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  string(1440) "“Prevention is superior to treatment,” said David Weber, M.D., M.P.H. Prevention of health care-acquired infections and vaccine development are David’s two main areas of research. “Vaccines are the classic way to keep people well and have saved more lives globally than any other intervention except access to clean water,” David says. “At UNC, healthcare workers are required to have four vaccines – mumps, measles and rubella; varicella or chicken pox; influenza; and pertussis. This keeps staff and patients safe and healthy.”

David is not surprised that a recent study showed medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. Preventing healthcare-associated infections is his life’s work.

David began his career at UNC in 1985. He holds a triple appointment - as a professor of medicine and pediatrics within the UNC School of Medicine and as a professor of epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. His ultimate professional goal is to eliminate all preventable health care-associated infections, and he looks to the men and women he has trained over the years to help him achieve this.

“The goal is to get to zero,” David says. “We can do this by controlling our environmental factors, developing vaccines against infections and continuing to train the next generation of infectious diseases epidemiologists.”

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Prevention is Superior to Treatment

Researcher entering data into a machine.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has created a renewal grant of $5.5 million over five years to the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN), a partnership between Carolina, Duke and NC State.

At Carolina, the RTNN effort will be led by the Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory (CHANL), a hub for experimentation and discovery based in the College of Arts & Sciences’ department of applied physical sciences.

“In the next five years, the RTNN will continue the success of the first five but also broaden our impact outside the Triangle in our home state of North Carolina, as well as push our research boundaries into emerging areas of convergent science enabled by nanotechnology,” said Carolina’s RTTN co-principal investigator James F. Cahoon.

Not only does the renewal of this highly competitive grant provide opportunities to continue to develop nanotechnology facilities, research and educational programs, but it also ensures the continued collaboration of the three major universities in the Research Triangle region. By continuing to work together, Carolina, Duke and NC State will be able to continue to serve both local and national interests.

Read the complete Carolina Story…