Dean Barbara K. Rimer (Photo by Brian Strickland)

Dean Barbara K. Rimer (Photo by Brian Strickland)

It’s hard to imagine a clearer demonstration of the importance of well-designed public health policies and practices than the global health pandemic crisis through which we all have been living. So many people in the U.S. and around the world have suffered, and people of color have borne a disproportionate share of the burden.

As dean of the top-ranked public school of public health in the country, I am incredibly proud of the many ways the Gillings community, both within our school and beyond, responded to the crisis, delivering high-impact research and critical insights in the global effort to understand transmission of SARS-CoV-2, develop vaccines and effective treatments, and manage the pandemic in real time, while simultaneously working to develop creative, evidence-based strategies to help communities both better manage the present and prepare for the future. Despite disruptions to campus life in 2020, our team also found innovative ways to continue to engage with our extraordinary students, who are themselves the world’s future public health leaders and change agents. It is a privilege to be part of the Gillings community. Our people inspire and excite me every day.

Achieving better public health outcomes requires more than high-quality medical care, as important as that is. Public policies, economic inequities and long-standing and persistent racial inequities all affect total population health. Every country needs leaders who understand the interconnections.


At Gillings, we’re passionate about…

Our Mission: To improve public health, promote individual well-being and eliminate health inequities across North Carolina and the around the world. Every day, we are working to end structural racism in public health and in societies more broadly. Nothing could be more important!

Students walk in front of Rosenau Hall.

Gillings students walk in front of Rosenau Hall in 2019.

Our Students: 1,600 of the most diverse, smart, creative, committed, curious change agents and future leaders on the planet. While students, they are active partners with our faculty and staff, collaborating on research projects, co-authoring papers, creating companies and organizations, and volunteering, all while gaining a world-class public health education. Gillings graduates leave prepared to make the world a better place: 96% graduate and have jobs or are continuing their education six months after graduation.


Students, faculty and staff attend the Minority Health Conference.

Students, faculty and staff attend the 2018 Minority Health Conference.

Our Culture: An inclusive and collaborative, civil, interdisciplinary, solutions-focused environment that fosters meaningful connections, along with breakthrough thinking and discovery. We are committed to diversity and inclusive excellence in everything we do.

Our Innovative Approach: Participatory instruction and research, whether on campus or working remotely, harnessing technology and new strategies to deliver “best in class” in all that we do.


Dr. Timothy Sheahan wears a full-body protective suit while working in Dr. Ralph Baric's biosafety level four lab. (Photo by Jennie Saia)

Dr. Timothy Sheahan wears a full-body protective suit while working in Dr. Ralph Baric’s biosafety level four lab.

Our Faculty: An extraordinary group of educators, scholars, practitioners and researchers engaged in game-changing research, practice and teaching, committed to mentoring students and highly accessible to them. Gillings faculty members include architects of several COVID-19 vaccine breakthroughs, the head of infectious disease control for UNC Health, the lead statistician for COVID-19 treatment trials and key members of the community task force creating messages and programs to encourage people in North Carolina to follow safe pandemic practices. And they are doing so much more! Our extraordinary colleagues are on the front lines of the quest to end the pandemic, and our students are right there with them.


The Gillings School buildings are lined with greenery.

The Gillings School buildings are lined with greenery.

Our Campus: Located in the health science neighborhood on the UNC campus, a short walk from the rest of campus, and not far from North Carolina’s famed Research Triangle Park, the Gillings community has unparalleled access to experts, interdisciplinary study, and opportunities ranging from cutting-edge research assignments to internships and employment. For example, both the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and a major EPA laboratory are minutes away, with teams eager to welcome Gillings students.