Matthew Nielsen, MD, MS, FACS assumed the role of Interim Chair of the Department of Urology on January 1, 2020. Nielsen joined the faculty at UNC in 2009 as a urologic oncologist and health services researcher after completing medical school and residency training at Johns Hopkins. Since joining the UNC faculty, he obtained advanced training in clinical research from the Gillings School of Global Public Health and healthcare delivery improvement from the Intermountain Healthcare Delivery Institute.

“I love this place and the people here. I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve this outstanding department, and excited by the opportunities for our faculty to contribute to the mission and vision of UNC Health Care and the School of Medicine”

Matthew Nielsen, MD, MS, FACS
Interim Chair
Associate Professor of Urology

Matthew Nielsen, MD, MS, FACS


Dr. Nielsen’s clinical practice is focused on urologic oncology as a member of the integrated Multidisciplinary Urologic Oncology Program at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he served as Co-Director from 2013-2018. He is committed to providing compassionate, individualized, patient-centered care, and has been named by his peers among the Best Doctors in America in Urology since 2013. He has served the Department as the Physician Service Leader and Vice-Chair for Academic Affairs. He is also a member of the adjunct faculty in the Departments of Epidemiology and Health Policy & Management in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Outside of UNC, he is a Clinical Investigator in the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research.

Nielsen’s research interests in clinical epidemiology, cancer care quality, and medical decision making dovetail with his clinical practice. This work has been supported by strong interdisciplinary collaborations and continuous extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the American Cancer Society and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and nationally recognized with the Rising Stars in Urology Research Award. He is passionate about mentorship, with mentee first-authors for nearly half (72) of his greater than 160 peer-reviewed publications.

Alongside his clinical and research activities, Dr. Nielsen supports quality improvement and patient safety activities in his capacity as Associate Director of the UNC Health Care System Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement. He is active in this space on a national level as the Chair of the American Urological Association’s Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Committee and was recognized with the AUA’s Young Urologist of the Year Award in 2018. Also, Dr. Nielsen has served on the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI), the American College of Physicians’ Performance Measurement Committee and High-Value Care Task Force, and multiple Technical Expert Panels for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Dr. Raj Pruthi, who served as Chair since the department was established in 2013, has been appointed Chair of Urology at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. David Zvara, Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Chief Operating Officer of UNC Faculty Physicians, served as Interim Chair in the transition. The department is grateful to Dr. David Zvara for his service as Interim Chair since September and wishes Dr. Pruthi the best in his new position at UCSF.