Skip to main content

After serving the Department as Interim Chair since January 2020, Matthew Nielsen, MD, MS, FACS has been appointed as Chair, effective November 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, working alongside so many leaders in the field of urology. We are excited by the opportunities for our faculty to advance the inspiring mission and vision of UNC Health and the School of Medicine”

Matthew Nielsen, MD, MS, FACS
Professor and Chair 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 and Castle Connolly Top Doctors since 2017. 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. Work with the American College of Physicians High Value Care Task Force on the diagnostic evaluation of hematuria led to a collaborative research program that informed major revisions to the American Urological Association’s Hematuria Guideline this year. His commitment to education was recognized by the UNC Urology residents as Attending of the Year in 2014, and he is passionate about mentorship, with mentee first-authors for nearly half (74) 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 Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement and other leadership roles in the UNC Health Care System, where he received the Physician Friend of Nursing Award in 2017. 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).

“We are thrilled to announce Dr. Nielsen as Chair of the Department of Urology. His record of success as a national leader in cancer research, clinical care, and mentorship will serve the department well. He has excelled in his role as Interim Chair, leading with grace and resolve during the pandemic, and I’m confident the department will continue to prosper under his leadership.”

Cristy Page, MD, MPH
Executive Dean, UNC School of Medicine