Funded in 1992 by the National Cancer Institute, SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) is a cooperative, multidisciplinary program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that investigates breast cancer.
Providers of rural health must deal with a number of problems, including shortage of funds and staff, lack of transportation for health care recipients, an aging population, isolated dwellings, and an increase in AIDS.
Jim Jorgensen, professor and chair of the chemistry department, developed the capillary electrophoresis technique to separate small-volume samples inside tiny capillary tubes. Jorgensen’s lab is using the technique to identify and map individual proteins.
Rick Tidwell, professor of pathology, put together a consortium aimed at creating new drugs designed to fight deadly infections quickly. They developed a new drug that can be administrated in liquid form, similar to cough syrup.
Tim Bralower, associate professor of geology and of marine sciences, studies ancient plankton called foraminifera. These ancient species were fossilized in volcanic sediments offshore of Colombia, and help explain evolution and global climate change.
Historian Tom Buell analyzed library collections of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee’s letters and the government’s official records. After rethinking the Civil War, Buell says our modern perception of Lee’s leadership in the war is based mainly on myth, folklore and nostalgia.
Jan Boxill, lecturer and associate chair of philosophy, says sports reflect our values and teach us how to view ourselves and the world. Because athletes have a public role, Boxill believes there should be a mentoring system to teach athletes how to set a good example.
Donald Lysle, an associate professor of psychology, and his colleagues have identified critical links between psychological processes and the immune system. They found that certain types of cancer are associated with certain personality types.
A multidisciplinary research team is studying electrical and chemical malfunctions that can cause heart attacks. Using a chemist’s sensor, cardiologists hope to be able to predict a heart attack before it happens.
Microbiologist Bob Johnston’s work with mutant versions of a virus started off as basic research but lead to a vaccine that can save Latin American children from encephalitis. His lab now has a version that produces a green fluorescent protein which highlights and traces viral paths.
Geologist John Rogers examined the ages of various parts of Pangea, the last supercontinent. He says Ur was the first continent, formed three billion years ago. Rogers and his colleagues are now examining how geological changes influence the way we live and vice versa.
Psychiatrists are looking for a biological explanation for the bonds between people. Cort Pederson’s research suggests there is one biological system to initiate emotional attachments and another to maintain them. Josephine Johns has found that cocaine interferes with the first one.
Ted Salmon is an engineer-turned-biologist who links image-processing electronics with microscopes to examine mitosis, the cell’s way of reproducing. He is investigating why the process sometimes causes diseases like Down syndrome or cancer.
Carolina researchers are working on gene therapy to treat cystic fibrosis and hemophilia B. Richard Boucher and Jude Samulski have been working on a virus to transfer genes and replace damaged DNA. Recently, they successfully repaired the genes of a hemophilic dog and are planning human trials within the next two years.