A message from the chancellor: The progress and promise of research
"Whether we’re unlocking the mysteries of the universe or advancing the frontiers of medicine, scholars here at Carolina take on challenges that matter. We demonstrate how the human urge to know more, to discover, helps to shape our world for the better."
Dear Carolina Community,
One of the great joys of academic life is the promise of progress. Whether we’re unlocking the mysteries of the universe or advancing the frontiers of medicine, scholars here at Carolina take on challenges that matter. We demonstrate how the human urge to know more, to discover, helps to shape our world for the better.
Over the next two days, I am participating in the 2023 Matthew Gfeller NeuroHealth Symposium here on our campus, listening to researchers, doctors and athletic trainers from across the nation describe advances in diagnosing and treating traumatic brain injuries. When I started my work as a concussion researcher, we were just beginning to standardize some of the basic tools for identifying injuries. The best treatment for a concussion at that time was usually rest — giving the brain time to heal.
We have come a long way in our understanding of how the brain works and how it recovers following injury. We can identify a brain injury with much greater precision, thanks to balance testing, vision tracking technology and rapid protein analysis. We know that controlled movement, getting more blood flowing to the brain, is often better for recovery than strict rest. UNC has been a leader in developing strategies, equipment and treatment protocols that have made sports safer across the world. Researchers across our campus are making clinical trials for neurodegenerative diseases more accurate and studying what causes anxiety and mood disorders in young people.
This is what great universities do — we create new knowledge and put it in service to society. Sometimes there are amazing breakthroughs that make headlines; more often there is the slow, occasionally frustrating march of incremental progress, chipping away at big questions over years and decades. I am always amazed when I see our faculty at work and witness the next generation of researchers in our students.
Students, I hope you have a wonderful spring break and that you are able to spend time with the people you love. We will see you back here to finish out the Spring Semester!
Kevin M. Guskiewicz