5 North Carolina Institutions At The Forefront Of Medical Research

While medicine has come a long way in the modern era, there are still a number of illnesses that doctors and scientists don't fully understand. Figuring out the best methods for treating these diseases and conditions requires a lot of research and development. Luckily, organizations like the ones listed here are putting in the time and effort necessary to move the field forward. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Medical Organizations In North Carolina

Organization Location Mission
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Chapel Hill, NC Bring together exceptional physicians and scientists to investigate and improve the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer
North Carolina Institute of Medicine Morrisville, NC Seek constructive solutions to problems that impede the improvement of health and efficient and effective delivery of health care for North Carolina citizens and serve an advisory function to assist in the formation of public policy
Duke Clinical Research Institute Durham, NC Develop and share knowledge that improves the care of patients around the world through innovative clinical research
Burroughs Wellcome Fund Research Triangle Park, NC Advance the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities
UNC Health Care Chapel Hill, NC Bring high-quality, patient-centered health care to all of North Carolina

Phases of Medical Research

  1. Basic medical research: Establishes an understanding of the issue and its effects on humans
  2. Preclinical research: Figures out how best to test an experimental treatment or cure
  3. Clinical research: Research is done on real people, under the supervision of physicians in a medical setting

Fields of Biomedical Research

  • Aging
  • Anatomy
  • Angiology
  • Behavioral health
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Cancer
  • Cellular biology
  • Chemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Epigenetics
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular biology
  • Nanomaterials
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Neuroscience
  • Ophthalmology
  • Otolaryngology
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Preventive medicine
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Public Health
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Toxicology
  • Virology

The Sociology Of Health & Medicine

In Depth

In sickness and in health, we all find ourselves visiting the doctor from time to time. Whether this is for a routine check-up or for a more serious illness, patients in the United States have access to a vast network of medical services that cover ailments ranging from the common cold to cancer. Often, these centers and organizations that treat us also conduct research that drives innovation and pushes the boundaries of what we think is possible. If you are interested in learning about the cutting-edge work taking place in one specific state, then here are, in no particular order, five North Carolina institutions at the forefront of medical research.

In the #1 spot is the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this organization specializes in cancer treatment and research. In addition, it plans and leads statewide research programs in prevention and trains and educates people in medicine, nursing, public health, and science. Opened in 1984, it has received the National Cancer Institute's highest rating of exceptional.

Its educational program, in conjunction with numerous other departments at UNC, offers pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and clinical training opportunities, including fellowships like the Cancer Epigenetics Training Program and the UNC-Duke Immunotherapy Training Program. Elsewhere, it conducts research in a variety of individualized fields, through initiatives like the Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence and the Geriatric Oncology Program. If you are interested in supporting the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Care Center, you can donate directly or create your own fundraising event, like a bake sale.

Its educational program, in conjunction with numerous other departments at UNC, offers pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and clinical training opportunities, including fellowships like the Cancer Epigenetics Training Program and the UNC-Duke Immunotherapy Training Program.

Coming in at #2 is the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. Based in Morrisville, N.C.I.O.M. has worked for more than thirty years to provide objective, evidence-based research and public policy recommendations to meet the health needs of the state of North Carolina. Overall, between fifty and ninety percent of its task force recommendations have been acted upon by the state's policymakers and health care leaders.

To provide non-partisan research and analysis, N.C.I.O.M. runs a number of task forces at any given time, focusing on specific topics like serious illness care and affordable care communities. Furthermore, it hosts a three-day Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program in alternating years, which educates members of the state's General Assembly on health issues. Those who want to learn more about this organization can check out its publication, the North Carolina Medical Journal, or subscribe to its newsletter.

At #3 is the Duke Clinical Research Institute. With its roots in the formation of the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Disease in 1969, the DCRI today strives to develop and share knowledge that improves the care of patients around the world. An independent academic organization that is part of the School of Medicine, it conducts innovative clinical trials, manages major patient registries, and sponsors important outcomes research.

With its roots in the formation of the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Disease in 1969, the DCRI today strives to develop and share knowledge that improves the care of patients around the world.

Specific components of the Institute's comprehensive offerings include DCRI Think Tanks, which bring together stakeholders across the healthcare industry, and its Behavioral Research Intervention Science Center, which partners with organizations to design and perform behavioral incentive programs grounded in the latest science. DCRI Education, meanwhile, creates data-driven initiatives that translate research into practice. If you are interested in getting involved with the DCRI, you can attend its forum or one of its affiliate events.

Coming in at #4 is the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, founded in the United States in 1955 but with its origins in England. An independent private foundation, BWF strives to advance the biomedical sciences by supporting research and education. Awarding financial support through its peer-reviewed awards programs, the Fund makes grants to degree-granting institutions on behalf of individual researchers and science-focused nonprofits. It also works to improve the education of students in primary and secondary schools in North Carolina, particularly in science, technology, and mathematics.

Some areas that the Burroughs Wellcome Fund awards grants in include reproductive science, translational research, and infectious diseases. The Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease award, for example, offers 500,000 dollars over five years to assistant professors studying pathogenesis. BWF also is committed to increasing diversity in science, with its Postdoctoral Enrichment Program and its Graduate Diversity Enrichment Program providing training and resources for underrepresented minorities. Those who are interested in getting involved with the Burroughs Wellcome Fund can sign up to receive email updates on its latest news.

Those who are interested in getting involved with the Burroughs Wellcome Fund can sign up to receive email updates on its latest news.

Last but not least, at #5, is UNC Health Care, established in 1998. Based in Chapel Hill, this not-for-profit integrated health care system comprises a number of hospitals across the state, including the UNC Medical Center and the UNC School of Medicine. Dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to its patients, this institution also focuses its efforts on educating current and future healthcare workers.

Many of the organizations that fall under the umbrella of UNC Health Care specialize in innovative research. The North Carolina Translational and Clinical Services Institute has developed a program called Carolina Kickstart, which provides funding for biomedical startups based on UNC research. Elsewhere, the Center for Innovation supports patient-focused initiatives confronting issues like cost and quality of care and alignment of incentives. If you are interested in getting involved with UNC Health Care, consider checking out its frequently updated Newsroom or connecting with it on social media.