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It is with great pleasure that the UNC Department of Urology announces the promotion of Interim Chair Dr. Matthew Nielsen to the position of Professor with Tenure.

Within the UNC School of Medicine, the promotion of a faculty member to Professor requires undeniable evidence of excellence in research, clinical scholarship, and educational scholarship.

At the start of 2020, Dr. Nielsen stepped into the role of Interim Chair of the Department of Urology, and his recent promotion to Professor only further highlights his contributions to his patients, students, the Department of Urology, and the entire UNC Health system.

“Dr. Nielsen embodies the characteristics of a true leader, demonstrating forward thinking, humility, passion, and a focus on developing others. His promotion to Professor is well earned, and we are fortunate to benefit from his leadership at UNC, particularly during this challenging time.”

Angela Smith, MD, MS
Vice Chair of Academic Affairs
Director of Urologic Oncology
Associate Professor of Urology


Clinical Practice:

Dr. Nielsen’s clinical practice is focused on urologic oncology – more specifically, the treatment of bladder, prostate, and kidney cancer. Dr. Nielsen is a member of the integrated Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology Group at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and he served as the Director of the Division of Urologic Oncology from 2013-2018.

Dr. Nielsen is committed to providing compassionate, individualized, patient-centered care, and has been selected by his peers to be named among the Best Doctors in America in Urology annually since 2013.


Dr. Nielsen’s research centers around medical decision making, cancer care quality, and treatment outcomes. Some of his research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and The American Cancer Society, and has been nationally recognized by the Rising Stars in Urology Research Award.

Quality Improvement and Patient Safety:

Alongside his clinical, research, and teaching activities, Dr. Nielsen is actively engaged in quality improvement and patient safety efforts as the Associate Director of the UNC Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement among other leadership roles within the UNC Health System.

Dr. Nielsen has also been an active contributor to multiple national organizations, including the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Committee of the American Urological Association where he has served as the Chair of the Committee since 2019. Dr. Nielsen also serves with the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI), the American College of Physicians’ High-Value Care Task Force and the Performance Measurement Committee.

In 2019, Dr. Nielsen was appointed to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Technical Expert Panel for the CMS Quality Measure Development Plan and Quality Measure Index.

About Dr. Nielsen

Matthew Nielsen, MD received his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Brady Urological Institute of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. After residency, Dr. Nielsen served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins before joining the UNC Urology faculty in 2009. In addition to his new position as Professor with Tenure with the UNC Department of Urology, Dr. Nielsen also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Health Policy & Management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.