Carolina: A National Leader in Research

Each year, scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill oversee more than $1 billion worth of research activity, solidifying Carolina’s prominence as one of the top research universities in the nation. 

Research conducted at UNC provides teaching and training opportunities to nearly 30,000 students and fosters a creative environment where the world’s top scientists collaborate to solve problems, discover new technologies, and save lives.

The secret to UNC’s success is its ability to build interdisciplinary teams that utilize diverse perspectives to collaborate on challenges attractive to research sponsors. Carolina’s network of centers and institutes plays a crucial role in this process, providing convening points for scholars of different disciplines to move discoveries into practice and technologies into the marketplace.

Prominent Areas of Research


Drug Discovery and Pharmacoengineering

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Creating new small molecule therapeutics and developing tools and devices to precisely target therapies within the human body.


Computer and Data Science

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Leading efforts to improve the collection, management, visualization, and analysis of large sets of digital data.


Developmental Disabilities and Child Development

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Charting the developmental pathways of children from infancy to adulthood, and unlocking the mysteries behind the causes and treatment of autism spectrum disorders.


Global Public Health

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Actively researching solutions to challenges like water quality, sanitation, obesity, health systems, and alcohol, tobacco and drug use in more than 55 countries spanning six continents.


Infectious Disease

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Conducting groundbreaking studies to halt the global spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, malaria, and coronaviruses like SARS and MERS.


Materials Science and Nanotechnology

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Merging physical and life sciences to advance energy production, nanoscale manufacturing, medical devices, drug delivery, and the development of new tools for scientific analysis.


Genetics and Genome Sciences

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Expanding mankind’s knowledge of genomics to better understand and treat disease and enhance the health of humans, animals, and plants.


Social Sciences

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Exploring how human behavior is influenced by factors such as environment and genetics, and unraveling the role social environments and behavior play in disease and health disparities.


Cancer Research

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Studying the causes of cancer at the genetic and environmental levels, developing new therapies and treatments in the laboratory, and moving them through clinical trials.


Environmental Sciences

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Advancing the science of water quality and sustainability, modeling storms to aid in disaster management, and studying human exposure to pathogens and toxic substances.