Matthew Nielsen

Matthew E. Nielsen, MD, MS

Associate Professor of Urology
UNC School of Medicine
Associate Director
UNC Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement
Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management
Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology


Matthew Nielsen received his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Brady Urological Institute of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. After residency, Dr. Nielsen served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins prior to joining the UNC Urology faculty in 2009. In addition to his position as associate professor in the UNC Department of Urology, Dr. Nielsen also holds adjunct appointments in the Departments of Epidemiology and Health Policy and Management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He has served as a clinical investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research since 2014.

Dr. Nielsen’s clinical practice is focused in urologic oncology—in particular, the treatment of bladder, prostate and kidney cancer. He is a member of the integrated Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology Program at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and he served as the director of the Division of Urologic Oncology from 2013-2018.  Dr. Nielsen is committed to providing compassionate, individualized, patient-centered care, and has been selected by his peers to be named among the Best Doctors in America in Urology since 2013.  His research in medical decision making, cancer care quality and implementation science has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and The American Cancer Society, and nationally recognized by the Urology Care Foundation / Astellas Rising Stars in Urology Research Award.

Alongside his clinical, research and teaching activities, Dr. Nielsen is actively engaged in quality improvement and patient safety efforts as associate director of the UNC Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement and other leadership roles in the UNC Health Care System, where he received the Physician Friend of Nursing Award in 2017. He has been an active contributor to multiple national organizations, as a member of the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Committee of the American Urological Association, serving as chair from 2019-2022, as well as the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI) and the American College of Physicians’ High Value Care Task Force and Performance Measurement Committee. In 2019, he was appointed to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Technical Expert Panel for the CMS Quality Measure Development Plan and Quality Measure Index.


  • BA, American Studies, University of Kansas, 1998
  • MD, Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, 2002
  • MS, Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012