University of North Carolina System names A. Wesley Burks, M.D. CEO of UNC Health Care and UNC-Chapel Hill Medical School Dean

        

 

News Release

Media contacts:
Audrey Smith, (919) 962-8596                                      Phil Bridges, (984) 974-1152
audrey.smith@unc.edu                                              phil.bridges@unchealth.unc.edu

 

University of North Carolina System names A. Wesley Burks, M.D.  CEO of UNC Health Care and

UNC-Chapel Hill Medical School Dean


Dr. Burks tapped to lead growth efforts in education, research, and clinical care

for North Carolina’s health system

 

(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.  – Dec. 14, 2018) ­– Dr. A. Wesley Burks, who has served as executive dean for the UNC School of Medicine and as a member of UNC Health Care’s senior leadership team, has been named CEO of UNC Health Care, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine, and Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill.

 

Burks succeeds Dr. Bill Roper who announced his retirement last May and was appointed in October to serve as interim president of the UNC System beginning in mid-January. He will begin his new role on Jan. 15.

Burks’ name was presented by President Margaret Spellings to the Board of Governors for a vote following unanimous votes by the UNC Health Care Board of Directors and the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees.

 

“Dr. Burks is the right person to lead UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine at a time of tremendous and unprecedented change in the health care industry,” said Spellings. “Having served as executive dean and member of UNC Health Care’s senior leadership team, he is uniquely positioned to immediately develop and execute a strategy that leads our health care system and School of Medicine into the future.”

 

“It is the highest honor to serve these amazing institutions as CEO and Dean,” said Burks. “I look forward to working with many people, especially our talented team, to develop and communicate a strategic vision and long-term goals for the institution, while strengthening our national and international standing. I am humbled and appreciative of the confidence placed in me by the Board of Governors, Board of Trustees and UNC Health Care Board of Directors.”

 

“No greater service can be rendered to the citizens of North Carolina than having the opportunity to receive quality, accessible and affordable health care. It is also our responsibility to teach the next generation of health care professionals while we continue our research that is changing the future of medicine. That is a huge responsibility, and having worked closely with Wesley for years I know he will lead the UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health Care forward.” said UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “A world-renowned researcher who has dedicated his professional life to finding new cures for the most deadly diseases, Wesley embraces compassionate care outcomes that change the lives of patients and their families. Thanks to his focus on education, there are thousands of caring physicians and clinicians providing the best, affordable care across our state, nation and world.”

 

Dr. Burks has spent over 30 years taking care of patients, conducting research, helping to educate trainees, and leading institutions. He joined UNC in 2011 as physician-in-chief of the North Carolina Children’s Hospital and was named chair of the department of pediatrics in 2012. In 2015, he was named executive dean of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Prior to serving at UNC, Burks worked at Duke University Medical Center and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He is a well-published and renowned researcher in the field of pediatric allergy and immunology.  Burks led a research team that was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine for the world’s first treatment for potentially fatal peanut allergies.

 

“I could not be more pleased at the appointment of Dr. Burks to lead our health care system and school of medicine,” stated Charlie Owen, chair of UNC Health Care Board of Directors. “Wesley is a tremendous leader and visionary with the perfect combination of business acumen, researcher and educator to advance our institutions.

 

Burks resides in Chapel Hill with his wife, Jan. They have three children and four grandchildren.

 

Photo of Burks:  http://news.unchealthcare.org/photo-library/leadership/wesley-burks/view

 

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 74 bachelor’s, 104 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools including the College of Arts & 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, US Territories and 162 countries. Almost 178,000 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, and 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, Caldwell UNC Memorial, Nash UNC Health Care, Wayne UNC Memorial, UNC Lenoir Health Care and UNC Rockingham Health Care.

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UNC-Chapel Hill alumnae Emily Venturi and Alice Huang named Schwarzman Scholars

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For immediate use

 

UNC-Chapel Hill alumnae Emily Venturi and Alice Huang named Schwarzman Scholars

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— Dec. 7, 2018) – Emily Venturi, a 2018 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Alice Huang, a 2016 graduate, have been selected for the Schwarzman Scholars program, an elite China-based scholarship modeled after the Rhodes Scholarship, founded by Blackstone co-founder and CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman.

 

Venturi and Huang were two of about 140 Schwarzman Scholars chosen in November from around the world for the fourth cohort of Schwarzman Scholars. They are the sixth and seventh Schwarzman Scholars from UNC-Chapel Hill. This innovative master’s degree program supports study at China’s prestigious Tsinghua University and bridges the academic and professional worlds to educate students about leadership and China’s expanding role in the world.

 

“Being named a Schwarzman scholar is an exceptional achievement. This scholarship is also a passport to international studies and new experiences for these two amazingly talented graduates,” said Chancellor Carol L Folt. “Thanks to the Schwarzman opportunity, Emily will continue her insightful work in the area of refugee protection, and Alice will take her studies in development economics to the next level. I know we will read about their successes in the years to come.”

 

Venturi, 23, from Trieste, Italy, is the daughter of Vittorio Venturi and Tracy Katherine Stannard and is the first Italian woman to be awarded the scholarship. She graduated from the United World College in 2014. Venturi graduated from Carolina in May 2018 with highest distinction, majoring in political science and economics.

 

Venturi came to UNC-Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar, becoming a member of Honors Carolina and a scholar with the Buckley Public Service Program, which combines a substantial and sustained commitment to public service with structured training and reflection on that service. Venturi currently works in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the Division of Resilience and Solutions. She is also a research assistant for UNC-Chapel Hill’s political science department, studying European Union integration and multi-level governance. While at Carolina, Venturi was senior editor for “The Internationalist,” UNC-Chapel Hill’s undergraduate research journal for international affairs.

 

“I feel humbled and thrilled for the opportunity to spend a year in Beijing as a Schwarzman Scholar—I couldn’t imagine a more exciting community for my graduate studies,” Venturi said. “Understanding China’s strategic influence in forced displacement crises is going to be key for the future of the field and I’m looking forward to this new challenge at Tsinghua University. I’m beyond thankful for the support that I received at Carolina to develop the lifelong friendships, academic interests and mentorship relationships that all really make a difference.”

 

Venturi’s commitment to innovative approaches to refugee protection stems from her work in impact-investing for refugee integration in Armenia, her research in migration’s role in EU development policy in Senegal and her teaching of an undergraduate seminar in comparative legal studies in the United States. Emily plans to use her time at Tsinghua University studying how China’s global role will strengthen cooperation and solutions in forced displacement crises. Ultimately, Venturi plans to continue her work to mobilize international stakeholders for the protection and integration of displaced people worldwide.

 

“It only takes a short conversation with Emily to see that she is a very unusual person. She is perhaps the most internationally minded person I have met at UNC-Chapel Hill,” said Dr. Inger Brodey, director of Carolina’s Office of Distinguished Scholarships. “Emily is remarkable for her hands-on research experience around the world, as well as in her ease in working with foreign ambassadors and their staffs in Senegal, Rome and Brussels. She will be a natural to the kind of high-level networking that the Schwarzman community offers and will be an important force in establishing better structures for immigration and displaced peoples.”

 

Huang, 24, from Chapel Hill, is the daughter of Weishi Huang and Qinghong Yang. She graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in 2012. She graduated from the UNC-Chapel Hill in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree with highest distinction in economics and mathematics. Huang currently works in New York City as an associate analyst and research assistant for NERO Economic Consulting.

 

“I’m excited and deeply grateful to have been named a Schwarzman Scholar,” said Huang. “I’m thankful to friends, family and mentors along the way who have not only fostered my interest in international development, but have also, over the years, helped me embrace my Chinese-American heritage. I’m excited to embark on this personally and professionally transformative experience!”

 

At UNC-Chapel Hill, Huang was an Honors Carolina student and a Morehead-Cain Scholar. Huang served as the executive director of Students for Students International, which promotes education and provides sustainable educational resources for exceptional students in the developing world. She also worked as a student consultant for Oxford Microfinance Initiative in Oxford, England, and was a summer research assistant at Peking University China Center for Health Economics Research in Beijing, China. During her senior year at UNC-Chapel Hill, Huang was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English as a Foreign Language in Kolkata, India. Huang also completed an honors thesis about the impact of the Great Chinese Famine on health outcomes.

 

Huang plans to pursue a career in development economics, using the Schwarzman Scholarship to converse with China’s development practitioners and entrepreneurs to exchange best practices from the field and to learn about policy and negotiations in a Chinese context. She hopes to work for a strategy consulting firm that specializes in global development and to oversee a collaborative development agenda between the U.S., China and other global leaders.

 

“The Schwarzman selection committee foresees that with her academic expertise and exceptional experience in England and India, as well as China, Alice will be in an excellent position to shape international development policies in the coming decades,” said Brodey. “A Schwarzman Scholarship will enable her to do so from a perspective enriched by the Chinese experts that she will meet during her time at Tsinghua University.”

 

The worldwide competition attracted 2,887 applicants for approximately 140 Schwarzman Scholarships. The Schwarzman Scholars program is the first scholarship created to respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century by giving students the opportunity to develop leadership skills and professional networks through a one-year master’s degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Immersed in the culture of Beijing, the scholars are surrounded by an international community of thinkers, innovators and senior leaders in business, politics and society. In this environment of intellectual engagement, professional development and cultural exchange, they pursue their academic disciplines, travel, build their leadership capacities and develop a better understanding of China.

-Carolina-

Photo of Venturi: https://bit.ly/2riVwZt

Photo of Huang: https://bit.ly/2zEF2PU

 

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 74 bachelor’s, 104 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools including the College of Arts & 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, US Territories and 162 countries. Almost 178,000 live in North Carolina.

 

Office of Distinguished Scholarships contacts: Inger Brodey, (919) 843-0965, brodey@email.unc.edu and Sarah George, (919) 843-7757, georgese@email.unc.edu 

 

 

University Communications: Media Relations, (919) 445-8555, mediarelations@unc.edu

 

UNC-Chapel Hill student Maggie Hilderbran named Marshall Scholar

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For immediate use

 

 

UNC-Chapel Hill student Maggie Hilderbran named Marshall Scholar

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— Dec. 6, 2018) – Maggie Hilderbran, a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been named a recipient of the Marshall Scholarship, a graduate studies scholarship to study at up to two United Kingdom institutions, in any field of study.

 

Maggie is one of 40 Americans selected for the one- and two-year awards, which provide university fees, cost of living expenses, annual book grants, thesis grant, research and daily travel grants and fares to and from the United States, an average award of £35,000 per year. She is Carolina’s 18th Marshall Scholar, and was one of only 32 recipients of the two-year Marshall award.

 

“I’m honored to have been selected for a Marshall Scholarship,” Hilderbran said. “It’s thrilling to know that for the next two years I’ll have the opportunity to dig deeper into my fields of study, work closely with others who share my academic interests, and experience Scottish and English culture. I especially appreciate the support I’ve received from my professors and from the Office of Distinguished Scholarships, which helped me realize this dream. I’m excited to have the honor of representing Carolina in the UK for the next two years.”

 

Hilderbran, 22, is the daughter of Gregory and Carole Hilderbran, and is from Asheville, North Carolina. She is a 2015 graduate of Carolina Day School and plans to graduate from Carolina this May with a double major in physics (with a concentration in astrophysics) and religious studies, along with a minor in history.

 

“Faculty, students and staff who know Maggie see how her clear sense of what she wants to do with her life inspires her work. Thanks to her amazing academic, scientific and community building skills, I know she will make the most of this Marshall Scholarship opportunity,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “Beyond excelling in the classroom and the lab, Maggie is a student leader and mentor who also gives back through community service. With her keen ability to explain complex science to non-scientists, she will advance the world’s understanding of the importance of international space missions and research.”

 

A Carolina Scholar and Honors Carolina student with a near-perfect GPA, Hilderbran is also a Phi Beta Kappa member and the recipient of North Carolina Space Grants for undergraduate research and scholarship. She is currently writing her senior honors thesis based on her research at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab.

 

In her sophomore year, Hilderbran was the managing editor and a founding member of “UNC JOURney,” Carolina’s first interdisciplinary undergraduate research journal. She is an ambassador for the UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Undergraduate Research, promoting research on campus through information sessions and student mentoring. Hilderbran has also spent five summers as a camp counselor at Camp Illahee in Brevard, North Carolina.

 

While in England, Hilderbran plans to pursue two master’s of science degrees, one in science and religion at University of Edinburgh and another in space exploration systems at University of Leicester. Professionally, she aspires to perform astrophysics research for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where she has twice served as an intern.

 

“Maggie has an unusual strength of character and enormous energy, is mature and self-aware, and is a brilliant community builder who has left her mark on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus in more ways than one,” said Inger Brodey, director of Carolina’s Office of Distinguished Scholarships. “She is poised to become a scientist who knows how to talk to non-scientists, bridging an important gap in our current society, and serving an important role as a spokesperson for NASA and international space research.”

 

The Marshall Scholarships were founded in 1953 and finance the opportunity for young Americans of outstanding ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Approximately 40 Marshall Scholarships are awarded annually and cover study in any discipline at graduate level at a UK university: up to 32 recipients can receive the two-year award and up to eight recipients can receive the one-year award.

 

The Marshall Scholarships honor the ideals of the Marshall Plan and are named after U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall. Applicants who “have the potential to excel as scholars, leaders and contributors to improved UK-US understanding” are highly desired by Marshall Scholarships selectors.

 

-Carolina-

 

Photo of Hilderbran: https://bit.ly/2zOXUvR

 

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 74 bachelor’s, 104 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools including the College of Arts & 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, US Territories and 162 countries. Almost 178,000 live in North Carolina.

 

Office of Distinguished Scholarships contacts: Inger Brodey, (919) 843-0965, brodey@email.unc.edu and Sarah George, (919) 843-7757, georgese@email.unc.edu

 

University Communications: Media Relations, (919) 445-8555, mediarelations@unc.edu

 

 

UNC-Chapel Hill trustees honor four dedicated partners of the University with prestigious William Richardson Davie Awards

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For immediate use

 

UNC-Chapel Hill trustees honor four dedicated partners of the University with prestigious William Richardson Davie Awards

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – Nov. 16, 2018) – On Wednesday, Nov. 14, Chancellor Carol L. Folt and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees presented the board’s highest honor to four individuals who exemplify dedication, commitment and service to the University. The four recipients of the 2018 William Richardson Davie Award are Munroe Cobey of Chapel Hill, James Peacock of Chapel Hill, Kay Massey Weatherspoon of Charlotte and Leonard Wood of Atlanta, Georgia.

 

Established by the trustees in 1984, the William Richardson Davie Award is named for the Revolutionary War hero who introduced and won passage of a 1789 bill in the General Assembly to charter the University of North Carolina. Named for the man considered the father of UNC-Chapel Hill, the William Richardson Davie Award recognizes extraordinary service to the University or society.

 

  • Munroe Cobey of Chapel Hill serves on the board of directors for both the UNC College of Arts & Sciences Foundation and the Educational Foundation. Cobey served on advisory boards for Carolina Performing Arts and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Cobey and his wife, Becky, made instrumental gifts to the Educational Foundation, North Carolina Botanical Garden and UNC Children’s Hospital. They also established the Cobey First Year Seminars Course Development Fund, which supports course enhancement grants and graduate student support in the College of Arts & Sciences. Cobey earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Carolina in 1974 and met his wife Becky, class of 1975, while at Carolina.
  • James Peacock of Chapel Hill is a respected academic whose research has shaped Carolina and the understanding of global relations. He was instrumental in founding World View, a UNC-Chapel Hill public service program that prepares K-12 and community college educators to bring a global perspective into their classrooms. Peacock’s Carolina honors include the Thomas Jefferson Award, the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award and the Johnson Award for Excellence in Teaching. He served as chair for the Anthropology department, Chair of the Faculty and director of the UNC Center for International Studies. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Peacock received the Franz Boas Award of the American Anthropological Association, for which he also served as president, and the Citizen of the World bestowed by the International Affairs Council. Peacock retired from teaching at Carolina in 2015. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Duke University in 1959 and went on to earn a doctorate in social anthropology from Harvard University.
  • Kay Massey Weatherspoon of Charlotte has championed public schools, both K-12 and higher education, her entire adult life. Weatherspoon and her husband, Van, have established multiple endowed professorships to support continued world-class and potentially life-saving research at Carolina. With her brother Knox Jr., father and family, the Weatherspoons established the Massey-Weatherspoon Fund in 1984 to support the Massey Awards and Carolina Seminars. Massey Awards recognize Carolina employees for unusual, meritorious or superior contributions to the University. The Carolina Seminars lecture series gives students the opportunity to learn from influencers and thought leaders. Weatherspoon served on the Hollins University Board of Trustees and received the Hollins Medal, her alma mater’s equivalent to the Davie Award. She graduated with honors from Hollins University with a degree in Spanish in 1954. Weatherspoon married her high school sweetheart and UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus, class of 1974, Van Weatherspoon.
  • Leonard Wood of Atlanta, Georgia dedicated his life to pursuing his passion and giving back to the community. Wood currently serves on the board of Chapel Hill Foundation Real Estate Holdings, Inc. which acquires, manages and develops real estate on behalf of UNC-Chapel Hill. In 2007, Wood founded the Wood Center for Real Estate Studies at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and continues to serve as chairman of the advisory board. His career of developing apartment housing across the country includes founding Wood Partners and GLJ Partners. Wood Partners was the largest builder of multifamily homes in the United States in 2004. He is a former governor, trustee and chairman of the Multi-Family Council of the Urban Land Institute. Wood earned a bachelor’s of science degree from North Carolina State University and went on to earn an MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1972.

 

Photos of the four recently named Davie Award recipients can be found here and downloaded using the password davie.

-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 the American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in the U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 110 master’s, 64 doctorate and 7 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 and 165 counties. More than 175,000 live in North Carolina.

 

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

University Development: Kim Elenez, (919) 962-1628, kelenez@email.unc.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill announces $21M gift to support media and journalism, medicine and athletics

For immediate use

 

UNC-Chapel Hill announces $21M gift to support media and journalism, medicine and athletics

 

Largest-ever gift to School of Media and Journalism will fund new Curtis Media Center

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – Nov. 2, 2018) – Today the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced a $21.275 million gift from the Curtis Foundation, thanks to the generosity of Barbara and Don Curtis. The donation includes $10 million for the largest gift ever made to the UNC School of Media and Journalism, in part to build a new state-of-the-art media center to bring the forefront of the media world to Carolina students. Additional funding will create immersive extracurricular learning opportunities for students, and support the pursuit of service and excellence in both medicine and athletics.

 

“From his first days at Carolina, Don Curtis has dedicated his life to pioneering work in broadcast journalism,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “With the largest gift in the School of Media and Journalism’s history, the Curtis family is passing on his legacy to the next generation of journalists, creating spaces for innovation and collaboration among our students and faculty. Their generosity and commitment to Carolina, from athletics fields to the hospital and classrooms, is remarkable. This gift will keep us at the cutting edge.”

 

The gift to the School of Media and Journalism will support efforts to help students gain a foothold in a rapidly changing industry. Eight million dollars will fund the construction of the Curtis Media Center, a flexible space that brings together students and faculty in a collaborative environment around emerging technology. By eliminating both literal and figurative barriers in a state-of-the-art environment, the Curtis Media Center will challenge students to learn and practice their craft while working in teams. The adaptable teaching and production facilities will prepare students to lead the industry into a new era by immersing them in experiences to develop critical thinking, creativity and collaborative skills with the latest technology at their fingertips. The center will serve students and faculty from across campus as well as those in the School of Media and Journalism. Plans for the building will require approval from the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees prior to construction. The building is expected be completed within the next four years at a site yet to be finalized.

 

The remaining $2 million to the School of Media and Journalism expands the existing Don and Barbara Curtis Excellence Fund for Extracurricular Activities and establishes a new fund to support programs within the school. The Curtises started the extracurricular fund in 2003 to encourage and support learning experiences outside of the classroom without the worry of cost. In the 2017-18 academic year alone, the fund allowed 43 students to gain real-world, hands-on experience critical to thriving in their chosen industry.

 

“These gifts are as much for the state of North Carolina as for the University,” said Don Curtis. “For all my life, the University of North Carolina has been the primary driver of progress and change. As a result, North Carolina can hold its head high as a national leader. I can think of no better investment than in medical research and the media to ensure that this progress continues and to see that North Carolina can provide the proper leadership for the future.”

 

“The Curtis family’s long-running generosity and dedication to our school has created life-changing experiences for countless students by funding immersive learning activities outside of the classroom,” said Susan King, dean of the School of Media and Journalism. “This gift is visionary and transformational for our school and this campus. It speaks to our values of collaboration, innovation and transparency as a public institution with a responsibility to engage with issues and inform citizens.”

 

Three million dollars will support the ongoing work of the UNC School of Medicine and UNC Hospitals to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians through patient care, education and research. The UNC Athletics department will also receive $3 million to support ventures to be determined at a later date. As part of the Curtis Foundation’s $21.275 million gift, $5.275 million will fund future endeavors to be determined at a later time.

 

“The Curtis Family is a generous and engaged partner of UNC Medicine, sharing our commitment to excellent clinical care, leading-edge research and training physicians who will serve in North Carolina and beyond,” said Dr. Bill Roper, dean of the UNC School of Medicine and CEO of the UNC Health Care System. “For many years, the Curtises have funded important initiatives at the UNC Children’s Hospital, the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and in cardiovascular medicine. Thank you, Don, Barbara and Donna. We are honored by your new investment in UNC medicine.”

 

“The Curtises have long been dedicated champions of Carolina Athletics – cheering on our students during competitions while also supporting them behind the scenes,’’ said UNC director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham. “Barbara, Don and Donna believe wholeheartedly in our mission to educate and inspire through athletics, and they, in turn, have inspired us with their generosity and commitment to our University. We appreciate their gift and their investment in the future of our broad-based program and our students.”

 

The Curtis Foundation’s gift supports the most ambitious university fundraising campaign in the Southeast and in Carolina history, For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina. On Oct. 6, 2017, Carolina announced its goal to raise $4.25 billion by Dec. 31, 2022. The Campaign for Carolina secured $2.23 billion by the end of fiscal year 2018, exceeding half of its dollar goal ahead of schedule. 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.”

 

A record-breaking fiscal year 2018 raised $617 million in commitments, marking the first time Carolina has ever topped $600 million in commitments. The University exceeded fiscal year 2017’s $543.3 million by 14 percent.

 

Don Curtis of Raleigh, North Carolina, established The Curtis Foundation in 1979. A 1963 UNC alumnus and chairman and CEO of the Curtis Media Group, Don Curtis is a former member of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees and a 2005 recipient of the William Richardson Davie Award—the board’s highest honor recognizing extraordinary service to the University or society. Don also served as chair of the UNC General Alumni Association from 2011-2012. Together Don and Barbara Curtis are former members of the UNC Lineberger Board of Visitors and founded the UNC Children’s Hospital Radio-thon which has raised tens of millions of dollars since 1998. In 2006 Carolina renamed the auditorium in Memorial Hall as the Beasley-Curtis Auditorium to honor the Curtis’ contribution in renovating the dedicated space for the arts on campus.

 

Barbara Curtis is a member of The Medical Foundation of North Carolina Inc. board and the UNC Cardiovascular Board of Advisors. Barbara and daughter Donna McClatchey also serve as foundation trustees. Donna Curtis graduated from Carolina in 1993 from the School of Media and Journalism. She also serves on the Carolina Women’s Leadership Council.

 

– 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 74 bachelor’s, 104 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools including the College of Arts & 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, US Territories and 162 countries. Almost 178,000 live in North Carolina.

 

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

Office of University Development: Kim Elenez, (919) 962-1628, kelenez@email.unc.edu

Former patient donates $10 million to further blood cancer research at UNC Lineberger

Former patient donates $10 million to further blood cancer research at UNC Lineberger

 

The donor’s gift advances research of deadly leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma cancers

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— Oct. 29, 2018) – A former patient of the North Carolina Cancer Hospital and a two-time alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is showing his gratitude to the center that helped him heal. A $10 million gift from Etteinne “ET” and W. G. Champion “Champ” Mitchell of New Bern, North Carolina, will create a new fund supporting ground-breaking research in blood cancer at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, including lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma research.

 

“The Mitchells’ amazing generosity accelerates UNC Lineberger’s research to help thousands afflicted by blood cancer,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “Lineberger is working on a range of laboratory and clinical trials – which are already showing great promise – to break the code into a complex cancer that is challenging to cure. Inspired by Champ’s life-saving personal experience with our medical team, their support advances investigations into the underlying cellular mechanisms of blood cancer that can benefit thousands of people.”

 

Nearly every three minutes, one person in the United States is diagnosed with blood cancer. In 2015, Champ Mitchell was one of those individuals. Mitchell was treated for stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at North Carolina Cancer Hospital, the clinical home of UNC Lineberger. Dr. Thomas C. Shea, the John William Pope Distinguished Professor in Cancer Research, led a team of clinicians that developed a treatment approach that put Mitchell’s lymphoma into remission. The care he received at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital inspired the Mitchells to create the Champ and ET Mitchell Fund for Blood Cancer Research. This fund will accelerate research, ultimately improving the lives of future patients.

 

“Every day, 151 fellow North Carolinians learn they’re facing a daunting battle against a deadly disease. And I know from personal experience, it’s not a fight you can or should do alone,” said Champ Mitchell. “Between the support of my family and an innovative, caring team of physicians and researchers led by Dr. Shea at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital and UNC Lineberger, we fought my battle together. Today, my battle is won, but so many others need partners to fight with them. ET and I believe our gift can help the UNC Lineberger team bring all of us closer to a cure than ever before.”

 

The American Cancer Society estimates that blood cancers will cause more than 58,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2018 alone. The Mitchells’ gift will further current and future research conducted by Dr. Shea and other UNC Lineberger faculty and teams that translate fundamental knowledge into new avenues of therapy for one of the deadliest forms of cancer. For example, as co-director of UNC Lineberger’s Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program, Dr. Shea leads a research team that is studying how to reduce the risk of cancer relapse in patients following a bone or stem cell transplant.

 

UNC Lineberger is one of only a select few academic medical centers in the U.S. with the facilities, technology and personnel to develop, produce and deliver cellular immunotherapy. Cellular immunotherapy is a highly promising field of cancer research and care that involves genetically engineering a patient’s immune cells to recognize and fight the patient’s cancer.

 

Others on the UNC Lineberger team have already developed a robust portfolio of clinical trials focused on advancing cellular and other forms of immunotherapy for Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemias and multiple myeloma.

 

“This is an exceptionally generous and visionary gift from Champ and ET,” said Bill Roper, dean of the UNC School of Medicine and CEO of UNC Health Care. “Every day researchers across UNC are working together to make strides in developing new treatment options for patients fighting cancer. Thanks to the Mitchells’ leadership we will continue to accelerate our efforts to end cancers of the blood and ensure that North Carolinians have access to the most promising therapies available.”

 

“Champ and ET Mitchell have made an investment that will greatly advance our ability to conduct laboratory and clinical investigations into the underlying mechanisms that make blood cancers so challenging to cure,” said Dr. H. Shelton Earp, director of UNC Lineberger. “Our cellular immunotherapy studies have had notable success in treating some blood cancers, but these are a complex group of cancers that likely will require a number of treatment options – many of which have not yet been discovered. This gift will jump-start innovation and discovery.”

 

Champ Mitchell earned undergraduate and law degrees at UNC-Chapel Hill and is now a retired lawyer and business executive whose career included serving as CEO of Network Solutions. ET Mitchell, also retired, graduated from the University of the South and served two decades as a military intelligence officer.

 

The Mitchells’ gift supports For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina. The University’s historic $4.25 billion fundraising campaign is inspired by the Blueprint for Next, Carolina’s overall strategic framework built on two core strategies: “of the public, for the public,” and “innovation made fundamental.”

 

-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 74 bachelor’s, 104 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools including the College of Arts & 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, US Territories and 162 countries. Almost 178,000 live in North Carolina.

 

About the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

The University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill holds the distinction of being one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country, and it is the only public comprehensive cancer center in North Carolina. UNC Lineberger faculty conduct research that spans the spectrum from the laboratory to the bedside to the community with the goal of understanding the causes of cancer at the genetic and environmental levels, identifying approaches to improve the prevention and early detection of cancer, and translating scientific findings into pioneering and innovative treatments.

 

 

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

 

 

UNC-Chapel Hill and Deerfield Management announce the creation of Pinnacle Hill to accelerate the discovery of new medicines

              

 

 

UNC-Chapel Hill and Deerfield Management announce the creation of Pinnacle Hill to accelerate the discovery of new medicines

 

Deerfield Management commits up to $65 million to support the development of novel therapeutics at UNC-Chapel Hill

 

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C. and New York, N.Y. – October 22, 2018) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Deerfield Management have entered into a partnership to create Pinnacle Hill, LLC., a company seeking to discover new medicines to address the significant unmet medical needs of our times. Deerfield has committed $65 million of targeted funding and to provide drug development expertise in support of promising new drug research across a wide range of therapeutic areas.

 

The partnership will be formally launched at an event hosted by the University and Deerfield Management on October 30 at 3:30 pm at the Carolina Club on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. (Event details are at the bottom of the release.)

 

“This is a very exciting new partnership between UNC-Chapel Hill and Deerfield Management. In creating a new company, Pinnacle Hill, we are bringing together the best of academia and industry to accelerate innovative drug research,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “By investing in our faculty’s early stage research, this partnership advances our commitment to improving the health and well-being of people around the world.”

 

Research and development conducted at Pinnacle Hill will be supported by funding, expert drug development guidance, experienced project management oversight, and business strategy.  These efforts will serve to improve and accelerate the product development process and allow founding scientists to concentrate on their research.

 

Pinnacle Hill will focus on drug research projects that are approved and directed by a joint steering committee comprised of members from UNC-Chapel Hill and Deerfield leadership teams. Each selected project has the potential to receive funding to support investigational new drug enabling studies. The inaugural UNC members of the joint committee will be:

– Terry Magnuson, UNC-Chapel Hill’s vice chancellor for research and the Sarah Graham Kenan professor of genetics

– Dr. Dhiren Thakker, distinguished professor and interim dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and interim director of the Eshelman Institute for Innovation

– Dr. Blossom Damania, the Boshamer Distinguished professor of microbiology and immunology and vice dean for research in the UNC School of Medicine

 

“UNC-Chapel Hill’s world-class scientists, research centers and institutes, including the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, have enabled a culture of innovation with a focus on the patient and novel discoveries. This will play a critical role in our collaboration to help solve problems, discover new technologies and hopefully save lives,” stated James Flynn, managing partner of Deerfield Management.

 

Projects selected for support through Pinnacle Hill will receive a complete development plan with funding to support further research across the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. UNC-Chapel Hill’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy and School of Medicine, as well as institutes like the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Eshelman Institute for Innovation have drug discovery teams and core resources to support the development of new therapies to treat a wide variety of unmet medical needs. Deerfield may make additional capital investments in successful projects. Profits from successful projects, if any, will be shared by Deerfield and UNC-Chapel Hill.

 

“UNC-Chapel Hill is home to some of the world’s most innovative and life-changing research,” said Robert Blouin, executive vice chancellor and provost of UNC-Chapel Hill. “The new partnership between UNC-Chapel Hill and Deerfield Management gives us an exciting opportunity to accelerate drug discovery research at the University and advance new therapies that have the potential to improve health in North Carolina and beyond.”

 

Oct. 12, 2018 marked the 225th anniversary of the University’s founding. Carolina has a rich tradition as a public research university, conducts more than $1 billion in research activity annually and is the eleventh largest U.S. university in research volume and annual expenditures. The collaboration between the University and Deerfield will provide crucial support to accelerate early-stage research that could improve human health worldwide.

 

Pinnacle Hill launch event

  • Begins at 3:30 p.m. on October 30 at The Carolina Club
  • 150 Stadium Drive, Chapel Hill, N.C.
  • Dignitaries and guest speakers at the ceremony will include:
    • Carol L. Folt, chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill
    • Robert Blouin, executive vice chancellor and provost of UNC-Chapel Hill
    • James Flynn, managing partner of Deerfield Management
    • Peter Steelman, partner of Deerfield Management
  • Remarks will be followed by a reception.

 

On-site contact: Audrey Smith: (919) 801-1936

 

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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 74 bachelor’s, 104 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools including the College of Arts & 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, US Territories and 162 countries. Almost 178,000 live in North Carolina.

 

About Deerfield
Deerfield is an investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy.

For more information, please visit www.deerfield.com

 

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

Deerfield Management Company Communications: Karen Heidelberger, (212) 551-1600, karenh@deerfield.com

 

 

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

 

 

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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

 

UNC-Chapel Hill announces $2 million initiative to help students and families affected by Hurricane Florence

UNC-Chapel Hill announces $2 million initiative to help students and families affected by Hurricane Florence

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— Sept. 27, 2018) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill today announced a $2 million Florence Student Emergency Fund to provide support to students faced with unexpected financial hardships following Hurricane Florence. The fund is part of a broader relief effort to assist students and families who were affected by the hurricane.

 

Chancellor Carol L. Folt outlined the new student support and relief initiative at the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees meeting. The University will provide $1 million for the initiative from the University’s trademark licensing revenue and income from UNC Student Stores, in addition to funding that the University has already committed to need-based scholarships. The additional $1 million will be raised through a philanthropic match. The campus and the community can donate at giving.unc.edu/gift/relief.

 

“Today we are sending a clear message to our students who were affected by the devastation of Hurricane Florence and their families: We are here for you,” said Folt. “Recovering from a storm like Hurricane Florence takes time and resources. Carolina is a generous, caring community and many who were spared the fury of Florence have asked how they can help students whose families are still suffering in its aftermath. We’re grateful to be able to create this fund to support our fellow Tar Heels in their time of need.”

 

Carolina students who are experiencing financial hardship due to Hurricane Florence and wish to take advantage of the new fund should contact the Student Success Hub in Room 2416 at the Carolina Union or send an email to florence@unc.edu. The Hub contains specially trained teams who will work with students to develop individualized plans to meet their needs. The fund is open to all enrolled UNC-Chapel Hill students, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.

 

“During times like this, we really see Tar Heels come together and do what they can to support each other,” said Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions Steve Farmer. “We’ve heard from so many people in the community who want to contribute, and this fund is just one way to connect people who want to help those who need it most.”

 

-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: Media Relations, (919) 445-8555, mediarelations@unc.edu

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