Carolina Faculty and Thought Leaders
Some of the nation’s most respected scholars and thinkers call Chapel Hill home. Here are just a few Carolina faculty members who are nationally recognized leaders in their field.
Professor of Chemistry
Professor Weeks and his research team were the first in the world to decode the genome of HIV and are now working to identify targets for new antiretroviral drugs. Through a National Science Foundation-supported project, Prof. Weeks is also working with undergraduate students to model the structure of a number of viruses, including those that cause flu, dengue fever, and the common cold.
Edna J. Koury Professor of Philosophy
Professor Wolf’s research and teaching address fundamental questions of what makes us human. Her most recent books include Meaning in Life and Why it Matters and a collection of essays on Understanding Love Through Philosophy, Film, and Fiction. Colleagues describe Prof. Wolf “as one of the most original and distinguished philosophers of her generation.” Her First Year Seminar on evil is a favorite among Carolina undergraduates.
J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English
Professor Wallace is a Carolina alumnus and author of four novels: Big Fish, Ray in Reverse, The Watermelon King, and Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician. Director Tim Burton made Big Fish into a motion picture starring Albert Finney, Jessica Lange and Ewan McGregor in 2003. Honors Carolina students work to master the writer’s craft under the guidance of this award-winning professor.
James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies
Professor Ehrman is a leading authority on the history of early Christianity who has been featured on PBS and in National Geographic. A popular and award-winning lecturer, he has written or edited 24 books, including Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code and three New York Times bestsellers: Jesus Interrupted, God’s Problem, and Misquoting Jesus.
Paul Debreczeny Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Professor Allbritton is an internationally recognized leader in biomedical research. She leads a ground-breaking program in Biomedical Engineering that involves the UNC School of Medicine and the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University.
William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Kenan-Flagler Business School
Professor Johnson is an expert on poverty who studies inequality in American society, particularly as it affects disadvantaged youth. He launched the nationally-acclaimed Durham Scholars Program to provide disadvantaged children from Durham’s most economically depressed neighborhoods with the resources they need to survive and to succeed. Prof. Johnson has published more than 100 articles, including research on the economic impact of 9/11.
Julia T. Wood
Professor of Communications Studies and Lineberger Distinguished Professor of Humanities
Professor Wood literally wrote the textbook on gender and communication, Gendered Lives, when she set out to create a course on the topic and could not find a suitable text. She studies such intimate topics as how gender differences shape domestic violence, bullying among adolescent girls, and the division of household labor between partners. Prof.Wood has published 25 books and has garnered a long list of honors for undergraduate teaching excellence.
Dr. Oliver Smithies,
Dr. Oliver Smithies, Excellence Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, was co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2007 for “discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells.” The technique is used by genetics labs worldwide to help researchers better understand disease processes and develop new therapies.
Former UNC Chancellor James Moeser said, upon the announcement of Smithies’ award, “For decades, he has embodied the very best of academic research and humanity through his modesty, good humor, creativity and love of invention. Through his example, hundreds of students and colleagues have learned how to help the world through research.”