Selected Pre-proposals

Advancing Data Science to Generate Insights for Treatment of Chronic Diseases

Team: Roger Akers, John Buse, Tim Carey, Stephen Cole, Michael Emch, Sandra Greene, Michael Hudgens, Michele Jonsson Funk, Alex Keil, Michael Kosorok, Ashok Krishnamurthy, Peter Leese, Alex Tropsha, and Til Stürmer

The goal of this project is to integrate healthcare and socioeconomic data and apply novel statistical models to drive healthcare predictive analytics, inform decision-making, and optimize chronic disease treatment.


Chemical Biology of the Epigenome Initiative

Team: Ian Davis, Robert Duronio, Stephen Frye, Lindsey James, Dmitri Kireev, Pengda Liu, Gregory Matera, Shaun McCullough, Daniel McKay, Samantha Pattenden, Ken Pearce, John Sondek, Brian Strahl, and Marcey Waters

The goal of this project is to integrate chemical biology with epigenetics to address “how epigenetics contribute to life.” Chemical biology tools will be used to empower researchers to gain fundamental insights into areas such as contribution of epigenetic pathways to model organism development, identification of epigenetic biomarkers of chemical exposure to air toxins, and drug discovery in cancer.


UNC Exposome Hub

Team: Stan Ahalt, Sarav Arunachalam, Arlene Chung, Lawrence Engel, Stephanie Engel, Barbara Entwisle, Elizabeth Frankenberg, Michel Gagné, Greg Gangi, Amelia Gibson, Kathleen Gray, Leslie Hicks, Ralph House, Ilona Jaspers, Jeffrey Johnson, Ashok Krishnamurthy, Matthew Lockett, Kun Lu, Gary Marchionini, Javed Mostafa, Shahriar Nirjon, David Peden, Cor Rademaker, Arcot Rajasekar, Matthew Redinbo, Lea Shanley, Sergei Sheiko, Melissa Troester, Cyrus Vaziri, and Marcey Waters

The UNC Exposome Hub is a broadly-based, intra-institutional collaboration focused on examining the long-term effects of environmental exposure on health. The Hub will bring together UNC researchers to comprehensively address topics in Exposomics that include wearable, modular sensor development with data tools and analytics to predict patterns in environmental exposure, identify potential clinical solutions, and develop decision support systems to better incorporate real-time environmental analyses into the study of disease and health. The effort will draw upon UNC expertise in social science, computer/information science, chemistry, applied physical science, environmental science, epidemiology, and medical researchers and practitioners focused on developing novel exposure-evidence based precision health practices.


Heterogeneity in Obesity: Transdisciplinary Approaches for Precision Research and Treatment

Team: Christy Avery, Anna Bardone-Cone, Silvana Barros, Ethan Bausch, Vicki Bautch, Diane Berry, John Buse, Ian Carroll, Kimon Divaris, Elizabeth Frankenberg, John E French, Rebecca Fry, Penny Gordon-Larsen, Annie Green Howard, Steve Hursting, Michael Kosorok, Craig Lee, Jennifer Leeman, Leslie Lytle, Sriram Machineni, Katie Meyer, Kari North, Sally Stearns, Susan Sumner, Deb Tate, and Steve Zeisel

The goal of this project is to conduct synergistic and integrated science across basic, clinical, and population realms to investigate heterogeneity of the etiology of obesity and its clinical health consequences and responses.


Incubator for Data Engagement and Action (IDEAhub)

Team: Daniel Anderson, Melanie Feinberg, Jordynn Jack, Tessa Joseph-Nicholas, Ketan Mayer-Patel, and Jane Thrailkill

This project addresses misinformation and misconceptions about science and health spread through social media by making data tools and methodologies more easily available to researchers and by bridging the perspectives of humanists and data scientists. The goal is to develop interventions that correct/limit misinformation to improve social media exchanges and influence public policy.


Programmable design of tissue-mimetic materials

Team: Ronit Freeman, Kevin Guskiewicz, Sivakumar Jaikumar, Frank Leibfarth, Matthew Lockett, Sergei Sheiko, Richard Superfine, and Melissa Troester

The goal of this project is to develop a data-driven platform for designing and making bio-mimetic materials using precision engineering of polymer networks to yield targeted properties. These materials would be used in individually tailored medical devices and implants.


Sustainable access to safe water: Graphene-polymer nanocomposite membranes for water purification, energy production and storage

Team: Orlando Coronell, Theo Dingemans, Greg Forest, Benny Freeman (UT Austin), Cass T. Miller, and Jill Stewart

The goal of this project is to develop novel, affordable and scalable graphene-polymer nanocomposites as membranes for water purification (remove salts, heavy metals and pathogens), energy generation and energy storage applications. The team has the scale-up equipment and expertise to produce these new nanocomposites in kg quantities and test them under real-life operating conditions.

Next Steps

  • Full proposals are due on March 12, 2018
  • Brief public presentations from each proposal team after proposal deadline
    • Target date: Second half of March
  • Notification of Award: April 16, 2018