Research & Innovation

Clinical Research

Clinical research is medical research that involves people who volunteer to participate in carefully conducted medical investigations. These investigations help to increase knowledge and understanding so we can determine better ways to diagnose, treat and prevent human diseases.

The partnering of UNC Health Care network hospitals with UNC Research fosters mutually beneficial collaborations for clinical research, allowing investigators in Chapel Hill the opportunity to seek research volunteers in many areas of the state, and patients in areas formerly limited by distance the opportunity to participate on UNC research trials at facilities close to home.

As we work to extend clinical research into all of our many new hospital and practice locations, we are pleased to provide information about current opportunities for our patients at the UNC Health Care locations below:

Active Clinical Research:

Coming Soon

Center for Innovation

The UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine Center for Innovation is a small resource center that promotes the development of patient-centered innovations designed to address the current challenges facing our nation’s health care delivery system related to cost efficiency, quality of care, innovative health care delivery, and alignment of incentives among industry participants.


UNC is home to the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute. The NC TraCS Institute, made possible by a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health, works to accelerate clinical and translational research discoveries from the lab to the clinic where patients need it most.

NC TraCS offers several programs to help researchers give their research the widest impact, awarding pilot grants, offering research training and early career mentoring programs, and using community outreach to create a presence in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

Carolina Kickstart

To help support emerging startups, NC TraCS offers a venture development program called Carolina Kickstart focused on launching biomedical startups based on UNC research. To date, Carolina Kickstart has helped launch 38 companies based on UNC Health Care research, with 11 launched in 2014 alone.

REX Health Ventures

REX Health Ventures is a platform created by UNC REX Healthcare to aid the development of innovative technologies and companies in the health care sector. The mission of Rex Health Ventures is to enable access to health care products that will improve patient care.
Rex Strategic Innovations has four areas of focus:

  • Supporting the development of new treatments, tools, products and services through REX Health Ventures
  • Identifying potential health care delivery problems and partnering with organizations and individuals to advance potential solutions through REX Health Ventures
  • Turning innovative ideas into compelling products and services
  • A grant program currently in development called REXCommunity Impact Grants intended for organizations and individuals working to improve patient care or reduce health care costs.