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The University of North Carolina (UNC) Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS)

About Us

We are one of fourteen recently funded Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) designed to advance the public’s knowledge of tobacco products. Read more…

Research Projects

Using in vivo and in vitro models, four projects have been carefully designed to identify novel biomarkers associated with tobacco-induced changes in the lung’s innate defenses. Read more…

Core Facilities

Our four research projects will be supported by five core facilities, which will help standardize testing procedures to ensure the validity and comparability of generated data. Read more…


The UNC Center for Tobacco Regulatory Science and Lung Health offers graduate students and fellows the opportunity to train in any of our labs ensuring a solid understanding of tobacco regulatory science and helping produce the next generation of regulatory scientists. Read more…

Our Mission

Our mission is to ensure tobacco regulatory actions are based on sound scientific evidence and review. Every year, new and emerging tobacco products enter the market, often before their health effects can be rigorously assessed. As a result, many of these products are not subjected to standard tobacco regulations, which the public misinterprets to mean they are a safer alternative to more traditional products such as cigarettes. Unfortunately, this lack of early regulation allows potentially harmful products to establish themselves in the marketplace, causing later regulations to have less of an impact.

Our goal is to help make the gap between the emergence of a product and the implementation of appropriate, evidenced-based regulations as short as possible. By establishing an interdepartmental network of biostatisticians, chemists, clinicians, geneticists, immunologists, physiologists and toxicologists, we hope to quickly and accurately assess the impact of new and emerging tobacco products on lung health. At present, our research is focused on little cigars and hookahs, two products rapidly becoming popular among adolescents and young adults. In the future, though, we hope to test other emerging products as the need arises.

Robert Tarran, Ph.D., Director of the UNC Center for Tobacco Regulatory Science and Lung Health