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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC sees $15 million more in research

UNC faculty received $792.7 million in research grants and contracts for the 2014 fiscal year, an increase of nearly $15 million from the year before.

“It’s not the accomplishment about the size of the dollars,” Chancellor Carol Folt said during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday. “It’s the impact of that work.”

Folt said the increase in research dollars is significant in the competitive climate to receive funding.

“Our faculty’s work is being chosen to be the place to put the bet,” she said.

The National Institute of Health awarded $28 million to UNC’s Carolina Population Center for the continuation of the nation’s longest running study on the health of adolescents.

“You’re only funded for that length of time if you are constantly innovating and changing,” Folt said.

Susan Cates, executive director of the MBA@UNC program, spoke about its success in the past three years as a fully online MBA program run through the Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Students of MBA@UNC participate in the program from 47 states and 40 countries, she said.

“One of the things that we’ve been very proud of in this program is our ability to serve active duty military,” Cates said.

The program has a 96 percent retention rate.

UNC School of Medicine professor Dr. William Fischer II also presented on his research into the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Fischer said there have been about 6,000 reported cases of Ebola since the start of the epidemic.

Fifty percent of those cases have been reported in the past three weeks, he said, which indicates that the virus is spreading at an exponential rate.

“It’s the first time we’ve actually seen Ebola in a major city with an international airport,” he said.

Without laboratories and the necessary medical equipment in Gueckedou, Guinea where Fischer worked for three weeks, he was forced to make adapt typical treatments.

Recently he worked with the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assist in combating the epidemic.

“I think antivirals and vaccines, if they work, could be a game-changer,” Fischer said. “I don’t think it should occur at the expense of the things that we can do right now.”

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