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. … More Shades of Gray

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?” … More The Smoke You’ve Been Missing

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. … More To Build a Cure

Custom-Made Therapy Comes With Sticker Shock

(sidebar to “To Build a Cure”) What’s the difference between commercial CAR-T therapy and the cancer treatments that have come before it? The same things, said Lineberger researcher Dr. Gianpietro Dotti, that separate fine dining from a mass-produced meal in a box. Personalization … and price. “You have a restaurant, and every day you make … More Custom-Made Therapy Comes With Sticker Shock

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. … More The Student Body Shop 

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. … More Mountains, Still