STAT Madness is on | UNC-Chapel Hill – University of North Carolina

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Two discoveries from Carolina are competing in this bracket-style national tournament to find the best innovations in science and medicine. Start voting!
It’s tournament time at Carolina, a campus with legendary status as a contender in March Madness.
But this time it’s Carolina scientists who are matched in a bracket-style tournament to pick the best in science and medicine. Known as STAT Madness, the competition features two “teams” from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill vying for the popular vote against teams from other leading U.S. research universities.
New discoveries in COVID-19 research dominate the field of 64 teams. Among them is a team of UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC School of Medicine experts who helped develop molnupiravir, a pill to treat COVID-19 that’s available for high-risk patients.
But it’s anyone’s game, and a Carolina team that created a 3D-printed vaccine patch is also a finalist. The technology by pharmacy and biology experts opens the door for rapid global development of vaccination with a ‘Band-Aid”-style patch; no shot needed.
Voting is open now to help researchers gain national recognition for their work and advance to the next round. Participants can vote multiple times a day.
Because the only treatments for COVID-19 have to be injected at a hospital, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill investigated an easier, at-home treatment.
A combination of laboratory work and a phase 2 clinical trial at UNC-Chapel Hill contributed to the development of Merck’s COVID-19 pill, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved last year for emergency use in adults.
When taken at the first sign of symptoms, the pill helps clear the coronavirus and reduces hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
From the early days of the pandemic, Gillings scientists Ralph S. Baric and Timothy P. Sheahan investigated an oral antiviral to treat SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, work that was advanced during lab research by J. Victor Garcia-Martinez and Angela Wahl at the School of Medicine and Gillings virologist Lisa Gralinski.
Carolina’s impact on the development of molnupiravir was bolstered by a successful clinical trial led by UNC Health critical care physician William B. Fisher.
It’s less pain and more gain with a 3D-printed vaccine patch that delivers vaccination without a shot. Each patch is the size of a fingernail and contains 100 microneedles.
Through 3D printing, the microneedles can be easily customized to develop various vaccine patches for flu, measles, hepatitis or COVID-19 vaccines.
Researchers found that the patch drew a stronger immune response than a conventional shot, despite carrying a much smaller vaccine dose. The 3D-printed patch sets the foundation for vaccination that can be transported without special handing and self-administered.
Joe DeSimone— a 3D printing entrepreneur, an emeritus Carolina faculty member and a current Stanford University professor — developed the 3D printing fabrication with Shaomin Tian, a microbiologist at the UNC School of Medicine and Jillian Perry at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
Voting on www.statnews.com will continue through six single-elimination rounds before the winner of the popular vote is announced on April 4.
Starting March 7, masks will no longer be required in most University buildings. This change follows UNC System guidance and comes after the Orange County Health Department announced that starting Monday the county’s indoor mask requirement will be lifted. Masks will still be required on Chapel Hill Transit and in all health care settings on campus.
Nutrition researchers at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health are working to realize the promise of fitness trackers by studying what types of personalized messages and guidance can best help users modify their behavior to meet their goals.
Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz discusses how metrics are about more than just numbers. They’re about impact and the ways Carolina is accomplishing its mission of educating the next generation of leaders, serving our state and world, and delivering cutting-edge research that changes lives.
Sartaj Jhooty spent last semester studying at the University of Granada as part of the Carolina Global Launch program, which enables first-year students to spend their fall semester abroad before joining the Carolina community on campus the following spring semester.
Current hemophilia treatments have limitations for a significant number of patients. That’s why Carolina-connected startup GeneVentiv Therapeutics is developing the first universal, single-dose gene therapy for all types of hemophilia, including the toughest cases.
For more than 10 years, the UNC Center for Galápagos Studies has been a hub of collaborative research activity spanning many disciplines, with the potential to impact the globe. Diego Riveros-Iregui and Amanda Thompson, the center’s new interim co-directors, strive to use their own experiences from the islands to expand its reach and grow its reputation as a world-renowned research institution.
© 2022 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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