Shades of Gray

Jake Lawler came to UNC in 2017 with a football scholarship, a passion for movies and a talent for writing. A longtime foe followed him there, one that he had known since middle school — when he wore crooked glasses and ill-fitting clothes and was teased for being a mixed-race kid.

The Smoke You’ve Been Missing

“When I realized how bad e-cigarette use was in the high schools, I thought, ‘If I don’t do this, who will?’ ” said Ilona Jaspers, who also directs the toxicology curriculum at UNC and is the mother of a junior and a senior at Chapel Hill High School. “If I don’t go out and talk to people and educate them about it and find a way to communicate with them, who will?”

CAR-T is still largely experimental — a futuristic, staggering, frustrating therapy that sometimes works and sometimes does not. (Roger Harris/Science Photo Library)

To Build a Cure

They’re the most promising cancer assassins to come along in your lifetime, but their mission is far from complete. CAR-T is still largely experimental — a futuristic, staggering, frustrating therapy that sometimes works and sometimes does not.

The Student Body Shop 

What you see, smell and hear here is shop class and home economics refurbished for the digital age. Hundreds of willing participants know this as BeAM, or “be a maker,” UNC’s answer to the worldwide makerspace movement — the collaborative culture of making physical objects using both digital and traditional tools. Now entering its fourth year, BeAM makerspaces are leading the Carolina community and its students through a re-emergence of know-how, in and out of the classroom.

Mountains, Still

The clinic the team services sits in a municipality that was once a residential area for garment workers. But a perfect storm of policies and actions from both within and outside Haiti in the 1980s and ’90s — including a U.S.-led economic boycott following the overthrow of democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1991 — helped transform it into a shantytown of 500,000 instead. It never recovered, and Cite Soleil now is the poorest community in the Western Hemisphere. Its images are unimaginable: Near a dump, children sleep atop mountains of plastic bottles.

First, Do No Harm

For Dr. Tim Ives, who worked in a Utah methadone clinic during his pharmacy residency in the early 1980s, the OxyContin era is the latest in an endless cycle of drug epidemics in the U.S.

“It’s pharmaceutical Whac-A-Mole,” Ives said. “Nothing’s changed. It’s just the products have changed. We’re getting better at measuring [drug abuse]. Now we’ve got to start getting better at treatment — and treatment is not a drug. It’s mental health. People are still out there who have a medical condition, and the condition is substance dependence.”