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At the onset of the pandemic, Carolina’s Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases sprang into action, advising and partnering with the National Institutes of Health. The institute is currently engaged in 52 coronavirus-related research projects, including vaccine trials.
The Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, which was established in 2007, coordinates and catalyzes global health activities across Carolina’s campus to make breakthrough discoveries and save lives.
“For people who work in infectious diseases, we know the factors that will either promote or end an epidemic,” said Dr. Myron Cohen, the institute’s director and Carolina’s vice chancellor for global health and medical affairs.
As part of the national-level programs such as Operation Warp Speed and the COVID-19 Prevention Network, the institute’s experts have advised top federal, state and local leaders throughout the pandemic. Researchers are studying novel assays, therapeutic vaccines, prophylactic treatment modalities and treatment options in both the inpatient and outpatient environments.
“We have such a depth and breadth of clinicians and researchers who have so much experience tackling a different pandemic, which was the HIV pandemic,” said Dr. Cynthia Gay, associate professor of medicine and the medical director of the UNC HIV Cure Center. “So when a pandemic comes along, we’re able to, I think in a new way, combine some of that expertise in a way that really hadn’t been done before.”