MAHEC, UNC-Chapel Hill Celebrate New Interprofessional Academic Health Center

 

 

 

 

 

MAHEC, UNC-Chapel Hill Celebrate New Interprofessional Academic Health Center  

 

UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC expands health science education in Western North Carolina

 

 

(Asheville, N.C. ­– October 17, 2018) — The Mountain Area Health Education Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will celebrate the construction of a new academic health center building on MAHEC’s Biltmore campus with a special ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 5:30 p.m. (see further details at the bottom).

 

UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC seeks to address health care worker shortages and improve education across a number of health science fields in Western North Carolina. The UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC building supports an innovative educational partnership between UNC-Chapel Hill and MAHEC and will house UNC School of Medicine’s Asheville campus; a Master of Public Health program led by UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health; MAHEC’s psychiatry residency program and psychiatry outpatient care; and health care research, education and community engagement initiatives at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

 

UNC-Chapel Hill and MAHEC have a shared commitment to address health care workforce shortages in North Carolina. All 16 Western North Carolina counties are considered primary care health professional shortage areas, or areas with too few providers to meet the health care needs of the population. By training health care professionals in Western North Carolina, and placing students in long-term internships across the region, UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC encourages more health providers to practice in Western North Carolina, an initiative that stands to make a significant impact on the region’s economy and access to health care.

 

“Our students and faculty are eager to address North Carolina’s health care needs, and the new programs based at MAHEC will be a significant step forward for improving access to quality interprofessional health care in Western North Carolina,” said Robert Blouin, executive vice chancellor and provost of UNC-Chapel Hill. “We are very appreciative of the generous support from the people of North Carolina that has made UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC a reality.”

 

The establishment of UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC was made possible by the people of North Carolina through 2015 and 2016 state appropriations totaling $8 million in nonrecurring funds for building construction and $18.6 million in recurring funds to support the development of UNC-Chapel Hill’s academic programs to train and expand the health care workforce in medically underserved Western North Carolina.

 

The three-story 37,000-square-foot building will be completed in spring 2019 and includes classrooms and incubator spaces that will bring together family medicine clinicians, pharmacists, public health professionals, researchers, residents, students, UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, and community health partners.

 

“The UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC building will be the hub for the regional campuses of the school of medicine and school of public health,” explained Jeff Heck, chief executive officer of MAHEC. “This academic health center and our strong regional partnerships will serve as a national model for rural health care transformation.”

 

UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC Special Ceremony

  • Begins at 5:30 p.m. on October 23 at the MAHEC Biltmore campus
  • 121 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, N.C. 28803
  • Dignitaries and guest speakers at the ceremony will include:
    • Robert Blouin, executive vice chancellor and provost of UNC-Chapel Hill
    • William Roper, dean of the UNC School of Medicine, vice chancellor for medical affairs and chief executive officer of UNC Health Care
    • Jeff Heck, chief executive officer of MAHEC
    • William Hathaway, MAHEC board member and senior vice president and chief medical officer of Mission Hospital
    • Stephen Kimmel, a Western North Carolinian and graduate of the UNC School of Medicine’s Asheville campus and MAHEC family medicine residency program who is now practicing in North Carolina’s Yancey and Mitchell counties
  • Remarks will be followed by guided tours of the recently completed MAHEC Simulation Center, a state-of-the-art medical and surgical training facility that supports health science education and health care professionals from across Western North Carolina

 

On-site contacts:

  • Michelle Morgan, MAHEC, 828-257-4442 or 828-777-5149
  • Jennifer Maurer, MAHEC, 828-257-4445 or 828-782-0142

 

 

###

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

UNC-Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties.

 

About the Mountain Area Health Education Center

MAHEC was established in 1974 and is a leader in healthcare, education and innovation. Located in Asheville, MAHEC serves a 16-county region in Western North Carolina. It is the largest Area Health Education Center in North Carolina, which evolved to address national and state concerns with the supply, retention and quality of health professionals. MAHEC’s mission is to train the next generation of healthcare professionals for Western North Carolina through quality healthcare, innovative education, and best practice models that can be replicated nationally.

 

UNC-Chapel Hill university communications: Audrey Smith, 919-445-8555, audrey.smith@unc.edu

MAHEC communications: Jennifer Maurer, 828-257-4445, jennifer.maurer@mahec.net

 

New study finds link between teenage drinking and high-grade prostate cancer later in life

New study finds link between teenage drinking and high-grade prostate cancer later in life

 

Study participants who drank heavily early in life were three times more likely

 to be diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— August 23, 2018) – A new study out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found a link between early-life alcohol consumption and aggressive, high-grade prostate cancer. The study also found that heavy cumulative alcohol consumption over the course of a man’s life had a similar association with this type of prostate cancer.

 

The research was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research on August 23.

 

“There’s been relatively little progress in identifying risk factors for prostate cancer,” said Emma Allott, senior author for the study. “Other hormonally regulated cancers, like breast cancer, already have a known association with alcohol use. But the role that alcohol consumption may have in the development of prostate cancer, especially over the life course, isn’t as well understood, so it remains an important area of study.”

 

Allott led the research, along with her collaborators, while she was an assistant professor of nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill. Allott has since joined Queen’s University Belfast as a lecturer in molecular cancer epidemiology at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology.

 

The team of researchers evaluated survey data obtained from 650 men at the time of prostate biopsy. Men who reported consuming more than seven alcoholic drinks weekly as teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 were three times more likely to be diagnosed with high-grade prostate cancer compared with men who reported no alcohol use during these years. Men who had seven or more alcoholic beverages a week throughout each decade of life were also three times more likely to be diagnosed with high-grade prostate cancer at the time of biopsy.

 

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in U.S. men and the second leading cause of male cancer deaths. The prostate develops rapidly during puberty and, as a result, scientists have hypothesized that boys may be more susceptible to cancer-causing substances during their adolescent years.

 

“We think that prostate cancer develops over the course of many years or even decades, so studies like ours are working toward a clearer understanding not only of what the specific risk factors are, but how they may affect prostate biology at different stages of life,” said Allott.

 

Not all prostate cancers are high-grade, or the clinically significant, aggressive form of prostate cancer that grows quickly and can potentially lead to death. The researchers sought to investigate the potential relationship between early-life alcohol consumption and high-grade, prostate cancer, believing that it’s most important to identify risk factors for the aggressive form of the cancer. The researchers did not find an association between alcohol use and other less aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

 

Allott and her team evaluated survey data from a group of racially diverse men, ages 49-89 years, undergoing prostate biopsy at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center between 2007 and 2018. Men completed a survey to assess the average number of alcoholic beverages consumed weekly during each decade of life, categorizing this as zero, one to six, or seven or more drinks each week to determine age-specific and cumulative lifetime alcohol intake.

 

The research was limited by its reliance on men’s recall of their historic alcohol intake. This could have resulted in biased responses, although the majority of men reported their alcohol intake prior to knowing their biopsy results. Additional research is needed to determine the risk factors for prostate cancer.

 

Allott’s research collaborators included Jamie Michael, Amanda De Hoedt and Charlotte Bailey of Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Lauren Howard of Duke Cancer Institute, Sarah Markt and Lorelei Mucci of Harvard University, and Stephen Freedland of Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

 

The research was funded by the American Institute for Cancer Research, the Irish Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health.

 

-Carolina-

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s nearly 330,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 149 countries. More than 169,000 live in North Carolina.

 

University Communications: Audrey Smith, (919) 445-8555, audrey.smith@unc.edu

 

Chancellor Carol L. Folt and Chair Dale Jenkins Announce Search Committee for Successor to William L. Roper, MD, MPH

Media contact:
Audrey Smith, (919) 445-8555

audrey.smith@unc.edu

 

Chancellor Carol L. Folt and Chair Dale Jenkins Announce Search Committee for Successor to William L. Roper, MD, MPH

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— Aug. 2, 2018) – A newly appointed committee will conduct a national search to recommend a successor to Dr. William L. Roper, who announced in May that he would step down as CEO of UNC Health Care, Dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs in May 2019.

 

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol L. Folt and UNC Health Care Board of Directors Chair Dale Jenkins have named Robert A. Blouin, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as chair, and Charles D. Owen, vice chair of the UNC Health Care Board of Directors, as vice chair for the search committee.

 

Folt and Jenkins have appointed the following individuals to the search committee:

  • Aisha Amuda, student, UNC School of Medicine
  • Jack Bailey, President, U.S. Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Dr. George Hadley Callaway, member, UNC Health Care System Board of Directors
  • Haywood Cochrane, chair, UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees
  • Honorable Mandy Cohen, MD, secretary, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  • Amy Higgins, system vice president, Strategic Planning and Network Development, UNC Health Care
  • Terry Magnuson, vice chancellor for research, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Dr. Cristen Page, chair, Department of Family Medicine, UNC School of Medicine
  • Randy Ramsey, vice chair, UNC Board of Governors
  • David Routh, vice chancellor for university development, UNC-Chapel Hill

 

The search committee will hold its first organizational meeting from 9 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Center for School Leadership Development, Room 276. The committee will be charged with advancing two or more names to the UNC Health Care Board of Directors and the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees for approval, after which Folt will forward the names to UNC System President Margaret Spellings. She, in turn, will recommend one candidate to the UNC Board of Governors for their approval.

 

“I am confident that a worthy successor to Dr. Roper can be identified to lead both UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine into the future,” said Spellings. “This position will require a candidate who is knowledgeable about the operations of a premier medical school as well as a world-class hospital system – both of which positively affects North Carolinians across the state.”

 

“Given the strength and reputation of our medical school and health care system, we expect that this will be a highly sought-after position,” Folt said. “I’m grateful that such a strong group of individuals have agreed to serve on the search committee and look forward to working with them in identifying a candidate for this position who will enhance healthcare offerings for all North Carolinians.”

 

“We hope to move quickly to identify a successor and ensure a smooth leadership transition,” Jenkins said. “As North Carolina’s health care system this is a vital role for the health of the citizens of our state.”

 

UNC Health Care and the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine are among the premier academic medical centers in the country. With annual revenues of $5 billion, UNC Health Care owns or manages 11 hospitals and health care systems across the state, employing 30,000 individuals who serve North Carolinians from all 100 counties.  At the foundation of UNC Health Care, the School of Medicine is comprised of 19 clinical departments and 11 basic science departments, employing approximately 1,700 faculty in nationally ranked programs, with a research portfolio that has increased by more than 50 percent since 2014 to $441 million last year.

 

-Carolina-

 

About the University of North Carolina System
The University of North Carolina System enrolls more than 230,000 students at 17 institutions including all 16 of the state’s public universities, as well as the nation’s first public residential high school for academically gifted students, N.C. School of Science and Mathematics. The UNC System is among the strongest and most diverse higher education systems in the nation, with over $1.5 billion in research expenditures, a wide array of HBCUs, liberal arts institutions, comprehensive universities, and R-1 research institutions. Its institutions support two medical schools and a teaching hospital, two law schools, a veterinary school, a school of pharmacy, 11 nursing programs, 15 schools of education, five schools of engineering and a renowned arts conservatory. The North Carolina Arboretum, UNC Press, and the UNC Center for Public Television, with its 12-station broadcast network, are also all UNC System affiliate organizations.

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 330,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 149 countries. More than 169,000 live in North Carolina.

 

About UNC Health Care
UNC Health Care is an integrated health care system comprised of UNC Medical Center and its provider network, UNC Faculty Physicians, UNC Physicians Network, the clinical patient care programs of the UNC School of Medicine. Additional hospital entities and health care systems include UNC REX Healthcare, Chatham Hospital, Johnston Health, Pardee Hospital, High Point Regional Health, Caldwell Memorial, Nash Health Care, Wayne Memorial, UNC Lenoir Health Care and UNC Rockingham Health Care.

 

 

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers fight against current Ebola outbreak

For immediate use

 

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers fight against the current Ebola outbreak

 

New drugs needed to fight the current Ebola outbreak and other emerging diseases

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – July 5, 2018) – Research conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is aiding the fight against the deadly Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo that has been declared “largely contained” by the World Health Organization. Carolina researchers are providing on-the-ground care to Ebola patients, continuing to monitor Ebola survivors from the 2014 outbreak to learn more about the virus, and tested the experimental drug remdesivir that has been provided to the government of Congo for emergency treatment of patients infected with Ebola.

 

Ebola virus’ fatality rate for humans is around 50 percent. The world’s population is now highly mobile and the threat of diseases like Ebola quickly spreading across the globe is a major public health concern. A better understanding of emerging viruses and effective new antiviral drugs are both urgently needed to rapidly respond to Ebola outbreaks and other emerging pandemic threats.

 

Drs. William Fischer II and David Wohl of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine have been studying Ebola survivors in Liberia since 2014, establishing a cohort to learn more about treatment of acute infection, lingering clinical complications and viral persistence. Fischer is also the co-lead and Wohl is an investigator for an ongoing National Institutes of Health-funded study of remdesivir, a new experimental antiviral drug, in men who have evidence of Ebola virus in their semen.

 

Additionally, Carolina researchers were involved in testing remdesivir. Remdesivir is an investigative new drug created by Gilead Sciences Inc. and tested in the lab of Ralph Baric, professor of epidemiology in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill. It is thought to work by blocking a key enzyme that viruses need for replication. As part of a clinical development program, remdesivir has been given to more than 100 people to date.

 

Baric is a world-renowned coronavirus expert who has pioneered rapid response approaches for the study of emerging viruses and the development of therapeutics. Baric’s team provided its vast biological knowledge and specialized state-of-the-art Biosafety Level 3 laboratories required for testing remdesivir against highly pathogenic emerging coronaviruses, which Gilead needed to prepare this drug for clinical trial. Baric and his team discovered that remdesivir works in the lab against severe acute respiratory syndrome, Middle East respiratory syndrome and all coronaviruses they have tested against to date.

 

“Our collaboration with Gilead represents a new paradigm for developing robust rapid response solutions to control newly emerging diseases, like Ebola, MERS and other highly pathogenic viruses,” said Baric.

 

Remdesivir has not been proven safe or effective and is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration or any other regulatory body worldwide for commercial use. The FDA has approved it for compassionate use – treatment of seriously ill patients when no approved treatments are available. In May 2018, remdesivir was cleared by the health ministry of the Democratic Republic of Congo for use during the current Ebola outbreak in the country and Gilead provided 360 doses of the drug.

 

Carolina physicians have also provided on-the-ground patient care during Ebola outbreaks. Fischer has been involved in the response to each Ebola outbreak since 2014 and has been in Congo since mid-May, providing direct care to Ebola patients.

 

-Carolina-

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 323,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 149 countries. More than 169,000 live in North Carolina.

 

University Communications: Audrey Smith, (919) 445-8555, mediarelations@unc.edu

 

UNC Health Care CEO, Medical School Dean Bill Roper Plans to Step Down in 2019

For immediate use

 

UNC Health Care CEO, Medical School Dean Bill Roper Plans to Step Down in 2019


Dr. Roper led expansion efforts in education, research, and clinical care that improved health for all North Carolinians

 

 

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.  – May 31, 2018 ­– Dr. William L. Roper, who has helped transform UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine into one of the nation’s top academic medical institutions, plans to step down as CEO and dean in May 2019.

 

“It has been a high honor to serve with so many talented and committed people. I know that our team is well equipped to continue taking on the challenges of a rapidly evolving medical and health care landscape,” Roper said. “Our mission, our patients and our providers are in good hands.”

 

Roper joined UNC-Chapel Hill as dean of the School of Public Health in 1997. In 2004, he became CEO of UNC Health Care, dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs. In those roles, he has expanded the reach of the health care system and medical school and helped improve the health of all North Carolinians. He’s also been a passionate advocate for health issues that affect residents of North Carolina at the state and federal levels.

 

“Dr. Roper has championed a broad range of innovative teaching, treatment and patient-care initiatives that have expanded and rippled across our state to provide patients with quality, accessible and affordable health care,” said UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “Bill has provided a remarkable record of leadership, always with the people of North Carolina in his heart and on his mind.”

 

Under Roper’s leadership, UNC Health Care has expanded into a statewide system with more than a dozen hospitals, more than 30,000 employees and nearly $5 billion in annual revenue. His commitment to teaching and training the next generation of physicians has improved access across the state, especially in rural areas.

 

“Without question, Dr. Roper has a proven track record of service to our state, our people and to our future health,” said Dale Jenkins, chair of the UNC Health Care Board of Directors. “Throughout a long career of public service, he has made an impact on health care nationally, but most importantly, he has elevated health care to new levels here in North Carolina.”

 

At the UNC School of Medicine, total research funding has increased more than 50 percent since 2004 to $441 million last year, making it one of the preeminent medical research programs in the country. Roper has spearheaded efforts to expand its footprint across the state. He has cultivated relationships with other medical leaders and opened doors for medical students to train in Asheville, Charlotte and Wilmington. Today, the medical school trains more than 2,400 inter-professional health care providers and medical students annually, including many who choose to practice in our state after their education. Roper also has helped expand and add numerous medical, teaching and research facilities at UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC Health Care.

 

“Since Dr. Roper arrived at UNC, he has leveraged his expertise, experience and political acumen to guide this institution’s medical program and the state’s health care system into the 21st century,” said UNC System President Margaret Spellings. “His robust vision has ensured that we will be ready to meet the needs of our state’s aging and growing population.”

 

Roper, who turns 70 this summer, plans to step down on May 15, 2019. The University and UNC Health Care soon will begin a national search for his successor.

 

Photo of Roper: https://tinyurl.com/roper-william

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 323,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 149 countries. More than 169,000 live in North Carolina.

 

About UNC Health Care

UNC Health Care is an integrated health care system comprised of UNC Hospitals and its provider network, UNC Faculty Physicians, UNC Physicians Network, the clinical patient care programs of the UNC School of Medicine. Additional hospital entities and health care systems include UNC REX Healthcare, Chatham Hospital, Johnston Health, Pardee Hospital, High Point Regional Health, Caldwell Memorial, Nash Health Care, Wayne Memorial, UNC Lenoir Health Care and UNC Rockingham Health Care.

 

University Communications contact: Audrey Smith, (919) 445-8555, audrey.smith@unc.edu

UNC Health Care contact: Alan Wolf, (919) 218-7103, alan.wolf@unchealth.unc.edu

 

UNC-Chapel Hill experts available to discuss mosquito and tick-borne diseases

UNC-Chapel Hill experts available to discuss mosquito and tick-borne diseases

 

Diseases transmitted by ticks, mosquitoes and fleas – which include Lyme disease, Zika and West Nile virus – have tripled in the U.S., according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As warmer temperatures lead Americans to spend more time outdoors, it is important that people understand the risks and how to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes and ticks. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers and physicians are available to discuss the rise in vector-borne diseases, prevention recommendations and treatment options for these diseases, and meat allergies resulting from tick bites.

 

If you’d like to speak with an expert, call (919) 445-8555 or email mediarelations@unc.edu.

 

Dr. Ross Boyce is an infectious diseases fellow with the division of infectious diseases in the UNC School of Medicine. He studies malaria and dengue in East Africa. He can discuss prevention, diagnostics and treatment of vector-borne diseases as well as how climate change is impacting where these illnesses are found. He is currently studying tick-borne diseases in North Carolina.

 

 

 

Dr. Scott Commins is a professor of allergy and immunology in the UNC School of Medicine. He is a leading expert on alpha-gal meat allergy, which is believed to result from tick bites. He sees patients with this condition in the UNC Allergy and Immunology Clinic and he is one of a few experts in the U.S. who are conducting clinical research regarding this poorly understood yet often serious allergy. He is available to discuss alpha-gal.

 

 

 

Dr. Steve Meshnick is a professor of epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a professor of microbiology and immunology in the UNC School of Medicine. He has spent the last 30 years researching tropical infectious diseases. He can discuss malaria, including drug resistance, prevention and pregnancy. He also studies tick-borne diseases and was part of a research team that showed that treating clothing with the long-lasting tick repellent permethrin can protect outdoor workers in North Carolina from ticks.

 

 

Dr. David Weber is a professor of epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a professor of pediatrics and medicine in the UNC School of Medicine’s Division of Infectious Diseases and Department of Pediatrics. He is also a member of UNC Hospitals’ Zika Response Working Group. He can discuss the increase in tick, mosquito and flea-borne diseases in the U.S. and share a clinical perspective on Lyme disease, Zika and other vector-borne diseases, and recommendations for how to protect against insect bites.

 

 

 

P: (919) 445-8555  |  E: mediarelations@unc.edu

 

 

UNC-Chapel Hill experts available to discuss vaping and new tobacco products

UNC-Chapel Hill experts available to discuss vaping and new tobacco products

 

A host of new tobacco products, including e-cigarettes like JUULs, have entered the market in recent years, bringing new public health concerns with them. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are studying the health and societal impacts of emerging tobacco products. UNC-Chapel Hill experts are available to discuss topics including e-cigarettes’ health impacts, their failure as smoking cessation tools, the differences in how smoking and vaping affect the body, and e-cigarette explosions and the resulting chemical burn injuries.

 

If you’d like to speak with an expert, call (919) 445-8555 or email mediarelations@unc.edu.

 

 

Dr. M. Bradley Drummond is an associate professor of medicine at UNC School of Medicine and the director of the Obstructive Lung Diseases Clinical and Translational Research Center. He can discuss the health consequences of these new tobacco products and how they vary from traditional cigarettes. He can also discuss how these products exacerbate other conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and other chronic lung diseases.

 

 

 

Dr. Adam Goldstein is a professor in the UNC department of family medicine, the director of tobacco intervention programs at UNC School of Medicine, and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. He can discuss the potential drawbacks versus any potential benefit of using these products as smoking cessation tools and can share evidence-based strategies to stop smoking. He can also speak to trends in teen tobacco use.

 

 

 

 

Kurt Ribisl is a professor and chair of the department of health behavior at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and the program leader for Cancer Prevention and Control at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Ribisl specializes in tobacco policy and regulation and can speak to taxation, advertising and marketing of new tobacco products and recommendations for preventing youth access.   

 

 

 

 

Robert Tarran is an associate professor of cell biology and physiology at UNC School of Medicine and a member of UNC Marsico Lung Institute. He can discuss the science of vaping, including how e-cigarettes impact a person’s lungs, including their genes and what happens to the lung’s immune system. He can also speak to the varying toxic effects of different e-cigarette flavors. 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Felicia Williams is an assistant professor of surgery at UNC School of Medicine and her specialties include trauma and burn surgery. She can discuss e-cigarette explosions and resulting injuries, including the need for trauma centers to know about the unique chemical burns that result from e-cigarette explosions.

 

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Williams is a research associate at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is a leading expert on internet tobacco sales, age verification, technology and emerging tobacco products, including the wide variety of vaping devices available today. Her research has shown that online e-cigarette vendors routinely sold to minors, a finding that underscores the need for regulations requiring and enforcing age verification for the online sale of e-cigarettes. She can discuss the sales and marketing practices of websites that sell emerging tobacco products, and underage access to these online products.

 

 

P: (919) 445-8555  |  E: mediarelations@unc.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill expert available to discuss E. coli romaine lettuce outbreak

UNC-Chapel Hill expert available to discuss E. coli romaine lettuce outbreak

 

Rachel Noble is a nationally renowned environmental microbiologist from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is available to discuss the current E. coli outbreak. She is a leading researcher in the development of rapid methods for testing E. coli in leafy green produce. She has a patented test that is currently being used by produce packers on the West Coast and it takes less than two hours to yield results (compared to most of the conventional tests that take at least 24 hours to yield results). She can discuss why speed in testing is essential to preventing contaminated produce from reaching consumers, while maintaining economic benefit. She can also discuss causes and pathogens associated with an E. coli outbreak, why people are at risk, and the changing regulatory frameworks for E. coli monitoring in produce.

 

If you’d like to speak with Rachel Noble, call (919) 445-8555 or email mediarelations@unc.edu.

 

P: (919) 445-8555  |  E: mediarelations@unc.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill receives $10 million commitment from Pope Foundation to advance core areas of excellence and service

For immediate use

 

 

UNC-Chapel Hill receives $10 million commitment from Pope Foundation to advance core areas of excellence and service

 

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – April 23, 2018) Today, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced a $10 million commitment from the John William Pope Foundation to support a combination of core areas where Carolina excels: cancer research, multidisciplinary and innovative thinking, excellence in sport and being of and serving the state’s citizens.

 

The gift supports For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the University’s history. On Oct. 6, 2017, Carolina launched the second largest fundraiser for a public university in the nation. With a goal of $4.25 billion by Dec. 31, 2022, the Campaign for Carolina is inspired by the Blueprint for Next, the University’s overall strategic plan built on two core strategies: “of the public, for the public,” and “innovation made fundamental.”

 

“I am so grateful for this wonderful gift from the Pope Foundation,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “They are providing much needed support in critical areas from growing educational programs to fighting disease to supporting our student-athletes. Taken together, this gift will touch our students and faculty, promoting their success, leadership and impact in North Carolina and beyond.”

 

“The foundation supports the challenge to give back to UNC’s ‘strategic triad’ of teaching, research and public service,” said Art Pope, Pope Foundation chairman and a Carolina alumnus. “When Chapel Hill and other state institutions of higher education succeed at their core missions, we all succeed. My family and I are honored to contribute to that success — to achieve the Lux et Libertas, the ‘Light and Liberty,’ that graces the University’s seal. We encourage other North Carolinians to do the same.”

 

The commitment announced today will provide:

  • $5 million to the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to establish the John William Pope “Tomorrow’s Best Hope” Endowed Fellowship Fund. The fund will generate nearly $250,000 each year for competitively awarded fellowships to recruit, educate and train future oncologists and cancer researchers to reduce cancer’s burden in the state and beyond. Lineberger is one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S., and the only public comprehensive cancer center in North Carolina. 
  • $3.75 million to the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) Program in the College of Arts & Sciences to support hiring two new faculty positions and two visiting assistant professorships. The gift will also fund a lecture series to bring prominent speakers to campus to discuss public issues from a philosophical, political and economic perspective. The funds will help the college’s efforts to elevate one of the most popular and fastest-growing academic minors to a major. The PPE Program develops students’ analytical skills to see issues from the perspective of all three of the core disciplines. 
  • $1 million to track-and-field scholarships in the Department of Athletics to create two in-state scholarships, one male and one female. It will be the program’s 16th scholarship in men’s track and field and 14th scholarship in women’s track and field. Carolina’s track-and-field program has won 37 ACC team championships and 30 NCAA event championships. 
  • $250,000 to the UNC Horizons Program to conduct a follow-up study with up to 125 women and their children enrolled in the program. The data from that study will help other states and countries model their programs helping women and children break the cycle of addiction and poverty. The funds will also eliminate a barrier to successful completion of the Horizons program by ensuring child care services for women undergoing treatment. UNC Horizons provides an outreach service to the state to treat pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorders. In 2016-17, the program enrolled 266 women, with 77 percent employed by the time they graduated.

With this latest commitment, the Pope Foundation and family members have more than doubled their lifetime giving to Carolina. Past gifts include a $1.3 million gift in 2014 to fund cancer research and treatment and a $2 million gift in 2006 for Carolina athletics’ football program and other areas on campus.

 

Additional quotes from university leaders:

“Thank you to the Pope Foundation for this generous gift, which will allow us to recruit the best and brightest oncologists and cancer researchers to Chapel Hill where they will join our outstanding researchers in the development of new cancer therapies. The impact of this work will be felt by our patients here in Chapel Hill, and cancer patients around the world.”
– Dr. William L. Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care, dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill

 

“I am proud of this program for its interdisciplinary approach to learning and its emphasis on helping students develop transferable skills that prepare them for a wide variety of careers.”
– Kevin Guskiewicz, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences

 

“Carolina has a long history of excellence in track and field, and this generous gift from the Pope Foundation will add to that tradition. It will enable us to recruit the very best student-athletes in the sport, and it will help us continue to compete at the highest level.”
– Bubba Cunningham, UNC-Chapel Hill director of athletics

 

“This generous gift will provide the needed systematic outcome and cost effectiveness data to unlock the potential for the Horizons model to help women and children in North Carolina and across the country.”
– Dr. Hendrée Jones, UNC Horizons executive director and professor of obstetrics and gynecology

 

-Carolina-

 

About the John William Pope Foundation

Founded in 1986 and located in Raleigh, the Pope Foundation makes grants to advance individual freedom, personal responsibility and encourage opportunity for all North Carolinians. The Pope Foundation’s lifetime giving totals more than $145 million directed to over 400 nonprofits.  The Pope Foundation receives its support from the Pope family, owner and operator of the Henderson-based Variety Wholesalers, Inc.

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 322,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 165 countries. More than 175,000 live in North Carolina.

 

University Communications Contact: Carly Swain, (919) 445-8555, mediarelations@unc.edu

 

 

UNC-Chapel Hill experts available to discuss autism

UNC-Chapel Hill experts available to discuss autism

 

April is Autism Awareness Month and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers and clinicians are behind much of the leading research and clinical service for autism. UNC-Chapel Hill launched the UNC Autism Research Center in 2017 and is second in the world in peer reviewed research on autism, with 32 departments and almost 100 researchers who have awards for autism-focused research. Our experts are available to discuss topics, including:

 

  • Statistics on the number of individuals with autism in the U.S. and in North Carolina
  • Genetic and environmental risks for autism, including UNC-Chapel Hill’s participation in the nation’s largest study of genetics in autism (SPARK)
  • Brain changes that occur during the first two years of life that result in the emergence of autism, and the scans that can reveal these changes
  • How to recognize the symptoms of autism in a child and the importance of early intervention strategies for infants and toddlers
  • How to support the transition from high school to college or employment for adolescents and young adults with autism
  • Statistics on autism in adulthood including rates of employment, quality of life and service needs
  • The emerging field of aging with autism
  • Clinical trials treating autism with sulforaphane (broccoli extract)

 

 

If you’d like to speak with an expert, call (919) 445-8555 or email mediarelations@unc.edu.