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Dr. Edward Breitschwerdt, professor of internal medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences, has discovered that certain arthropod-borne bacteria may be responsible for some chronic and debilitating neurological illnesses in humans, particularly among people with substantial animal contact or tick exposure. One culprit is Bartonella henselae, a strain of bacterium transmitted to cats by fleas. See: Bartonella research.

The $35 million, 100,000-square foot College Research Building includes 33 state-of-the-art laboratories plus two BioSafety Level 3 labs for infectious disease research. Current faculty investigations involve genomic sciences, gene therapy, vaccine development, creation of diagnostic tests, new cancer immuno-therapy, and genetic research to prevent inherited and acquired diseases in livestock and companion animals.

A 20-year master plan projects another 23 buildings—totaling some 1.6 million square feet of space—will be developed for additional laboratories, offices, and animal care facilities.

Leading edge scientific equipment available to CVM biomedical researchers include the MoFlow High Speed Cell Sorter, a tool that dramatically increases productivity by processing up to 70,000 cells a second.

Drs. Jim E. Riviere and Kenneth Adler are recipients of the O. Max Gardner Award, the highest faculty honor presented annually by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina system since 1995.  The award is given to an individual recognized as having made “the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race.” 


Biomedical Research

Biomedical research, a critical component of both veterinary and human medicine, has proven that the health of animals and humans is intertwined beginning at the genomic level. CVM researchers embrace the scientific opportunities inherent in this “one medicine” concept.

More than 200 faculty, technicians, and graduate students are engaged in the numerous biomedical investigations within the College. Research expenditures exceed $10 million annually and encompass different departments, centers, and functions as well as a variety of disciplines, including genomics, pulmonary biology, gastrointestinal biology, infectious diseases and immunology, chromosomal mapping, and epigenetics (the influence of environment on the expression of DNA).

The College’s commitment to biomedical research is embodied in the emerging Centennial Biomedical Campus (CBC), an initiative that represents the future of effective scientific collaboration. With the proximity of the renowned Research Triangle Park, the CBC is ideally located to attract leading biomedical partners from industry, government, entrepreneurial ventures, and clinical trial companies as well as researchers representing medical facilities and other universities. These investigators will work along side CVM scientists in the College’s state-of-the-art laboratories and the clinics of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital to ensure the medical advancements that support the well being of all species.