The Lunch with the Dean Series at Gillings

The Lunch with the Dean series provides UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health faculty with an opportunity to present a brief overview of their research, while enjoying a catered lunch and learning about the work of two or three other researchers in our School. Event attendees include two or three fellow faculty members along with Dean Rimer, Vice Dean Todd Nicolet, Senior Associate Dean Laura Linnan, and Associate Deans for Research and Global Health – Sandra Martin and Peggy Bentley, respectively. Representatives from the School and the offices of the Vice Chancellor for Research are present as well.

Presentations help the Dean and others to learn in more detail about the research each faculty member is conducting. Besides wanting to know about what faculty do, this information helps them do a better job of communicating with legislators, potential funders, and other leaders. It’s also one of the opportunities our researchers have to interact with the Dean, and get better acquainted with the work of fellow faculty members. One of the side benefits of these lunches is that, sometimes, new collaborations result.

Lunches are held every other month. Invited participants have about ten minutes to present their research. Typically, presenters include an overview of their research interests, a specific example of their current research, and the greater impact the work has on anticipating public health problems or accelerating solutions.

Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, MPH, Alumni Distinguished Professor and Dean of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Dean Barbara K. Rimer
“Lunch with the Dean is one my favorite activities. Besides me, several leaders from our school and the university participate. We view this as a great opportunity to listen to our faculty members describe the innovative and impactful work they are doing. These sessions help us advocate and cheerlead for our fabulous faculty members. The presentations always leave me and others impressed and inspired.

Recent presentations include:

  • “Heterogeneity: from bulk tissue to single cells,” Yuchao Jiang, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biostatistics & Genetics
  • “Using Systems Approaches and Building Diverse Partnerships to Prevent Leading Causes of Injury Death,” Becky Naumann, PhD, Assistant Professor, Epidemiology
  • “Understanding and addressing mental health: Essential to ending the HIV epidemic,” Angela Parcesepe, PhD, Assistant Professor, Maternal and Child Health
  • “Optimizing family-based behavioral interventions to promote healthy eating among young children,” Heather Wasser, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Nutrition
  • “Advancing Health Equity in the First 1000 Days: Breastfeeding, Reproductive Justice, and Resilience,” Aunchalee Palmquist, PhD, IBCLC, Assistant Professor, Maternal and Child Health
  • “Community-Engagement as a critical component of scientific validity in HIV Research,” Derrick Matthews, PhD, Assistant Professor, Health Behavior
  • “The Epigenome: Where Environmental & Social Exposures Converge,” Radhika Dhingra, PhD, Assistant Professor, Environmental Sciences & Engineering
  • “Enabling Precision Medicine in Pancreatic Cancer via Molecular Subtyping and Machine Learning,” Naim Rashid, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Biostatistics
  • “Gene expression identifies determinants of disease,” Michael Love, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biostatistics
  • “Folate in health and disease,” Sergey Krupenko, PhD, Professor, Nutrition
  • “Improving Cancer Care with Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs),” Angela Stover, PhD, Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Management
  • “Policies to Prevent Obesity in the U.S. & Globally,” Lindsey Smith-Taillie, PhD, Assistant Professor, Nutrition


Please contact Anne Cabell, who organizes the lunch, at with any questions about the program.