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UNC ROI awards three research grants

UNC President Margaret Spellings announced the University of North Carolina's Research Opportunities Initiative (UNC ROI) will provide three new grants worth a total of $6.2 million to teams from six universities, including UNC-Chapel Hill, in the UNC system.

The grants are funded by the North Carolina General Assembly to promote innovative and potentially game-changing research projects within the UNC system. Priority research areas for the UNC ROI program are pharmacoengineering, advanced manufacturing, energy, data science, marine sciences as well as the military and other security-related issues.

"The research produced by our institutions continues to positively impact the lives of all North Carolinians through advancements in areas such as healthcare and clean energy," said President Spellings. "We're grateful to state lawmakers for their strong support of UNC ROI's important work."

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Research Roundup: Studies you need to hear about

From the Daily Tarheel...

Photo courtesy of Ross Boyce, studying malaria.

Innovation is alive and well in the research endeavors by UNC professors. From a skin patch that dissolves fat, a rapid diagnostic test for malaria that saves children's lives, expansive HIV intervention and revolutionary findings in bronchitis and mucins, UNC researchers lead the way in improving patients' lives and increasing knowledge within their fields. With all the research coming out the University, here are the studies to know about.

Skin patch in mice proves hopeful for combating obesity

In a study led by Zhen Gu, a professor in the UNC-NC State Department of Biomedical Engineering and Li Qiang, an assistant professor of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University, a possible treatment for obesity and diabetes was studied via the design of a small skin patch on obese mice populations.

"This is a different kind of approach to reduce the white fats to the brown ones so people can lose weight, get rid of fat and reduce complications," Gu said.

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UNC, NC State and Duke collaborate on high tech cancer treatments

How beagles and goldens could help researchers find the next cancer therapy for humans

DAVIS, Calif. — Radiation oncologist Dr. Michael Kent desperately wants to beat cancer. He's testing the latest high-tech treatments in clinical trials and using a multimillion-dollar linear accelerator so he can offer the best care to patients — whether they're beagles, golden retrievers, or the black and white terrier mix named Moo he's now treating for a recurrent tumor in her paw.

Dr. Michael Kent positions a dog for a CT scan at the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
Dr. Michael Kent (center) positions a dog for a CT scan at the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
Don Preisler/UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Kent is a veterinarian. Frustrated by the lack of treatment options for dogs with certain tumors and cancers that have metastasized, he's searching hard for new treatments to extend the lives of his patients. But because the biology of dogs and humans is so similar, what he finds here at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine could well help treat human cancers as well.

"For a long time, we've looked at humans to see how to treat dogs," Kent said. "We're starting to do a little bit of the reverse now."

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TraCS collaborates with NC State on Hospital Infant Bassinet Project

News from the Gillings School of Global Public Health...

Hospital Infant Bassinet project PI Dr. Kristin Tully returned from her maternity leave with her baby Bethany after they personally experienced the stand-alone bassinet on the postnatal unit. They attended the North Carolina State University College of Industrial Design studio course final meeting with Catherine Sullivan, Carl Seashore, Alison Stuebe, and other members of the UNC hospital infant bassinet team.

Presentations reflected the capstone of the graduate students' market research, regulatory assessment, and designs. Studio feedback involved interviews while stakeholders used the prototypes with a maternity bed from NC Women's Hospital and weighted dolls.

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Michelle Maclay, Communications Director