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The N.C. Policy Collaboratory based at UNC-Chapel Hill will receive $29 million to study treatment, community testing and prevention of COVID-19 under a $1.5 billion coronavirus relief package approved by state legislators last week and signed by Governor Roy Cooper today. The bill includes $85 million for five North Carolina universities to study and fight the virus.

“We are grateful to our state legislators and Governor Cooper for entrusting Carolina’s world class researchers and the N.C. Policy Collaboratory based at UNC-Chapel Hill with $29 million to conduct vital research on the tracking, prevention and treatment of COVID-19,” said UNC Chapel-Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz. “This appropriation will enable UNC-Chapel Hill and our fellow UNC System institutions to deploy their researchers and resources to find more solutions for North Carolinians.”

UNC-Chapel Hill has been on the forefront of coronavirus research, having recently been named the highest-rated university in the United States for coronavirus research by Microsoft Academic. The nation’s coronavirus task force recently announced that remdesivir, which the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health performed early tests on, is effective at treating coronavirus and will be a standard of care for patients fighting COVID-19.  The testing was led by Ralph Baric, the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology, who has studied coronaviruses for more than 30 years and pioneered rapid-response approaches for the study of emerging viruses and the development of therapeutics.

“We were recently named the top university in the nation for coronavirus research and will continue this fight with the same focus and resolve that led our scientists to help develop the first effective treatment for COVID-19,” Guskiewicz said.

The North Carolina General Assembly established the N.C. Policy Collaboratory in 2016 for the purposes of facilitating the dissemination of the policy and research expertise of the University of North Carolina System universities for practical use by state and local government. The Collaboratory facilitates and funds research projects across the state. The Collaboratory is supporting COVID-19 research projects that are intended to provide new data and information to state lawmakers and policymakers to help guide the state’s response.

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 74 bachelor’s, 104 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools including the College of Arts & Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s 336,392 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories and 164 countries. More than 182,182 live in North Carolina.

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