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Adams School of Dentistry

Infrastructure Core Facility
Lead Researchers: Shannon Wallet, Rob Maile, Matthew Wolfgang
Budget: $523,703
This study supported the DELTA-CoV2 Translational Facility in providing centralized clinical sample provisioning, providing services such as sample processing and disseminating standardized practices to research communities.

College of Arts and Sciences

Pan-COVID-19 Multivalent Binders to Block Virus Entry
Lead Researcher: Ronit Freeman, Applied Physical Sciences

Budget: $177,114
Through testing multivalent binders as antiviral therapeutic prevention to infection, this study generated a library of peptide-antibody fusions, explore viability of peptide binding, create computerized simulations of peptide interactions, and increase peptide and peptoid productions.

Nitric Oxide-Releasing Cyclodextrins for Treating COVID-19 Infections
Lead Researcher: Mark Schoenfisch, Chemistry
Budget: $900,000
Entering its third phase of testing for a pre-clinical anti-viral drug, this study established NO (an antiviral compound that has proved effective in the treatment of pulmonary pathogens and prevents the viral replication needed by pathogens to survive) as a candidate treatment for respiratory infections from COVID-19.

High Capacity Screening
Lead Researcher: Michael Ramsey, Chemistry

Budget: $377,255
With a highly multiplexed, digital assay platform, this project performed high volumes of COVID-19 tests and generate results in 30-60 minutes to promote contract tracing, effective transmission intervention, and outbreak risk mitigation.

Monitoring North Carolina’s Economic Recovery
Lead Researcher: Noreen McDonald, City and Regional Planning
Budget: $287,028
By establishing a real-time database for economic data (e.g., consumer debt burden and delinquency; business start-ups, closures, employees) from cell phones, credit bureaus, and satellite imagery, this project provided policy and decision makers current data.

Household Internet Traffic Data
Lead Researcher: Jonathan Williams, Economics
Budget: $15,000
With the partnership of an Internet service provider, this study determined the variation of Internet usage by household demographics and state ordered shut-down stages to better inform effective online schooling.

Policy and Policy Communication in Polarized Times
Lead Researcher: Marc Hetherington, Political Science
Budget: $72,950
In a two-part effort, this project evaluated government relationships with public health and economic outcomes and the most effective public messaging strategies for successful public health policies during a politically polarized crisis.

To Wear or Not to Wear a Face Covering
Lead Researcher: Barbara Fredrickson, Psychology and Neuroscience
Budget: $98,558
Seeking to understand the public propensities of adhering to novel behaviors in a pandemic, this study examined the correlation between communal virtues and those behaviors.

Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Preclinical Development of a Potent Muco-Trapping Antibody Against SARS-CoV-2 for Inhaled Immunotherapy and Prophylaxis Against COVID-19
Lead Researcher: Sam Lai
Budget: $798,352
This study was designed to engineer a neutralizing monoclonal antibody against SARS-CoV-2.

Expanding Telehealth Services to Prevent COVID-19 in Rural North Carolina
Lead Researcher: Jon Easter

Budget: $65,705
This study increased telehealth implementation through creating four rural NC clinics to expand safe care for vulnerable patients.

Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Discovery Initiative (READDI #4)
Lead Researcher: Tim Willson

Budget: $215,115
The goal of READDI is to develop antiviral drugs for epidemic and pandemic viruses. Development of these new drugs required a multidisciplinary effort with expertise in virology, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry and viral pathogenesis.

Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Discovery Initiative (READDI #5)
Lead Researcher: Kenneth Pearce

Budget: $196,039
The goal of READDI is to develop antiviral drugs for epidemic and pandemic viruses. Development of these new drugs required a multidisciplinary effort with expertise in virology, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry and viral pathogenesis.

Gillings School of Global Public Health

COVID-19 Mountaire Processing Plant Study
Lead Researcher: Natalie Bowman

Budget: $698,214
This study examined transmission in food processing workers and their close contacts.

Technical Assistance Using a Total Worker Health (TWH) Approach and Evidence-Based Strategies to Ensure a Safe Return to Work in NC
Lead Researchers: Leena Nylander-French and Laura Linnan

Budget: $485,895
This study launched a technical assistance program designed to assist NC businesses with their efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure safe and healthy re-opening of businesses.

Statewide Sero-Surveillance Network
Lead Researcher: Allison Aiello
Budget: $533,515
This study provided consultative services to other academic institutions and public health agencies across the state in support of the design and implementation of high-quality sero-studies.

Re-opening Schools: SARS-CoV-2 Prevention Strategies in North Carolina Schools
Lead Researcher: Kimberly Powers and Allison Aiello
Budget: $274,919
This study focused on researching measures to keep students and staff safe from SARS-CoV-2.
Final Report: Re-opening Schools: SARS-CoV-2 Prevention Strategies in North Carolina Schools

The Gillings Epidemiology Dashboard for North Carolina Policymakers
Lead Researcher: Daniel Westreich
Budget: $597,641
This study created a resource center for Coronavirus testing, screening and surveillance.

Antiviral Accelerator: Basic-Emerging CoV Vaccine Development
Lead Researcher: Ralph Baric

Budget: $465,505
This study focused on the development of a cross-protective vaccine.

High-Throughput Equipment
Lead Researcher: Ralph Baric

Budget: $1,605,928
This study focused on developing vaccines and therapeutics using techniques that block cellular mechanism of viral activity rather than tailoring to specific viruses.

Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Discovery Initiative (READDI #1)
Lead Researcher: Ralph Baric

Budget: $702,095
The goal of READDI is to develop antiviral drugs for epidemic and pandemic viruses. Development of these new drugs required a multidisciplinary effort with expertise in virology, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry and viral pathogenesis.

Graduate School

I4 (Include, Identify, Investigate, Influence) Boundary Spanners
Lead Researcher: Suzanne Barbour

Budget: $120,000
This project trained graduate students in policy and government with an emphasis on how data can impact policy decisions.

Institutes and Centers

Protecting Public Health and Preserving the Financial Viability of North Carolina’s Critical Health Care Facilities during Infectious Disease Outbreaks
Lead Researcher: Gregory Characklis, Center on Financial Risk in Environmental Systems
Budget: $116,000
To avoid future financial insolvency and economic hardship for hospitals in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, this research bridged the gap between planning for pandemic health care and economic supply and demand efficiency of hospital capacities during an infectious disease period.

Mobility and Health Impacts Study
Lead Researcher: Randa Radwan, Highway Safety Research Center

Budget: $928,602
In light of the dramatic change in public mobility from COVID-19 shut-down orders and public closures, this study was designed to understand the effects of mobility on COVID-19 transmission throughout the state of North Carolina and its effect on the transportation industry.

Gearing Up: The Response of Manufacturing Extension to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Lead Researcher: Nichola Lowe, Center for Urban and Regional Studies
Budget: $50,000
Through comparative research of U.S. Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEP) in other states, this project utilized available data of MEP actions to build a database that informs North Carolina’s MEP and Department of Commerce to develop evidence-based solutions for economic recovery.

Commerce with Confidence Simulator
Institute for Convergent Science

Budget: $917,360
In order to avoid another wave of public shut-down orders and economic hardships, this study developed a simulation tool that builds models for individualized communities to consult when drafting their own reopening plans with safety and confidence.

Innovation Intelligence
Lead Researcher: Michelle Bolas, Innovate Carolina

Budget: $94,162
This project established framework support for COVID-19 projects and leverage the ImpactX platform to transform research outcomes to applied solutions.

ICS Collaboration Project
Lead Researcher: Chris Clemens, Institute for Convergent Science

Budget: $334,300
ICS’s project provided support with its network and resources to projects that were unsuccessful when they initially sought funding in order to reform those project’s goals with the convergences of knowledge from multiple disciplines.

Tracking SARS-CoV-2 in the Wastewater Across a Range of Municipalities
Lead Researcher: Rachel Noble, Institute of Marine Sciences
This project is a collaboration between multiple universities, including UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Wilmington and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.

Budget: $1,715,000
Tracking aggregate pandemic infection through wastewater treatment has been proven to be an effective and non-evasive method of understanding the social mobility, individual community variations, and movement of undiagnosed and asymptomatic infections.

Case Study of Data Travels
Lead Researcher: Ashok Krishnamurthy, Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI)

Budget: $193,252
This project worked to evaluate the collection and use of COVID-19 data for the public and public decision-making.

Project Management of Legislatively Mandated COVID-19 Research
Project Management Team:  Jeff Warren, Laurie Farrar, Steve Wall
Budget: $189,891

The project team actively managed the full slate of 85 studies and any additional studies that may be funded through these COVID-19 research funds including ensuring scopes of work and related timelines are followed and met, required monthly progress and expense reports are tendered, interim progress reports are compiled and distributed to the NCGA.

Office of Vice Chancellor for Research

Testing and Tracking Transmission of UNC Employees
Lead Researcher: Audrey Pettifor

Budget: $3,058,084
This study was designed to determine if safety and prevention measures in place on UNC campus are effective at reducing spread of SARS-CoV-2.

School of Education

Supporting Adolescents with Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors
Lead Researcher: Marisa Marraccini
Budget: $55,000
This study developed and disseminated guidelines for mental health professionals navigating providing mental health care for students who are high risk for suicide—which is expected to be a significant group due to school closures and interrupted mental health care during the expected second wave of COVID-19 this fall.

School of Government

Testing the Keys to North Carolina’s Economic Recovery
Lead Researcher: Anita Brown-Graham
Budget: $95,000
Due to state enforced economic shut-downs, local governments are seeing a stark decline in revenue as a product of reduced retail, tourism, and restaurant activity, as well as an increasing unemployment rate. This study was designed to aggregate the data of two existing data bases (NC Growth and ncImpact) to measure the effectiveness of government actions and testing in the recovery of the North Carolina economy for individual communities.

Identifying and Mitigating the Financial Impact on Water and Wastewater Utilities
Lead Researcher: Erin Riggs
Budget: $50,000
To combat the growing financial pressures of North Carolina’s utility sector after the state passed a moratorium on utility shut offs in late March 2020, this project funded the direct technical assistance and developed further financial tools to aid North Carolina local governments.

Virtual Connections for Public Officials Charged with Protecting Older Adults
Lead Researcher: Margaret Henderson
Budget: $90,000
Because COVID-19 particularly impacts elderly adults who are already vulnerable to physical and mental health risks, isolation from resources, and financial exploitation and scams, this project was designed to build Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) to coordinate virtual resources and tools for the North Carolina elderly community.

School of Information and Library Science

Understanding Workers’ Transition to Digital Labor Jobs
Lead Researcher: Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi
Budget: $62,528
In an economy that previously had a larger portion of the workforce performing “gig” work (e.g., Task Rabbit, Care.com, or Wag dog walking), this project evaluated the short-term impacts on this workforce now forced to seek digital “gig” work including online freelance or micro-tasking.

School of Medicine

Convalescent Plasma Trial
Lead Researcher: Luther Bartelt

Budget: $1,615,000
This study was designed to understand how COVID-19 positive antibodies in plasma could be used for donation resulting in disease and death prevention.

Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Discovery Initiative (READDI #2)
Lead Researcher: Nathaniel Moorman

Budget: $153,310
The goal of READDI is to develop antiviral drugs for epidemic and pandemic viruses. Development of these new drugs required a multidisciplinary effort with expertise in virology, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry and viral pathogenesis.

Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Discovery Initiative (READDI #3)
Lead Researcher: Mark Heise

Budget: $233,433
The goal of READDI is to develop antiviral drugs for epidemic and pandemic viruses. Development of these new drugs required a multidisciplinary effort with expertise in virology, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry and viral pathogenesis.

Therapeutics I: Transitioning/Optimizing New Drugs for Pulmonary Delivery
Lead Researcher: Richard Boucher

Budget: $607,190
This study accelerated drug development for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 through delivering pulmonary antiviral aerosol compounds to the system.

Therapeutics II: Preclinical Studies of Novel Therapeutic Agents in Mouse Models for Target/Drug Validation, Pharmacokinetic Studies, and Efficacy Using Mouse-Adapted SARS-COV-2 Virus
Lead Researcher: Richard Boucher
Budget: $781,078
This study created an in vivo mouse facility to test therapies to treat both phases of COVID-19 disease.

A Vaccine Against COVID-19 that Strongly Induces Three Branches of Immunity
Lead Researcher: Jenny Ting

Budget: $342,411
This study developed a vaccine outside of the typical methods implemented to achieve higher efficiency.

BRAVE: Respiratory Virus Tracking (including SARS-COV2) in NC
Lead Researcher: Dirk Dittmer

Budget: $717,300
The design of this study was to enroll every patient in UNC hospitals with flu or respiratory symptoms for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing.

Vector or Victim: SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Healthcare Workers and Their Household Contacts at the UNC Medical Center
Lead Researcher: Ross Boyce

Budget: $315,000
This study quantified the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections among healthcare workers and determined how these individuals may contribute to the spread within hospital and community transmission.

School of Social Work

Essential Women of Color
Lead Researcher: Rachel Goode

Budget: $100,000
Because essential workers are disproportionately women of color and disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, this study evaluated the coping mechanisms essential women workers of color are using to support the well-being of themselves and their families, and discovering the outside supports that would aid these women.