiosis in vulnerable populations.

Probiotics can reduce the risk of common infectious and acute diarrheal illnesses, and can be an alternative to treatments with antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs. Large-scale microbiome studies have established that most of the bacterial diversity contained in the gastrointestinal tract is represented at the strain level. Hence genomic and physiological characterization of isolates of probiotic potential is essential to determine unique attributes that will allow for personalized interventions. Our lab is conducting functional genomics studies to determine genetic components contributing to probiotic survival in the gastrointestinal tract and capability to metabolize prebiotics.
Reyes-Rodriguez. Mae Lynn“Fotonovelas”: Raising Eating Disorders Awareness among Latinos/asThe focus of my research is on the development of culturally appropriate interventions for Latinas with eating disorders with a specific emphasis on developmentally and culturally appropriate incorporation of family members into treatment. Studies with Latinas have underscored the importance of the family as a cultural value affecting recognition of the eating disorders as well as the centrality of the role of the family and its relationship to food and body image in Latino culture. My current work builds on my experience working with adults with bulimia nervosa in Puerto Rico which underscored the importance of incorporating the family early in treatment as a necessary cultural adaptation for Latinas. A second line of my research is to develop culturally sensitive psychoeducational materials that raise awareness and educate the Latino population about eating disorders. Considering that Latinos regularly delay treatment until symptoms are severe, tend to underutilize mental health services, and often terminate treatment prematurely, awareness and education could lead to early detection and be particularly helpful in reducing mental health care disparities. The development of fotonovela scripts (graphic novels) about eating disorders tailored for adolescent and adult Latinos will be used as a culturally sensitive way to raise awareness about these disorders in the Latino population.
Bjurlin, Marc UrologyClinicalNomarc_bjurlin@med.unc.eduUrologic oncologyManagement and outcomes of urologic malignancies; surgical complications of urologic oncology; new imaging and technology in urologic oncology.
Gulley, Margaret L. Pathology ClinicalYesmargaret_gulley@med.unc.edugene tests, laboratory medicine New DNA technology facilitates design and implementation of genomic tests to improve patient diagnosis and management across a broad spectrum of disease. Our assay development program focuses on circulating tumor markers that inform early diagnosis, monitoring tumor burden in response to therapy, and finding actionable gene variants to improve treatment selection. This line of research is valuable for future pathologists, oncologists, and infectious disease physicians. Your role in the project involves assay design, lab benchwork (sequencing, Q-PCR), data analysis, and publication alongside our team of physicians, technologists, and trainees.
Davila, Maria Biobehavioral, Psychophysiology, Polyvagal Theory, Heart Rate Variability, wearable sensor Our laboratory, the Brain-Body Center for Psychophysiology and Bioengineering (BBCPB), conducts research describing and evaluating the neurophysiological pathways that regulate behavioral state, social behavior, emotion, and stress reactivity. Our research is conducted within the framework of the Polyvagal Theory. The long term agenda of our research is to develop non-invasive techniques and strategies to optimize neural regulation of the autonomic nervous system, which would then support more optimal social behavior and mental and physical health. To support this effort, we design and test novel sensors and algorithms that quantify neural regulation of peripheral physiological processes linked to the autonomic and somatic activity of components of the Social Engagement System.
Davenport, Marsha Pediatricsclinicalnomld@med.unc.eduTurner SyndromeMy research concerns Turner syndrome, a term used to describe females who as a result of missing all or part of an X chromosome are at high risk for multiple problems including short stature, gonadal failure, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and nonverbal learning disabilities. I have a large population of children with Turner syndrome (TS) who I care for in my pediatric endocrinology clinic.
Active research projects include:
The natural history of brain development in girls with TS between birth and 2 years of age - correlating growth and hormonal status with structural MRI and neurodevelopmental attributes.
The effect of growth hormone therapy on brain development in girls with TS between 1 and 2 years of age. (Growth hormone is used in TS to accelerate growth and increase final adult stature. Little is known about its effects on early human brain development).
Comparison of sex steroids and gonadotropin levels (LH and FSH) in the normal population and individuals with sex chromosome abnormalities between the ages of 0 and 2 years. (Although it is known that sex steroid levels rise postnatally and the fall to prepubertal levels, normative values using a sensitive and specific assay (LC/MSMS) are not known. Because we are interested in the effect of sex steroid replacement on brain development, normative values and those in individuals with TS and other sex chromosome abnormalities must be known first.)
Maternal perceptions of prenatal counseling received for pregnancies with TS.
Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in girls with TS.
Bryant, Mary Kate General SurgeryClinicalNOmary.bryant@unchealth.unc.eduThe Impact of Vaping on Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax Outcomes The aim of this study is to determine the incidence of primary spontaneous pneumothorax or pneumomediastinum in patients who use E-cigarettes. In addition, our goal is to determine if those who vape have higher incidences of pneumothorax or pneumomediastinum recurrence or need for operative intervention. This is a retrospective observational cohort study using chart review at UNC. Students will be involved in literature review, data collection, and preparation of an abstract for a regional or national conference. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to present this research at a local or regional meeting, if desired.
Kimmel, Mary Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders My K23, NARSAD Young Investigator Award, and my doctoral work have studied the microbiota-gut-heart-brain axis in order to improve our understanding of the biology underlying perinatal depression and anxiety. The Kimmel Laboratory Cohort includes 94 women and a subset with 52 of their infants who were followed during pregnancy into the postpartum period. Extensive mental health information including self-assessments of symptoms and clinical interviews were collected alongside blood and fecal samples. Maternal subjects during the postpartum visit participated in and monitored in terms of biologic stress responses during a behavioral laboratory social stressor and infant subjects were monitored while receiving a heel stick. My research is translated from and to my clinical work including in my role as co-director of the perinatal psychiatry program and the medical director of NC Maternal Mental Health MATTERS, a novel program for the state of North Carolina to improve screening, assessment, and treatment of maternal depression, anxiety and other related behavioral health disorders across rural and urban counties by working with maternal care frontline providers.
Peavey, Mary OB GYN Clinical Effects of immune therapy on fertility We will assess the changes in fertility in patients who have undergone immunotherapy at UNC, so as to provide better counseling for clinicians and patients in this nascent field. Thanks
Mauck, MattAnesthesiology Chronic Pain Development after Traumatic Injury Our work focuses on gaining a greater understanding of the mechanisms that underlie chronic pain development following traumatic injury. We are working to use this knowledge to develop better treatments that prevent chronic pain after a traumatic injury.
Cavender, Matthew Cardiologyclinicalnomatt.cavender@unc.eduAdvanced coronary artery and peripheral vascular diseaseMy research work involves the design and analyses of prospective randomized clinical trials and observational studies designed to better characterize patterns of disease,understand the effectiveness of novel or current therapies, and optimize the outcomes of patients with atherosclerosis.
Laughon, Matthew Pediatricsclinicalnomatt_laughon@med.unc.eduNeonatal Clinical Research1. Neonatal clinical trials

2. Neonatal clinical pharmacology
3. Neonatal pharmacoepidemiology
Redinbo, Matthew Biochemistry & Biophysiologybasicnoredinbo@unc.eduStructural and Chemical Biology of Targets Relevant to Human HealthThe laboratory examines the molecular basis of human disease using structural biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, chemical biology and genomics. Currently we are focused on lung diseases and GI enteropathy and on human proteins and factors encoded by the GI microbiota.
Styner, Maya Exercise regulation of Bone and Metabolic Health Our bones are not stagnant, rock-like things. They change. Marrow—the tissue inside bones—is full of various kinds of cells. And marrow is also full of fat. The amounts of these cells including the fat cells can decrease or increase over time .Bone marrow fat is known to be increased in clinical conditions of bone fragility, like osteoporosis. Our lab is interested in how exercise benefits health, specifically bone marrow health. Measuring the amount of fat in bone, in mouse models for instance, requires the use of small bone slices one at a time. These tedious methods have led to mixed results because bone slices don’t provide a clear picture of the entire amount of fat in bone. We collaborated with medical image analysis colleagues at UNC and developped quantitative means for quantifying bone fat. This rigorous quantification allowed us to learn a great deal about bone fat: it increases with high fat feeding, and it is significantly repressed by exercise. I am currently conducting experiments in caloric restriction, lipodystrophy and aged mice to understand the relationship between exercise, bone fat and bone formation. My background in Endocrinology and skeletal biology, combined with an interest in exercise physiology, make this an exciting venue for research into diet and exercise, which may be the most challenging issues facing the modern world.
Styner, Maya Endocrinology & Metabolismtranslationalnomstyner@med.unc.eduExercise regulation of marrow adipose tissueModern man has rapidly adopted a high fat/high caloric diet and this, combined with a sedentary lifestyle, results in a great detriment to global health. Our preliminary data shows that fat accumulates within the bone when mice are fed a high fat diet, and that this fat depot is significantly decreased when mice exercise. We propose to use running exercise as a tool to understand the function of marrow fat, informing our understanding of the relationship between obesity and bone health.
Patel, Mehul Emergency Emergency Medical Services and Systems of Care My research focuses on emergency medical services (EMS) and systems of care for acute conditions such as stroke, myocardial infarction, and cardiac arrest. Student opportunities involve interviewing providers and patients, chart review and abstraction, and cleaning and analyzing data, including GIS and simulation modeling.
If interested, please inquire by email and attach an updated CV/resume.
Bauserman, Melissa Pediatricsclinicalnomelissa_bauserman@med.unc.eduThe Affect of Trial Characteristics on Consent Rates of Neonatal Clinical TrialsWe are analyzing rates of parental consent in neonatal clinical trials. We would like to review the published literature to determine if trial characteristics determine the rates of consent to neonatal clinical trials. The student will have primary responsibility for the literature search, data analysis and preparation of the resultant manuscript.
Fried, Michael Gastroenterology & Hepatologyclinicalnomfried@med.unc.eduTranslational Studies and Clinical Trials for Chronic Viral HepatitisMy research focuses on clinical and translational studies of chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C. We have several federally funded clinical trials for HBV and HCV and we also participate in industry-sponsored clinical trials. We are particularly interested in studying mechanisms of HCV treatment response and development of biomarkers related to treatment and disease progression.
Pignone, Michael General Mediicine & Clinical Epidemiologyclinicalnopignone@med.unc.eduPrevention and clinical decision makingDr. Pignone`s research is focused on chronic disease prevention and treatment, as well on physician patient communication and decision making in clinical settings. His main areas of interest include heart disease prevention, colorectal cancer screening, and management of common chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart failure. He has developed and tested interventions to mitigate literacy-related health disparities and to improve the use of appropriate preventive services.

His current research focuses on the development, testing, and implementation of patient decision aids for colon cancer screening and on testing an educational intervention to enhance self-care in heart failure. He was recently awarded a K05 Established Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute to mentor junior investigators in cancer-related decision making.
Meyer, Michelle Emergency MedicineClinicalNomichelle_meyer@med.unc.eduCardiovascular EpidemiologyI am starting a feasibility study to compare heart failure risk prediction tools in the emergency department. The overarching goal of this project is to compare the clinical performance of three published heart failure risk prediction tools in the emergency department for 7- and 30-day mortality and adverse events, and to evaluate the predictive value of additional assessments relevant to older adults.
Meyer, Michelle Emergency MedicineClinicalNomichelle_meyer@med.unc.eduCardiovascular EpidemiologySex differences in heart failure (HF) emergency department (ED) visits and disposition in North Carolina. The purpose of this study is to evaluate sex differences in ED visits and ED disposition for patients with HF. The main study aims include evaluating sex differences in chief complaint reported by patients with HF in the ED and assessing factors associated with ED disposition.
Meyer, Michelle Emergency MedicineTranslationalNomichelle_meyer@med.unc.eduCardiovascular EpidemiologyMy research focuses on understanding cardiovascular risk factors for pulse wave velocity (PWV) and how arterial stiffness relates to adverse health outcomes among older adults. Particularly, I am interested in understanding early impairments in cardiovascular structure and function and their role in end-organ damage to the brain. I am involved in an ongoing NIA-funded R01 study investigating changes in arterial stiffness, cognition and dementia risk in members of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, a population-based cohort study.
Long, Millie Gastroenterology & HepatologyClinicalnomillie_long@med.unc.eduClinical Outcomes Research in Inflammatory Bowel DiseasesI have the expertise, training and mentorship experience to successfully lead a student research project. I have a background in internal medicine, gastroenterology and preventive medicine. I also have advanced training in inflammatory bowel diseases. I have a MPH in epidemiology, with experience in biostatistics and pharmacoepidemiology. I have completed numerous studies in the arena of health services research, including studies using deidentified claims data to investigate signals (malignant, infectious, etc) for complications of therapies used in the treatment of IBD.

I have previously mentored medical students and fellows with a successful publication record, for them, including first author papers at major GI journals. As a co-PI for the CCFA Partners online cohort study of patients living with IBD, I am actively involved in survey development, cohort retention, management and ongoing prospective and cross-sectional studies within the cohort. Based on prior experiences, I recognize the importance of a realistic research plan for a summer medical student, and will work with students to develop an individualized research plan and summer training experience. The goals will be 1) to learn the componenets of successful clinical research, 2) to complete a project suitable for publication from start to finish (project conceptualization, grant prepartions, IRB approcal, data collection, data analysis, manuscript preparations, presentation and publication),
Bush, Montika Emergency MedicineTranslationalNombush8@unc.eduHealth Services ResearchWhile clinical trials often emphasize the efficacy of an intervention in a selected population, my research goals are to assess the real-world effectiveness of interventions across a wide variety of clinically important subgroups. My research interests include investigating the effectiveness of health care services and synergies of pharmaceutical products in combination with other health care services on clinically relevant outcomes including investigating any heterogeneity of effect by sub-populations. My current research is focused on post-MI cardiac rehabilitation utilization and surveillance of mental health patients in the Emergency Department.
Roche, Myra PediatricstranslationalnoMyra_Roche@med.unc.eduNCGENES: A Next-Generation Sequencing Platform for Genetic Diagnosis and ResearchOur current project investigates the application and utility of Whole Exome Sequencing as a diagnostic too by identifying critical clinical characteristics to guide its diagnostic application and assess how it influences patient care. We will address expectations, understanding and the impact of diagnostic information on providers, patients and families.
One major goal of the project is to develop novel and engaging patient education materials to prepare families for the kinds of results they may receive from this new kind of genetic testing. This includes education about the range of potential results, their possible implications for the individual and their families, and the predicted benefits and harms of testing. These materials should enhance patient understanding of genetic information, be understood by a population of patients with a wide range of science literacy levels, and be created with a plan to make them more widely accessibility. This portion of the project would be suitable for a short-term research project for a student with a marketing/advertising background and who has had experience with media creation and development.
Snider, Natasha Cell Biology & Physiologytranslationalnontsnider@med.unc.eduLiver Disease Mechanisms and Drug TargetsDr. Snider’s lab studies the molecular basis of liver diseases and disorders linked to intermediate filament gene mutations. Her team uses biochemical, cell-based and in vivo approaches to identify potential disease targets and to understand their function and regulation. The major goal of Dr. Snider’s work is to promote the discovery of pharmacological agents that can slow or halt the progression of these diseases.
Liver disease development and progression are dictated by the individual and combined contributions of different genetic and environmental factors. Our previous work in mouse models linked liver injury susceptibility to the function of energy metabolism regulators, including the glycolytic enzyme GAPDH and the purine metabolizing enzymes nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDPK) and ecto-5\'-nucleotidase CD73. Current efforts in the lab are aimed at understanding the regulation and cell-specific functions of CD73 in various stages of liver disease, including fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Intermediate filaments (IFs) are cytoskeletal structures that perform important mechanical and signaling functions. IF gene mutations are linked to a vast number of human pathologies, including skin fragility disorders, neuropathies, myopathies, liver diseases, metabolic dysfunctions, and premature aging syndromes. Effective treatments for diseases caused by IF gene mutations are lacking. Our long-term goal is to define the proteostasis network of IF proteins and to identify key features that are compromised by disease-causing or disease-promoting mutations. We are currently focused on various post-translational modifications (PTMs) and their cross-talk mechanisms.
Moorman, Nathaniel Microbiology and Molecular VirologyMy research is focused on understanding molecular virology, and using the information gained to discover and develop antiviral drugs for treating a range of viral diseases, especially those associated with widespread viral outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics
Vora, Neeta Obstetrics and Gynecology Prenatal Genetics My research focuses on application of genomic technologies to improve the ability to make a prenatal diagnosis in pregnancies affected with birth defects.
Shaheen, NicholasMedicineClinicalYesnshaheen@med.unc.eduPreventing death from esophageal cancerOur group has been at the forefront in research in cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions of the esophagus. Esophageal cancer is a highly lethal cancer, with less than 15% five-year survival, and its incidence is rapidly increasing. Patients who develop esophageal cancer often have a precursor condition, Barrett's esophagus, also known as BE. Many people have BE - as many as 2-3 million Americans. If BE goes bad, it does so through a series of steps, called dysplasia. Our goal has been to identify those whose BE will progress to cancer, and to make an intervention to stop death from cancer.

Our center is one of several in the U.S. that have been dedicated to developing technologies to reverse the malignant degeneration in BE, while sparing the esophagus. We led a national consortium of centers in a sham-controlled, randomized trial of radiofrequency ablation, an endoscopic technology which destroys BE. This study demonstrated that subjects treated with the therapy had greater than 75% reversion to normal squamous epithelium, and a decrease in their risk of cancer of greater than 80%. We also are the lead U.S. center on a study of endoscopic cryotherapy using liquid nitrogen to ablate Barrett's esophagus. We are now experimenting with new techniques for getting rid of precancerous tissue in the esophagus without removing the entire esophagus, including freezing the tissue, heating the tissue and other methods.

We are also working on biomarkers, or early indicators, of progression to cancer in these patients. If we can predict which of these patients will go on to cancer and which will not, we can target our efforts at those with the highest likelihood of a bad outcome.
Mackman, Nigel Hematology & Oncologytranslationalnonmackman@med.unc.eduTissue FactorThe focus of the Mackman laboratory is a protein called tissue factor (TF). This transmembrane receptor is the primary cellular activator of the coagulation protease cascades (Figure 1). TF is expressed constitutively on perivascular cells and initiates clot formation. After vascular injury, factor VIIa (FVIIa) binds TF and the complex initiates the clotting cascade by cleavage of FX to FXa and FIX to FIXa. Subsequent amplification of the clotting cascade by the intrinsic pathway produces large amounts of thrombin that cleave fibrinogen, activate FXIII and activate platelets. Tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) and activated protein C (APC) act to attenuate the clotting response.

Main focuses:
Role of tissue factor in hemostasis
Role of tissue factor in arterial and venous thrombosis
Regulation of LPS induction of gene expression in monocytic cells
Cross-talk between coagulation and inflammation
Role of TF and PARs in myocardial ischemia-reperfusion
Jain, NinaPediatric EndocrinologyClinicalNonjain@med.unc.eduPediatric diabetes and endocrinologyMy focus includes all pediatric endocrine patients. My specific interests include diabetes (primarily Type 1) and patients with gender incongruence. Regarding our patients with Type 1 diabetes, I am interested in assessing health literacy and numeracy and using this information to help tailor individual patient education to optimize diabetes care. We are also interested in transition of care and preparing patients for adult medicine. Our Pediatric and Adolescent Care for Gender Wellness clinic is relatively new but we are seeing a steady stream of patients and may have opportunities for medical student research.
Maeda, Nobuyo Pathology & Laboratory Medicinebasicnonobuyo@med.unc.eduDifferentiation of bone marrow derived mouse mesenchymal stem cells into cardiomyocytes in cultureMy research interest is in the genetics and molecular pathology of common, complex diseases such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes and cardiac hypertrophy, the major cause of death and disabilities in modern societies. Our approach consists of a series of experiments with mice carrying modifications in various genes specifying components important for maintenance of vascular health. Recent projects also include exploration of bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells as tools for studying pathogenesis of complex diseases and for cell-based therapies.
The short-tem project for a medical student will be to study the transdifferentiation processes of mesenchymal stem cells derived from adult tissues to cardiomyocytes in a culture system. The basic knowledge of similarities and differences between normal heart muscle cells and those grown in culture would facilitate the development of safe and effective procedures.
Zhou, Otto Physics and Astronomybasicnozhou@physics.unc.eduApplications of Carbon nanotube x-ray sourcesWe develop biomedical applications of carbon nanotube x-ray sources including imaging and radiotherapy devices.
Gehrig, Paola Obstetrics & Gynecologyclinicalyespam68@med.unc.eduGynecologic OncologyWe have a myriad of opportunities in Gynecologic Oncology. Interested students can be involved in retrospective chart reviews covering ovarian, endometrial, cervical and other gynecologic malignancies. These can have a real impact on treatment recommendations. We have translational research opportunities that include bench research and an animal vivarium through the lab of Dr. Victoria Bae-Jump. Previous students have also conducted prospective work and prospective trials. Skills that can be learned include IRB submission preparation, database development, chart abstraction, statistical analysis, translational research skills. Funding for one position is available for Dr. Bae-Jump\'s lab through the efforts of Below the Belt.
Chang, Patricia Cardiologyclinicalnopatricia_chang@med.unc.eduheart failureI have a broad background in heart failure cardiology and epidemiology with a Masters in Health Sciences in Clinical Epidemiology. I also have an adjunct appointment in the Department of Epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health. My research is focused on heart failure. In particular, as a co-investigator of the NIH-funded Atherosclerosis Risks in Communities (ARIC) Study, my research seeks to better understand the epidemiology of heart failure in a biracial population. I also conduct clinical investigations in specialized populations, such as heart transplant recipients, patients supported with mechanical circulatory support, and pregnant patients.
Dayton, Paul Biomedical Engineeringtranslationalyespadayton@email.unc.eduFunctional Microvascular and Molecular Imaging in DiseaseThe Dayton lab develops and applies novel ultrasound imaging tools to assess angiogenesis and molecular markers of disease, mostly cancer. We also apply focused ultrasound for targeted therapeutic approaches. Our technology spans basic science to clinical applications.
Watkins, Paul Gastroenterology & Hepatologytranslationalnopbwatkins@med.unc.eduHuman hepatocyte cultures from induced pluripotent stem cellsIt is now possible to create stem cells from blood drawn from patients, and differentiate these \"induced pluripotent stem cells\" (iPSC) into various cell types. The goal of this research is to prepare liver cultures from iPSC derived from patients who have experienced severe drug-induced liver injury and are participants in the Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN) funded by the NIDDK. The current project will utilize a liver cell line derived from iPSC. The student will work with an internationally recognized research team at the Hamner University of North Carolina Institute for Drug Safety Sciences in Research Triangle Park. The goal will be to optimize differentiation of this cell line towards the adult hepatocyte phenotype and thereby pave the way to patient-specific liver cell cultures. In addition, the student can participate in the process of obtaining blood for iPSC from subjects in the DILIN network who have undergone whole exome sequencing.
Spanheimer, Philip Breast cancer molecular genetics and genomics Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and while we have many effective therapies, remains a leading cause of cancer death. My lab focuses on genomics and molecular genetics in breast cancer and seeks to understand how patterns of gene expression are transcriptionally regulated and how that affects response to treatment. In particular we are interested in regulation of the program of estrogen response and how that affects response, and resistance, to antiestrogen therapy. We use this approach to identify mechanisms of resistance, predict patients at risk for treatment failure, and to identify novel treatment targets.
Jolly, Puneet Othertranslationalnopuneet_jolly@med.unc.eduUse of Intralesional 5-Fluorouracil to Treat Non-Melanoma Skin CancerOver the past four years we have worked to establish a clinic where we use numerous non-surgical techniques to help treat skin cancers. We have focused on these techniques because certain patients may not be able or willing to tolerate surgical intervention. For example, solid organ transplant patients can see their risk of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) increase by as much as 200-fold. It is often necessary to treat numerous concerning lesions at a time in order to contain risk of spreading. One such technique we have focused on involves using the chemotherapeutic agent, 5-fluorouracil (5FU) which can be injected directly into cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. We have used this technique successfully to treat hundreds of skin cancers and we are looking to analyze the data in order to publish it within the next year. I hope that my background in basic science research as well as my clinical niche will allow me to thrive in my new role as director of cutaneous oncology here at UNC Dermatology. I have the support of our chairperson, Dr. Nancy Thomas who is a collaborator on several project which we will be working on in the coming months and years.
Samulski, R. Jude Pharmacologytranslationalyesrjs@med.unc.eduGene TherapyDr. Samulski\'s research focuses on the study of the dependent parvovirus adeno-associated virus. AAV is the only known DNA animal virus which requires co-infection by a second unrelated virus in order to undergo productive infection. The DNA tumor viruses, adenovirus and herpes simplex virus provide the necessary helper functions for AAV. AAV not only utilizes gene products from these tumor viruses, but it interferes with their growth and with oncogenicity of cells transformed by these viruses. In the absence of a helper virus, AAV is able to integrate into host cell DNA and maintain a latent infection. Superinfection of these cells with a helper virus results in the rescue and replication of the AAV genome. The ability of AAV to integrate and maintain itself in host cells and subsequent rescue and replication of its viral sequences is of considerable interest. In some respects, this behavior is similar to phenomena observed with bacterial transposons, yeast movable genetic elements, Drosophila copia sequences, P elements, and the RNA tumor viruses. For this reason AAV has recently been described as a type of replicating transposon. Dr. Samulski has cloned the AAV genome into the bacterial plasmid pBR322 and demonstrated that this recombinant clone is infectious when introduced into human cells co-infected with a helper virus. This recombinant clone has provided a manipulatable system for the analysis of mechanism(s) involved in excision and integration of the adeno-associated virus genome. Based on these observations, he has been able to test AAV as a alternative viral vector for gene delivery. The ability to generate non-pathogenic viral vectors for current basic research have the long term potential of serving as reagents for use in clinical settings. He has established successful and long term gene expression over a year, which directly addresses the issue of molecular therapy required for genetic disorders. One of Dr. Samulski\'s current goals of research is to continue to derive delivery systems for use in gene therapy.
Urrutia, Rachel P.

ED Utilization by Pregnant Women in North Carolina The NC Women’s Health Branch is a division within the NC Department of Public Health, which is one of the main organizations responsible for maintaining the database from which this research project will be conducted. Two major priorities at the Branch are improving health equity and preventing maternal morbidity and mortality. Given that maternal morbidity and mortality are rising North Carolina, we need to understand more about potentially preventable causes of both. Emergency department visits may signify both inadequate prenatal care and reduced access to appropriate prenatal care. This research could help improve understanding of unmet health needs of pregnant women during prenatal care, as well as identify disparities in healthcare utilization based on race, ethnicity, and county of residence. In addition, reasons for emergency department visits could help provide insight into the most important health concerns during pregnancy that lead to emergency care in North Carolina.
Draeger, Reid Orthopedicstranslationalnoreid_draeger@med.unc.eduOrthopaedic Hand Surgery ResearchOur lab performs a wide variety of basic science and clinical research projects relating to Orthopaedic Upper Extremity Surgery.
Murrow, Richard Neurologytranslationalnomurrowr@neurology.unc.eduDeep brain stimulationuncovering the mechanism of action of DBS
Wardrop, Richard Pediatricsclinicalnorichard_wardrop@med.unc.eduHigh Value Care in Medical Education and PracticeThe importance of teaching value-based care, or High Value Care (HVC) has recently been emphasized throughout medical education by a variety of prominent organizations. This is due in large part to the large amount of wasted or inefficient health care delivery in the United States that totals nearly $800 billion of the 2.7 trillion or ~40% of total healthcare expenses in our nation. This is felt to be potentially remediable by better educational and systems approaches to training and healthcare delivery.
Since 2013 we have been conducting a variety of educational interventions and clinical studies aimed at educating students, residents and faculty how to incorporate high value care practices into educational environments. Several projects around the overuse of telemetry, laboratory testing, and other technologies are ongoing. Educationally we have introduced HVC as an area of concentration in the TEC curriculum and other department specific resident education and faculty development.
Research as to the effects of these interventions both educational and clinical are ongoing but with room for expansion and new project development.
Aris, Robert Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicinetranslationalnoaris@med.unc.eduResearch Opportunities in Pulmonary Medicine: Pulmonary Hypertension, Cystic Fibrosis. and Lung TransplantationOur group (3 faculty members, 2 research coordinators, and 1 fellow) is interested in research in Pulmonary Hypertension (PH), Cystic Fibrosis. and Lung Transplantation. We do research from basic to translational and to clinical. No real prior training is required. Projects are adjusted to meet the time frame available for research and the interest of the participating researcher. We have mentored >25 medical students over the past 15 yrs. One project is studying biomarkers (proinflammatory and procoagulant proteins among others) for PH from pulmonary arterial blood (obtained at the time of right heart catheterization) and comparing these markers to peripheral venous blood as well as blood from healthy controls (translational research). Another project looks at the effect of immunosuppressants on airway epithelial cells in vitro to better understand how inhaled immunosuppressants might work to prevent lung transplant rejection (basic/translational research). This project has multiple potential spin offs. Another series of projects is looking at improving bone healthy and systemic inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis (clinical and translational). In general we focus on innovative ways to use basic and translational research to improve health outcomes for people with complex lung diseases. Interested students are encouraged to participate in any/all aspects of our work or to design feasible studies that they can do mostly on their own with our assistance.
Buckmire, Robert Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgeryclinicalnorbuckmir@unch.unc.eduVoice and SwallowMy research revolves around clinical outcomes following voice and swallowing surgical intervention using validated outcomes measures.
Falk, Ronald Nephrology & Hypertensiontranslationalnoronald_falk@med.unc.eduANCA Glomerulonephritis: From Molecules to ManGlomerulonephritis and vasculitis caused by anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCA) is the most common form of rapidly progressive glomerular disease. To improve the lives of patients with ANCA disease, we aim to elucidate the underlying immunologic and pathogenic mechansisms and translate this knowledge into improved patient care. We are currently investigating epigenetic regulation of neutrophil genes and genes that modify the phenotype of ANCA disease. We are exploring the biology of relapse and remission in a unique cohort of patients from the perspective of epigenetic regulation of autoantigen genes, B cell autoreactivity and T cell dysregulation. Using animal models of ANCA disease, we are studying involvement of the alternative complement pathway and Fcy receptors in pathogenesis, induction of disease by different antigens, and the genetic basis for variations in disease severity. Providing translation of our more basic research into clinical invesigations to improve ANCA disease outcomes, we will use our discoveries about pathogenic roles for epigenetic regulation and complement activation by treating patients with retinoic acid to alter myeloid gene expression and with anti-C5 antibodies to block complement activation. As an extension of the discovery of anti-plasminogen antibodies, we will determine if venous thrombosis in ANCA disease patients is attributable to these antibodies. Through the Glomerular Disease Collaborative Network, we have followed patients with ANCA disease for almost a quarter century, obtaining crucial clinical and pathological information and biological specimens for our research studies. What we learn about ANCA disease pertains also to autoimmunity and inflammation in general.
Boyce, Ross M. Medicine - Infectious Vector-Borne DiseasesI lead a number of studies examining the epidemiology and clinical management of vector-borne diseases, including tick- (e.g., Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease) and mosquito-borne (e.g., malaria), both domestically and internationally. As part of this research, I work with a wide range of partners from different disciplines including epidemiology, entomology, and veterinary medicine, in addition to public health agencies like the CDC and NC DHHS. Many projects involve direct interaction with participants and field work, which many students find enjoyable. Opportunities to work in the laboratory or perform data analysis are also available
Simpson, Ross Cardiologyclinicalyesross_simpson@med.unc.eduOut-of-hospital sudden unexpected deathI am the principal investigator of SUDDEN, a complex project investigating sudden unexpected death, an event with complex, multifactorial causation. SUDDEN has a rich dataset of data from North and South Carolina and is currently expanding its data collection and analysis efforts more broadly across the United States as well as globally. Over the past two years, I have helped structure SUDDEN into a world class epidemiology investigation of sudden death and an effective and productive platform to teach students and junior faculty clinical research methods. SUDDEN students have successfully published papers based on their research as well as presented at several national and international conferences. I have a long history of successfully teaching medical students and physicians in preventive cardiology, epidemiology methods and quality of care. The diversity of my research background makes me uniquely well-suited to guide this project: I have established research expertise in epidemiology, clinical cardiology, cardiac electrophysiology, and quality of care. For myself, the development and implementation of a research and teaching program to understand the magnitude and causes of sudden death and eventually to implement prevention paths has been a life’s dream.
Shah, Rupali Otolaryngology- Head & Neck SurgeryClinicalNorupali_shah@med.unc.eduvoice, airway, and swallowing surgical and medical outcomes, DEI topics in medicine and Otolaryngology, medical educationI am a laryngologist in the department of Otolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery. I focus on disorders of voice, airway and swallowing. my research focus has been on patient reported and objective outcomes of medical and surgical intervention in these disorders. I also have an interest in DEI topics in otolaryngology and medical education. here is a link to my recent pubs.
Miller, Ryan Pathology & Laboratory Medicinetranslationalyesrmiller@med.unc.eduTargeting the glioma kinome for personalized diagnosis and therapyDr. Miller is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Neurology whose research and clinical efforts are focused on primary brain tumors, particularly gliomas. His work has established that the genomic landscape of human gliomas consists of multiple molecular subtypes with distinct genomic profiles and therapeutic responses. However, the paucity of models that faithfully recapitulate its genomic heterogeneity has prevented this knowledge from significantly impacting patient management. His laboratory is one of the few nation-wide that has developed both conditional, inducible and non-germline genetically-engineered mouse models to investigate the pathogenetic role of glioma mutations and the cellular lineages in which they occur. His lab utilizes these models, comparative genomics, proteomics and drug profiling, to develop novel combination therapies to combat resistance to single agent kinase inhibitors. His work will aid development of new strategies to personalize the diagnosis and treatment of gliomas.
Chavala, Sai Ophthalmologytranslationalnoschavala@med.unc.eduNovel therapies for retinal stem cells and retinal detachmentThe specific focus of the Chavala lab is to understand the molecular mechanisms that govern self-renewal and differentiation of multipotent retinal stem cells. The overall goal is to develop a viable approach to replace damaged retinal cells for patients who have retinal degenerations. We are also interested in developing novel tools for enhancing retinal detachment repair. Both of these projects will include animal work. The latter project may be more suitable for a summer experience and a proof of concept project could be initiated by a motivated student.
Lai, Sam Microbiology & Immunologybasicnolai@unc.eduImmune protection based on interactions between IgG-Fc and mucinsMost infections transmit at mucosal surfaces, and our immune system secretes more antibodies into mucus than either the blood or the lymph. My lab uses various tools from biophysics and molecular biology to elucidate immune defense mechanisms at the mucosa. Specifically, we are discovered a novel mechanism of antibody protection at mucosal surfaces: trapping individual pathogens in mucus. Ongoing studies include quantifying the potency of this protective mechanism, the biochemistry governing antibody-mucin interactions, quantifying protection against both viral and bacterial pathogens in human secretions and different animal models across various mucosal secretions, and screening antibodies that may provide more effective protection. We welcome students with a keen interest in methods that improve protection against infectious diseases at mucosal surfaces for a short, 3-month research experience in our lab. The students will gain exposure to techniques in biophysics (high resolution fluorescence microscopy), Luminex multiplex ELISA, molecular biology, viral/bacterial cell cultures, animal studies, and studies with human specimens. Examples of our work in this area can be found at and
Lab website:
Weir, Sam Family Medicinetranslationalyessweir@med.unc.eduImproving Clinical Efficiency in Outpatient Primary Care PracticeThis project will be a follow on to a project to improve clinical efficiency done by Matt Oettinger, a third year resident in Family Medicine. Matt’s project, to be completed in April and May of 2013, includes:
1. Researching the literature on clinical efficiency in primary care, including patient flow in different clinical models;
2. Reviewing and analyzing data from the FMC clinical flow efficiency study;
3. Continuing to improve personal clinical efficiency skills in day to day clinical practice
4. Testing specific improvements suggested from literature search in both personal and team PDSA mini-projects
5. Producing a scholarly work (short paper or poster) demonstrating efficiency/flow lessons learned, and
produce to the FMC R&R committee for further augmentation of practice redesign process
The summer research project would be to develop, implement, and evaluate a spread strategy so that the improvements in clinical efficiency learned by Matt become available to other FMC faculty and residents who see patients in the FMC. Resources on spread strategies from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement will be utilized to structure the work. The hope would be to submit this work as a poster for presentation at a national meeting.
Meltzer-Brody, Samantha Psychiatryclinicalnomeltzerb@med.unc.eduEpidemiological and Biological Predictors of Postpartum DepressionMy research is focused on understanding the epidemiological and biological risk factors and underlying mechanisms of postpartum mood disorders (PMD). PMDs are the most common complication of childbirth and cause significant morbidity and mortality. Postpartum depression (PPD) has a prevalence of 10-15% and is the most frequent type of PMD. Postpartum psychosis (PP) is a rare but severe form of PMD that can result in tragic consequences including suicide and infanticide. The relationship between PPD and PP is uncertain, as is their relationship to major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BIP). We currently have a poor understanding of who will develop PPD or PP, and whether and how the two disorders are related. Research focused on this line of inquiry could provide new knowledge crucial to understanding the risk factors and course of PMD that could eventually also prove to be key to understanding the etiology of mood disorders outside the perinatal period. This new knowledge will be significant because it will define the epidemiological and mechanistic predictors and course of PMD, thereby identifying a potentially modifiable risk factor for PPD and PP. Ultimately, this work will support strategies to identify women at risk and implement interventions to prevent PPD and PP and their adverse sequelae for mother and child.
McLean, Samuel Anesthesiologyclinicalnosmclean@aims.unc.eduDevelopment of Pain and Psychological Sequelae after Exposure to Stress or Trauma.The goal of the TRYUMPH Research Program is to advance understanding of the biological processes mediating recovery after exposure to stress and trauma, and to use the latest scientific technology to develop individually tailored interventions that promote rapid recovery and prevent chronic symptom development. Types of trauma that are areas of active study in the research program include motor vehicle collision, sexual assault, major traumatic injury, major burn injury, and several different surgical models.
Linnstaedt, Sarah AnesthesiologytranslationalYessarah_linnstaedt@med.unc.eduChronic painOur lab is focused on the discovery of clinical predictors and novel therapeutics for the identification and treatment of individuals at risk of chronic pain development following traumatic stress exposures. We use a translational research approach that combines analyses of large longitudinal human cohort datasets with well-validated animal model systems and molecular and cell culture studies. These approaches have helped identify clinical predictors of post traumatic chronic pain and have identified a handful of promising novel therapeutic strategies with the potential to prevent chronic pain in the absence of abuse/addiction liability
Neher, Saskia Biochemistry & Biophysiologybasicnoneher@email.unc.eduRegulation of Lipoprotein Lipase ActivityMy lab studies multiple aspects of lipase regulation. Mammalian lipoprotein lipase (LPL) plays a critical and complex role in lipid metabolism. In humans, deficient levels of LPL can cause hypertriglyceridemia and associated disorders, such as diabetes and atherosclerosis. LPL cannot efficiently exit the ER and achieve appropriate levels without a transmembrane protein whose identity was only recently discovered, lipase maturation factor (LMF1). In cells lacking LMF1, inactive LPL is retained in the ER as large eaggregates that are subject to degradation. We use biochemistry and cell biology to study how LMF1 promotes LPL exit from the ER. Once secreted into the blood, LPL activity is also regulated. LPL activity is inhibited by a protein known as ANGPTL4, which is induced in adipose tissue in response to fasting. We study the mechanism of ANGPTL4 inhibition of LPL.
Elton, Scott Otherclinicalnoselton@med.unc.eduEvaluation of Shunt infections at UNC 2000-2015To evaluate the trends and changes in CSF shunt placement over 15 years, attempting to identify factors that have reduced infection rates with consideration of a surgical algorithm to continue to reduce infection rates.
Randell, Scott H.Cell Biology and PhysiologyTranslationalYesrandell@med.unc.eduAirway Epithelial Cell BiologyMy laboratory focuses on basic and translational lung epithelial cell biology research. I also direct the Marsico Lung Institute Cell Models Core. This Core provides human tissue specimens, primary and passaged human cells, specialized medias and expertise to UNC investigators and collaborators. It is a nationally and internationally recognized resource for unique materials and models that is sought for collaboration, contract research, and training by government agencies, academics, non-profit organizations, biotech and the pharmaceutical industry. My own research focuses on lung stem cell biology, innate immunity, in vitro toxicology and cystic fibrosis. We are specifically interested in: 1) Identifying and isolating airway epithelial stem cells and understanding molecular mechanisms regulating their proliferation and fate; 2) Understanding how miRNAs regulate human airway epithelial phenotype; 3) Understanding airway epithelial adaptation to chronic injury and infection and its relationship to pathogenesis of airway disease; 4) Using in vitro models to predict toxic responses of the lungs, and 5) Performing basic studies underlying the future potential of cell therapy for cystic fibrosis.
Magness, Scott Gastroenterology & Hepatologybasicnomagness@med.unc.eduIntestinal Stem CellsThe primary focus of my research is to understand the genetic mechanisms underlying stem cell maintenance and differentiation with the goal of translating this information into therapeutic strategies. We have identified that distinct levels of the transcription factor, Sox9, differentially mark stem cells and progenitor cells in the small intestine epithelium. Using a novel Sox9EGFP mouse model, cell surface markers, and FACSorting we are able to specifically enrich for single multipotent intestinal epithelial stem cells that are able to generate ‘mini-guts’ in a culture system. Our studies are now focused on manipulating, in vitro, the genetics of stem cell behavior through viral gene therapeutics and pharmacologic agents. Additionally, we are developing stem cell transplantation and tissue engineering strategies as therapies for inborn genetic disorders as well as damage and disease of the intestine. A new area of research focus is on cancer stem cells. Using novel animal models and tissue microarrays from human colon cancers, we are investigating the role of Sox9 in colorectal cancer and assessing Sox9 expression patterns as a predictor of outcomes.
McLean, Sean Surgerybasicnosean_mclean@med.unc.eduBasic Mechanisms of pulmonary hypertension in Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.Pulmonary hypertension in patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernia is highly lethal. Presently no definitive treatment exists for pulmonary hypertension in CDH and other forms because the pathogenic mechanisms are complex and not understood. Pulmonary vascular remodeling is the central cause of pulmonary hypertension, and smooth muscle cells drive this process. Our laboratory investigates smooth muscle cell related mechanisms in the development of pulmonary hypertension. Specifically we focus upon the protein Slit-3 as a mediator of smooth muscle cell differentiation and migration in the development of the pulmonary circulation. We believe alterations in Slit-3 signaling contribute to alterations in smooth muscle cell function and phenotype that lead to the development of pulmonary hypertension. In our laboratory, we work with a mouse model for congenital diaphragmatic hernia, Slit-3 null mouse, to investigate the mechanisms related to pulmonary vascular remodeling in the context of congenital diaphragmatic hernia. In our laboratory, we use advanced cell and molecular biology techniques and small animal physiology techniques in our investigative efforts. Students in thhe laboratory will have the opportunity to become engaged in a basic science laboratory exploring a clinical problem that presently has no answers. Please contact Dr. McLean for questions related to the laboratory or other areas related to surgical-science.
Garg, Seema Ophthalmologyclinicalnosgarg@med.unc.eduRetinal imaging, diabetic retinopathy telemedical screening, ophthalmic geneticsI have been interested in the applications of technology in medicine for many years. I have piloted the diabetic retinopathy (DR) telemedicine program at UNC in which we have increased DR screening rates from 30% to 70%. I am also interested in novel retinal imaging modalities. I am currently supervising research with a novel imaging device called the retinal oximeter. It is a non-invasive method based on a traditional fundus camera, to measure retinal oxygen saturation in retinal vessels based on the differential light absorbency of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin. At UNC, our research group has produced a normative database of retinal oximetry, studied the repeatability of the instrument and has evaluated this technology in a variety of disease states such as diabetic retinopathy and radiation retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a potentially blinding microvascular disease characterized by progressive retinal ischemia. Our research group is studying the relationship of retinal oximetry and fluorescein angiography in order to characterize the retinal oxygenation status in various stages of diabetic retinopathy. If we can determine a non-invasive marker for pre-clinical diabetic retinopathy such as decreased retinal oxygenation, retinal oximetry may potentially serve as a screening device for patients who are at higher risk for retinopathy. I am also interested in hereditary eye disease. Nearly half of the patients in our ophthalmology/genetics clinic have negative clinical genetic testing. Our goal is to employ emerging genetic technologies such as next-generation whole-exome sequencing to determine a molecular diagnosis for these patients.
Carson, Shannon Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicineclinicalnoscarson@med.unc.eduOutcomes in Critical CareDr. Carson is interested in long-term outcomes for critically ill patients. Ongoing studies focus on clinical predictors of long-term physical and cognitive function for patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation. Dr. Carson also conducts clinical trials of interventions for acute delirium and ARDS. He has conducted clinical trials of communication interventions to relieve emotional distress for families of critically ill patients and maintains databases for patients and families enrolled in those trials which are available for secondary data analyses.
Ramos, Silvia Obstetrics & Gynecologybasicnosramos@med.unc.eduFemale InfertilityI have developed a unique mouse model of female sterility that may represent a significant proportion of unexplained infertility seen in women. The DeltaN-Zfp36l2 mouse model is linked to the disruption of the earliest stages of embryogenesis the only one of its kind demonstrating the involvement of an mRNA destabilizing protein in the progression of the embryo beyond the two-cell stage (Ramos et al, Development 2004). Zinc Finger Protein 36 Like 2, ZFP36L2, belongs to the TTP (ZFP36) family of proteins that destabilize certain mRNA containing ARE elements. Although TTP has been involved in modulation of inflammatory and autoimmune responses; ZFP36L2, which is ubiquitously expressed, affects only the earliest stages of embryogenesis (Ramos et al, 2004) and hematopoiesis (Stumpo et al, 2009). Therefore it is my goal to investigate the mechanism which ZFP36L2 leads to female infertility. This basic research will lead to molecular insights on this important condition for which no direct diagnosis method is currently available.
Tilley, Stephen Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicinetranslationalnostilley@med.unc.eduAsthma and CRS pathogenesisOur laboratory investigates the pathogenesis of upper and lower airway diseases, including asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), and COPD using animal models and human tissues in search of new drug targets. Presently we are investigating the mechanisms by which ozone causes asthma attacks; the role of SPLUNC1 in asthma, allergic rhinitis, and CRS; and the contribution of cigarette smoke and new and emerging tobacco products to the pathogenesis of these diseases. Students interested in ENT, allergy and immunology, pulmonology, and internal medicine may find these projects interesting.
Moschos, Stergios Hematology & Oncologytranslationalnomoschos@med.unc.eduUnderstanding the Biology of Melanoma Brain MetastasesOver the last 2 years my research focus has been to study the biology of melanoma brain metastases, in hopes to understand why melanoma is the cancer that most frequently goes to the brain, why it has the highest propensity to bleed, and why its prognosis is poor in general. The long term focus is to develop rational therapies for this disease site group, the incidence of which will exponentially rise over the next few years given the advent of new effective, recently F.D.A-approved therapies for metastatic melanoma (e.g. vemurafenib, ipilimumab).
As part of this effort, and during the last 2 years of my tenure as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh SPORE-funded Melanoma program I established a tissue database that consists of 101 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor blocks obtained from patients who underwent craniotomy for melanoma brain metastases. Following detailed histopathologic, whole genome expression, and immunohistochemical analysis, we identified that high immune infiltrate, low intratumoral hemorrhage, and high melanin are associated with prolonge survival. In addition, genes involved in Notch, Wnt, HIF1alpha, G-protein coupled receptor, and Tubby signaling are associated with worse prognosis.
My plan is to validate these findings in the UNC-CH melanoma brain metastases cohort and in addition perform whole genome exon sequencing on brain melanoma metastases, extracranial metastases, and primary melanoma from the same patients to identify metastasis-specific genes that are distinct from ones that have already described (B-Raf, N-Ras).
Zeisel, Steven Nutritiontranslationalyessteven_zeisel@unc.eduLiver mitochondrial function in BHMT-/- miceCholine is an essential nutrient and humans deprived of choline develop fatty liver. BHMT catalyzes an important step in choline metabolism, and mice in which this gene has been deleted develop characteristic metabolic abnormalities including increased fat oxidation. They also develop liver cancer. In this summer project a student will isolate liver mitochondria from these mice and assess their function using a Seahorse Bioscience XF analyzer.
Keku, Temitope Gastroenterology & Hepatologytranslationalnotokeku@med.unc.eduTranslational studies of colorectal cancerMy research involves translational research combining basic science with epidemiology to gain a better understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of colorectal cancer. My research interests are: genetic and molecular epidemiology of colorectal cancer; assessment of the contribution of genetic and lifestyle/dietary factors to colorectal cancer susceptibility; identification of germ-line or tumor characteristics associated with cancer risk and clinical outcomes; identification of novel biomarkers for early detection to define risk groups for prevention; cancer health disparities; defining the role of gut microbiome in etiology of colorectal cancer. Current studies are focused on evaluating the gut microbiome and interactions between microbiome, diet, and inflammation in relation to colorectal adenomas and cancer. Our findings suggest that there is a microbial signature associated with colorectal adenomas. This finding has potential clinical impact that could lead to development of novel strategies to manipulate the gut microbiota in order to prevent colorectal adenomas and cancer.
There are opportunities to plan associated projects depending upon individual interests and experience. Summer students will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing microbiome studies and be involved in high throughput analysis of the microbiome and correlations with diet, inflammation and adenomas. Existing datasets from previous studies are also available for students who wish to look at other aspects of colorectal cancer etiology.
Caranasos, ThomasSurgeryBasicNoThomas_caranasos@med.unc.eduStem Cells and BiomaterialsThis is a project that is building on earlier projects looking at Stem Cell upregulation with different biomaterials that are delivered to the heart.
Egan, Thomas Surgerytranslationalnoltxtme@med.unc.eduIschemia-Reperfusion Injury and Lung Transplant from Non-Heart-Beating DonorsIschemia-Reperfusion Injury (IRI) occurs when blood flow to an organ stops (ischemia) then resumes (reperfusion). IRI is a feature of organ transplants, and other clinical scenarios, including myocardial infarction and stroke. Lung tissue remains viable for hours after circulatory arrest. We are investigating the possibility of using lungs for transplant, even if recovered hours after death. Reperfusion of lungs after retrieval results in IRI. We have cell culture models of IRI, in vivo murine and rat models of lung IRI, a rat lung transplant model, and a model of ex-vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) followed by lung transplant (LTX) in rats. We are also studying EVLP of human lungs. IRI is mediated by toll-like receptors (TLRs) of the innate immune system. IRI is associated with early edema in the lung and activation of a variety of inflammatory signaling pathways, including NF-kb and MAP kinases. Projects suitable for short term research include performing cell culture experiments of simulated IRI and looking at the effects of pathway inhibitors or other potential therapies. Other molecular biology techniques we use are protein and RNA extraction, Western blots to identify proteins, RT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry. Because our research explores mechanisms and identifies potential therapies that can be introduced clinically, it is very translational.
Carey, Tim General Mediicine & Clinical Epidemiologyclinicalnotim_carey@unc.eduEvidence based practice, comparative effectiveness researchI am involved in a variety of activities in clinical and translational research. These include work on prioritization of research activities so that scarce funds can be expended on the most pressing clinical problems. I am particularly interested in comparative effectiveness research: determining which tests, treatments and policies are most effective in improving health for patients. Use of informatics tools to address these CER questions is becoming more common, and has the potential to allow addressing clinical questions become less expensive, more generalizable, and more timely.
Hackman, Trevor Quality Improvement I will be conducting an improvement research project looking at factors affecting readmission for otolaryngology patients and constructing a framework to reduce readmissions.
Bae-Jump, Victoria Obstetrics & Gynecologytranslationalnovictoria_baejump@med.unc.eduObesity and Ovarian/Endometrial Cancer PathogenesisI am a gynecologic oncologist and a translational cancer researcher at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC) in the Clinical Research Program. My research focuses on understanding the impact obesity has on ovarian and endometrial cancer development and progression which may invariably dictate different risk reduction strategies and treatment options for this particularly high-risk patient population. We hypothesize that obesity gives rise to biologically and metabolically different cancers than those that arise in a non-obese environment; and thus, obesity-driven cancers may have unique vulnerabilities that could be targeted for treatment. In this pursuit, I have investigated many novel targeted therapies for the treatment of obesity-driven ovarian and endometrial cancer, including mTOR inhibitors, arsenic, a human monoclonal antibody to the insulin growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R), soy, genistein, cox-2 inhibitors, statins and metformin. My pre-clinical work has led to several investigator-initiated clinical trials, including pre-operative window studies of metformin and atorvastatin in obese endometrial cancer patients, a pilot study of meformin for the treatment of endometrial hyperplasia, a phase II trial of metformin in combination with the levonorgestrel-intrauterine device in endometrial hyperplasia/cancer patients, a phase II trial of metformin (plus paclitaxel/carboplatin) in newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patients and a randomized phase II/III evaluation of paclitaxel/carboplatin/metformin versus paclitaxel/carboplatin/placebo in advanced and recurrent endometrial cancer patients.
Bautch, Victoria McAllister Heart InstituteBasicYesbautch@med.unc.eduVascular Function and DevelopmentWe study vascular responses to physiological signals such as blood flow and to developmental signals such as VEGF. We use preclinical mouse and zebrafish animal models of development, wound healing, and tumorigenesis, as well as cell-based assays to test mechanisms. Our work is well-funded by NIH and American Heart Association, and we have several projects that investigate aspects of vascular signaling responses in disease and development.
Kim, William Hematology & Oncologytranslationalyeswykim@med.unc.eduGenetics of Bladder and Kidney CancerThe Kim Lab is focused on understanding the genetic and epigenetic events involved in the initiation and progression of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and bladder cancer. Through NextGeneration sequencing of primary human tumors and the use of genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs), as well as in vitro systems, our goal is to identify the critical genomic and epigenetic changes that are drivers of RCC and bladder cancer. Our ultimate goal is to elucidate the functional consequences of these genomic events in order to pinpoint novel, high impact therapeutic targets for therapy.
Lab Website:
Whitehead, William Gastroenterology & HepatologyclinicalnoWilliam_Whitehead@med.unc.eduImpact of Accidental Bowel Leakage (Fecal Incontinence) on Coping, Quality of Life, and Consulting for TreatmentAccidental bowel leakage (ABL) affects 8% of adults but fewer than 30% of them consult a physician despite availability of effective treatments. Providing care to these patients is a priority of the NIDDK.
Aims: This survey will attempt to answer the following questions:
1. How do people with ABL cope? Preliminary data suggests some maladaptive ways of coping such as not eating before going out.
2. Does severity of ABL and its impact on quality of life influence how people cope with ABL?
3. Does coping style influence whether people consult for ABL?
Methods: An internet survey will collect data from approximately 200 people with ABL. This database will be completed before May 2016. Medical student will be mentored in analyzing the data, preparing an abstract for submission to the annual meeting of the Am Gastroenterol Assoc, and preparing a manuscript for publication in a journal.
Lee, YuehRadiologyTranslationalNoleey@med.unc.eduTranslationalMy areas of research interest are focused on translational medical imaging - bringing techniques developed by myself or in research labs on campus into clinical applications.
I work with two major imaging modalities for a number of clinical applications:
First, I work extensively with the carbon nanotube x-ray source invented on campus. Our current applications include breast, cardiac and chest tomosynthesis.
We have extended this work into novel radiation therapy approaches.
Second, I work extensively with F19 (non-radioactive) based MR imaging for Cystic fibrosis (human) and cell tracking (pre-clinical). We also have a few novel F19 applications that are in development.
Han, Zongchao Ophthalmologybasicyeszongchao@med.unc.eduDrug and Gene Therapy for Retinal DisordersNanoparticle (NP)-based large genomic DNA delivery.
Developing antioxidant NPs.
Developing injectable hydrogels for ophthalmic applications.
Tumor-directed NP delivery.
Drug-gene design and optimization.
Davis, Ian Pediatrics and Cancer Genomics and Therapeutics Our lab is interested in the connection between genetic changes in human cancers and their epigenetic consequences. Our research focuses on gene regulation and therapeutic discovery childhood sarcomas and mechanistic exploration of epigenomics in kidney cancer. The lab applies wet bench and computational approaches.
Roth, Bryan Neuropharmacology My lab studies neuropsychiatric drug actions from the molecular to the organismal.
Tan, Ray Cancer-related Health Services Research My research focuses on developing novel interventions to optimize health communication to enhance decision-making and clinical outcomes for patients with cancer.
Friedlander, David Health services research, comparative effectiveness, surgical outcomes, disparities in care Recognizing the significant cost posed by inefficient or “low-value” health practices, significant effort has been put into advancing value-based purchasing reforms. Public and private insurers have developed a particular interest in identifying modifiable sources of clinical variation that may contribute to inefficient care. Research conducted during both my residency and fellowship years have directly
contributed to the growing body of literature aimed at identifying the aforementioned sources of clinical variation. More importantly, my recent work has looked at non-clinical drivers of care variation, which to date has been largely overlooked. More specifically, collaborators and I have demonstrated the important role that socioeconomic factors play in determining the quality of care received by individuals undergoing surgery. Similarly, this work has helped to reframe how surgical quality should be defined, and in doing so aims to identify individuals at risk of experiencing low-value care. These findings coupled with the proposed research project ultimately seek to develop strategies aimed at steering at-risk individuals away from low value pathways of surgical care, and in doing so both improve the patient experience and lower health care spending.
Broaddus, Russell Path and Lab Biomarker discovery for endometrial cancer using pathology-based tools My research lab focuses on the molecular pathogenesis of endometrial cancer, the most common gynecologic cancer in the Western world. Current projects include developing molecular diagnostics for predicting endometrial cancer histotype, stage, and recurrence developing clinical and lab-based algorithms for the identification of patients with hereditary endometrial cancer (Lynch Syndrome), discovering novel molecular mediators of endometrial cancer invasion and metastasis, and identifying novel signaling pathways important in the pathogenesis of endometrial cancer.
Archin, Nancie Infectious DiseaseTranslationalYesnancie_archin@med.unc.eduHIV latency Persistent, latent HIV infection despite anti-retroviral therapy (ART) remains a formidable barrier towards achieving an HIV cure. A major approach to target persistent HIV infection involves latency reversal, using small molecules capable of inducing expression of the HIV provirus, followed by immune mediated clearance of infected cells. The successful implementation of this or indeed any other approach to HIV eradication will require specific knowledge about the nature of the reservoir and the interplay of factors regulating the reservoir in all human populations. Women constitute one half of people living with HIV disease yet, they represent a minority in HIV cure studies. Our laboratory uses molecular biology and biochemical methods to 1) define sex-specific and other factors that contribute to HIV persistence in people living with HIV with a particular focus on women, 2) define modalities to disrupt latency and clear latently infected cells, and 3) apply these observations in clinical applications.
Browne, Edward Infectious DiseaseBasic HIVI am interested in the replication and pathogenesis of HIV. In particular, I am focused on understanding the nature of latent HIV reservoirs, and in developing new tools to reverse latency. Additionally, I have long standing interests in understanding the innate immune response to HIV and in using systems biology approaches to understand viral replication.
Wahl, Angela Infectious DiseaseBasic Transmission, pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment of human infectious diseases Our research uses humanized mouse models, immunodeficient mice reconstituted with human hematopoietic cells and/or tissues, to address fundamental aspects of basic human immunology and to answer key questions about infection with human pathogens such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and emerging and clinically relevant respiratory pathogens. We study aspects of pathogen transmission and pathogenesis and evaluate novel approaches to prevent or treat disease. Recently, we also developed animal models to study the role of resident microbiota on infection.
Rutstein, Sarah HIV/implementation science My research focuses on translation of efficacious interventions into clinical implementation in resource-limited settings via behavioral and biomedical clinical trials and cost-effectiveness modeling. Projects include integrating pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) into existing service delivery lines (i.e. STI clinics), examining implementation and scale-up of novel therapeutics to inform equitable and effective delivery, and cost-effectiveness modeling to examine the resources necessary to deploy and scale effective interventions. I have active research in rural NC, Malawi, and Vietnam.
Ramos, Silvia Biochemistry and Biophysics Department Basic RNA binding proteins in hematological and immunological physiology and diseases Our research focus is on RNA-binding proteins, particularly on ZFP36L2 (Zinc Finger Protein 36 Like 2). So far, the known function of this protein is to bind to mRNAs containing specific sequences rich in Adenine and Uridine elements (AREs). Upon binding, this interaction triggers mRNA decay, decreasing the expression of these targeted transcripts and consequently protein levels. We created a mouse model lacking ZFP36L2, which intriguingly resulted in severe pancytopenia in the peripheral blood with decreased cellularity at the bone-marrow, resembling Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) at a young age. I aim to integrate our research focus on the RNA field with clinical and basic immunological concepts.
Higgins, Dominique NeurosurgeryTranslationalYeshigginsd@unc.eduFerroptosis in GlioblastomaMy lab is focused on investigating metabolic and cellular processes critical to glioblastoma, and targeting these pathways to develop novel therapeutics. One of our main areas of research is in ferroptosis induced regulated cell death, and sensitizing brain tumors by nutritional and pharmacologic strategies.
Farrell, TimothySurgeryClinicalNotfarrell@med.unc.eduMinimally invasive and bariatric surgery, surgical education.Clinical outcomes after minimally invasive surgery and surgical education
Raffield, LauraGeneticsBasic ScienceYesraffield@email.unc.eduGenetic and molecular epidemiology in diverse population based-cohorts, for cardiometabolic traits and dementiaWe have a variety of ongoing projects in the lab that a medical student could lead, including 1. application of polygenic risk scores for cardiometabolic traits, and interactions with social determinants of health related risk factors, in All of Us 2. analysis of proteomics and metabolomics data in UK Biobank and cohorts like the Jackson Heart Study and Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis for cardiometabolic disease and Alzheimer's disease risk factors. Please contact me for more information!
Dover, KentonPulmonaryClinicalNokenton_dover@med.unc.eduImportance of Identification of a Proper Proxy for Critically Ill Adult PatientsWorking with an interdisciplinary team comprised of MICU physicians and ethics consultants from the disciplines of law and the social sciences, the project will explore the gaps in knowledge and practice that follow from physician approaches to proxy determination that underappreciate how family members or friends may misunderstand the role. The research will use mixed methods. Students would assist with collection and analysis of data from resident interviews or focus groups, record abstract from focal patients, and relevant unit-level data. The intended products are (1) a practical teaching approach for residents and (2) published works.
Joyner Jr, BennyPediatrics and Social MedicineClinicalNobenny@unc.eduIdentification of Ethical Issues and Proper Training for a Patient’s SitterPatient sitters provide 1:1 supervision to patients at risk of injury to themselves or others. As there are no existing national policies that define sitter responsibility, this responsibility is left to hospitals. Current policies largely utilize sitters to provide patient safety; however, sitters often find themselves in situations which require far more than safety skills, leading to ambiguity in the role. Working with an interdisciplinary team comprised of an experienced nursing assistant, physicians, and ethics consultants from the disciplines of law and the social sciences, the project will explore the role of the sitter and the ethical dilemmas they experience in order to identify gaps in knowledge and practice that may be remediated by training that focuses on safety and therapeutic interventions. Students would assist with collection and analysis of survey or interview data, as well as institution-level data related to safety or staff concerns. The intended products are (1) published works on an understudied but important role on the interdisciplinary team and (2) a practical teaching approach for those staff members taking on the sitter role.
Dave, GauravSocial MedicineTranslationalNogjdave@unc.eduHealth Equity -- cardiovascular diseases risk reductionThe Co-LEARN (Collaborate and Leverage Evidence in an African American Rural Network to Implement Risk Reduction Strategies for cardiovascular diseases (CVD)) project focuses on mitigating the disparate incidence of CVD in rural African American populations in Eastern North Carolina. We welcome applications from student researchers to support this study and work on analysis from existing data.
Frerichs, LeahHealth Policy and Management/Center for Health Equity ResearchTranslationalNoleahf@unc.eduCommunity-engaged health equityMy research is focused on participatory system science and data science approaches for community health, which involve developing and using novel decision support or mHealth models with community stakeholders on a diverse array of topics. Systems science approaches use visual diagramming and facilitated interactions with computer models, which aim to (1) improve our understanding of complex dynamics influencing health problems of interest and (2) improve the implementation and dissemination of optimal combinations of interventions and policies. Example projects include a youth-engaged research program that engages high school youth to collect, analyze, and communicate quantitative data about community assets (i.e., local establishments that provide goods or services) over the summer and a mHealth research project evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of a digital health platform that promotes health and wellness screening for patients of rural community health centers
Dover, KentonMedicine/PulmonaryClinicalNokenton_dover@med.unc.eduImportance of Identification of a Proper Proxy for Critically Ill Adult PatientsWorking with an interdisciplinary team comprised of MICU physicians and ethics consultants from the disciplines of law and the social sciences, the project will explore the gaps in knowledge and practice that follow from physician approaches to proxy determination that underappreciate how family members or friends may misunderstand the role. The research will use mixed methods. Students would assist with collection and analysis of data from resident interviews or focus groups, record abstract from focal patients, and relevant unit-level data. The intended products are (1) a practical teaching approach for residents and (2) published works
Clark, MadisonOtolaryngology (Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Division)ClinicalNomadison_clark@med.unc.eduFacial Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryClinical research in nasal airway obstruction, nasal reconstruction, eyelid reconstruction, and facial reconstruction
Tully, KristinObstetrics and GynecologyTranslationalNokristin.tully@unc.eduMaternal health equity; perinatal systems of care; community-partnershipDr. Kristin Tully is a medical anthropologist and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her program of work advances maternal autonomy by addressing what people need to know, feel, and have happen to be safe and well through perinatal care
Bulik, CynthiaPsychiatryTranslationalYescynthia_bulik@med.unc.eduEating DisordersWe are conducting the largest study in the world identifying genetic and environmental contributions to avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID). More about the research can be found at The ARFID-GEN team meets weekly to discuss progress, develop recruitment campaigns, discuss participant issues, and review study progress. Participation options include developing and executing social-media-based recruitment campaigns, working with laboratory staff to send, receive, and process saliva kits (for DNA), extraction of DNA from saliva kits, and cleaning and analysis of phenotypic data. Other large datasets from eating disorders genetic studies are also available for analyses. Medical students typically participate in daily didactics with UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders summer fellows and get exposure to a broad range of research and clinical topics related to eating disorders
Stouffer, George (Rick)CardiologyClinicalNorstouff@med.unc.eduMyocardial InfarctionWe are looking at predictors of survival in myocardial infarction, choice of optimal anti-platelet therapy in patients with coronary artery disease and rural/urban disparities in cardiovascular disease.
Hart, JoeOrthopaedicsClinicalNojoe_hart@med.unc.eduOrthopaedics, ACL reconstruction, Lower body biomechanicsAn unacceptably high risk for second ACL injuries exists for young and physically active individuals who suffer a first-time anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and opt for surgical reconstruction to restore stability in preparation to return to pre-injury levels of activity. My research programs prioritize a point-of-care clinical model that includes instrumented assessments of muscle and physical function with the purpose of providing evidence based health care approaches to post operative treatments that help inform risk identification for complications, reinjuries and early-onset cartilage degeneration.
Mitchell, StuartOrthopaedic SurgeryClinicalNostuart_mitchell@med.unc.eduPediatric Orthopaedic SurgeryThis goal of this study is to comprehensively describe the orthopaedic manifestations associated with STAC3 disorder, formerly known as Native American Myopathy. The purpose of the study is to describe and assess rates of orthopaedic conditions in patients diagnosed with NAM to assist with appropriate musculoskeletal management of the patient population.
Ding, MingEmergency MedicineTranslationalNoming_ding@med.unc.eduUnderstanding cardiovascular disease using a modeling approachI am a cardiovascular epidemiologist, and my research focuses on prevention and prediction of cardiovascular disease (CVD) integrating lifestyle factors, genetics, and methodology development. I am very interested in using new methods to solve questions in CVD epidemiology using data from large cohort studies. Potential research topics include: Use trajectory analysis to understand how risk factors across life-course associate with risk of cardiovascular disease; Use multi-state models (Markov or non-Markov models) to understand progression of cardiovascular disease; Use Mendelian randomization to estimate causal associations between risk factors and risk of cardiovascular disease
Heisler, StephenSurgeryClinical
NoStephen_heisler@med.unc.eduArterial Disease Calcification Impairment on Wound HealingMedial arterial calcinosis has been demonstrated in the literature to correlate in outcomes such as major lower extremity amputations, and cardiovascular risk. It has not been shown to correlate to impaired wound healing, or incisions complications. A retrospective review of surgical cases at UNC will be performed to confirm that medial artery calcinosis has an effect on wound and incision healing.
Smeltz, AlanAnesthesiologyClinicalNoalan_smeltz@med.unc.eduPerioperative blood transfusionDelays in surgical care due to blood not being ready for transfusion is a huge issue. I am interested in studying 1) how long it takes for each type of blood product to be prepared and 2) the % of delayed first start cases for reasons attributable to blood not being set-up in time. This is important because we need 1) to identify inefficiencies in the blood preparation process and 2) anticipate and prepare blood products better if it takes a while to get it
Shroff, HershGastroenterology and HepatologyClinicalNohshroff@unc.eduAlcohol-related liver diseaseI run a multi-disciplinary clinic in collaboration with UNC's Substance Treatment and Recovery (STAR) program, focused on optimal management of alcohol-related liver disease (ALD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD). As part of this clinic, and also in collaboration with our Liver Transplant Program, we hope to perform quality improvement and program evaluation projects to better understand the needs of this patient population and how we can deliver optimal care.
Yap, EdwardNeurosurgeryClinicalNoedward_yap@med.unc.eduNeuroendovascular surgery clinical researchDr. Yap is a distinguished neuroendovascular surgeon who specializes in research within this field. Specific research topics include cerebral aneurysms, galenic dural arteriovenous fistulas, and subdural hematomas. The latest project focuses on the impact of the CYP2C19 genetic assay and PRU results in clinical outcomes after flow diverter insertion for intracranial aneurysms