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Event Briefs

For immediate use

Oct. 10, 2007

UNC grant will support HIV/AIDS research in China

The National Institute of Child Health and Development has awarded $1.97 million to the The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine over the next five years to increase and improve the application of social sciences to the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in the Peoples Republic of China. 
This is one of nine such awards, the only one for China. Gail Henderson, Ph.D., professor of social medicine and sociology in the School of Medicine, is the principal investigator. Collaborators include Peoples University (Beijing), the China CDC National Center for AIDS Prevention and Control, and the Nanjing National Center for STD Prevention and Control, as well as collaborators at the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin. 

“This Award will allow us to examine the potential of social scientists to collaborate with public health researchers in order to stop HIV epidemic in China,” said Dr. Henderson.  The Award is part of the new UNC Institute of Global Health and Infectious Diseases.  Investigators from all collaborating institutions are meeting in Chapel Hill this week to launch the program.

UNC receives $5.6 million grant to Center for Genomics and Society

UNC has received a $5.6 million grant to establish the UNC Center for Genomics and Society. This research center will study the most critical ethical, legal and social questions faced by researchers and the public involved in genetic and genomic research.

The funding was announced today (Oct. 10, 2007) by the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, which is also funding a similar center at the University of Pennsylvania. Both centers are being created as part of the Centers for Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research initiative, launched by NHGRI in 2004.

Gail Henderson, Ph.D., professor of social medicine in the UNC School of Medicine, is the principal investigator for the center. She leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers across the UNC campus and colleagues at North Carolina Central University, RTI International, and Wake Forest University. The center is part of the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, directed by UNC’s Terry Magnuson, Ph.D.

Genetic and genomic research has traditionally focused on individuals and small groups of people. But cheaper and more efficient technologies are making it feasible to launch large-scale genomic efforts, often involving thousands of individuals, aimed at discovering genetic associations with diseases present in populations.  The Center for Genomics and Society will conduct training, research, and inform policies focusing on issues unique to large-scale genomics.

Specifically, center investigators will examine issues that arise with expanded genetic screening of newborns, questions about who owns biological samples, perceptions of the public and of physicians regarding pharmacogenetic testing, and other issues raised by genomic research and technologies.

Note: Henderson can be reached at (919) 843-8268 or

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UNC begins new state-wide blood clot research, education

Dr. Stephan Moll has received a $1.25 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish a research database for studies of blood clot disorders and to create patient support groups for people with blood clots and clotting disorders throughout North Carolina.

The grant will also be used to create a network of specialized centers to find new causes of blood clots, investigate the impact that clots have on patients’ health and educate the public and health care providers, said Moll, an associate professor of hematology and oncology in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

The first seminar, organized by the UNC Thrombosis Program, will be held in the Triangle region of North Carolina on  March 1, 2008, as the opening of Deep Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month.

“I am thrilled that UNC has been chosen as one of only five Thrombosis Centers in the country to receive CDC funding,” said Moll. “This grant will enable us to create a network of specialized centers to find new causes of blood clots and investigate the impact that clots have on patients’ health.”

UNC will collect data on inpatient and outpatients with thrombosis and thrombophilia to study patients with rare clotting disorders and uncommon blood clots. Researchers will also evaluate the differences in referral patterns of black vs. white patients and differences in the types of thrombosis they have had. The registry will serve as a resource to study yet unknown risk factors of blood clots in blacks, as well as in individuals with a strong family history of blood clots.

School of Medicine contact: Stephanie Crayton, (919) 966-2860 or
News Services contact: Clinton Colmenares, (919) 843-1991 or