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Doing COVID-19 Dirty Work

Doing COVID-19 Dirty Work

Employing wastewater epidemiology — proven useful in outbreaks of polio and opioid use — UNC microbiologist Rachel Noble is leading a state-wide collaboration tracking novel coronavirus outbreaks across North Carolina, gaining insight that testing individuals does not offer. Preliminary results have shown that by using wastewater, researchers can identify COVID-19 hot spots five to seven days before they are reflected by clinical testing results.

The Most Effective Masks

UNC’s Phillip Clapp and the team at the UNC Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma, and Lung Biology are measuring the effectiveness of different masks in filtering air particles.

an illustration of a doctor walking along a tightrope shaped like a stethoscope

Answering the Tough Questions

UNC epidemiologist Jim Thomas helped develop ethical guidelines during an expected influenza outbreak in the early 2000s that never materialized. When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, Thomas knew policymakers would be looking for help again, so quickly created a pandemic ethics dashboard of answers to difficult ethical question.

Jessica Lin

Addressing Pandemic Problems

From infectious disease studies to social interventions, UNC researchers are engaged in an array of projects, making Carolina the most cited university in the U.S. for coronavirus research.

a woman in scrubs draws blood from a seated young woman

Health Care Deficits Increase COVID-19 Risk in Rural Populations

A study led by three UNC PhD students identified disparities in testing volume for rural populations in North Carolina. Informed by this work, UNC infectious disease researchers are leading a longitudinal study in Chatham County to understand how and why SARS-CoV-2 is spreading through this population.

an elderly woman in a mask looks out in the window

Helping the Hardest Hit

While the novel coronavirus has affected us all, it has drastically changed the lives of specific groups of people, from rural populations to long-term care residents to communities of color. Startling statistics among these groups have pushed UNC researchers from a variety of disciplines into action.

covid-19 virus rendering

How Does COVID-19 Impact Gene Expression?

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health researcher Kari North is comparing RNA from the blood of individuals before and after being infected by SARS-CoV-2 to study how COVID-19 alters gene expression.

two researchers in full PPE collect blood and nasal swab samples from people on the back porch of their home

Addressing Pandemic Problems

While COVID-19 has shaken the world, it has also pushed society to be more innovative and creative — two attributes that have been essential to the success of researchers at UNC. Carolina students, faculty, and staff are engaged in an abundance of projects, making UNC the most cited university in the nation for coronavirus research.

UNC phlebotomist Myra Salazar inspects a bag of plasma donated by a volunteer at the UNC Blood Donation Center.

In Our Blood

UNC experts from multiple fields are leading projects to understand how plasma and antibodies from people who contracted COVID-19 might be used to prevent and slow the spread of the virus.

Portrait of boy wearing big glasses and using laptop while studying at home with mom

The Impact of Parental Stress During COVID-19

How might parental stress during COVID-19 relate to hard parenting? This Singapore-based study from the UNC School of Social Work’s Gerard Chung, Paul Lanier, and colleagues offers important insights.