Funding Priority

A Practical and
Lasting Impact

Our research has a practical and lasting impact on patients, pursuing “bench to bedside” breakthroughs in fighting cancer, HIV, diabetes, heart disease, autism, cystic fibrosis, Zika and more. We understand and share the urgency families feel when a challenge is complex and personal, and our physician-scientists draw inspiration from the challenges to develop research with positive and enduring impact.

UNC Medicine

RESEARCH MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

Psychiatrist Joseph Piven, M.D., is director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. He leads a group of researchers at UNC using MRI scans to predict whether babies with autistic siblings will also develop autism. This research may make it possible to diagnose autism prior to 24 months of age. Clinicians can take action before the infant’s brain begins to change due to the disorder, possibly improving treatment options and ultimately the child’s quality of life.

“We haven’t had a way to detect the biomarkers of autism before the condition sets in and symptoms develop,” Dr. Piven said. “Now we have very promising leads that suggest this may in fact be possible.”

Dr. Piven’s work has received worldwide accolades and opened up new possibilities in the early identification and treatment of childhood autism. He and colleagues from across the University have made UNC the world’s premier public university for autism research. With a new UNC Autism Research Center — where Dr. Piven co-chairs the Executive Committee made up of experts in genetics, pharmacology, public health and intervention — the University is uniquely suited to improve lives young and old through interdisciplinary research focused on early identification, intervention, personalized treatment and improved adult outcomes.

In addition to Dr. Piven’s work on autism, UNC Medicine is recognized for scientific research programs in cancer, HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis, gene therapy, infectious diseases, cochlear implants, food allergies, asthma, lung biology and pharmacological sciences. Our research impacts millions around the globe.

 

Explore More Stories

Global Impact

Making Childbirth Safer for Mothers Worldwide

“In many parts of the world, the days surrounding childbirth are the riskiest period a mother and her newborn will ever face.”

Health

To Inspire the Next Generation

Dr. Melina Kibbe is sharing a message of perseverance with other young women.

Faculty Support

Clarity in Collaboration

Tar Heel researcher looks to biomedical imaging to provide clarity.

Faculty Support

Where She Needed To Be

"It was the right thing to do, and I felt that calling to help people around the world.”

Sciences

More Than Just Pushing A button

“I feel really proud, and I like to put pride into the work I put out.”

Health

Passion. Impact.

“If you can help one person, it’s worth it.”