Researchers in Lab


The College of Sciences is a top research enterprise that tackles the world’s toughest challenges. We work with leading partners and use cutting-edge technologies to solve the most difficult problems and answer the deepest intellectual questions.

Harnessing Convergence, Promoting Discovery

Phil Castellano in his laser labMuch of our research focuses on convergence science — people from different fields coming together to tackle big problems in areas of health, energy, security and the environment. We’re also making great strides in discovery science that confronts the greatest intellectual questions of our time.

Improving Human Health

Maintaining health rather than reacting to illness. Giving patients individualized care, right when they need it. These revolutionary approaches to health care harness the college’s strengths in the quantitative biosciences — a re-integration of the subdisciplines of biology with the added power of mathematics, chemistry, physics and other sciences.

Heather Patisaul studies how chemicals in the environment affect us. In this image, she’s examining neurons in the brain of a laboratory rat colored by a process called immunohistochemistry.

Safer Baby Bottles

Heather Patisaul’s research on BPA helped convince the federal government to ban the chemical from baby bottles. Patisaul, a biologist, spreads the word about her research through media interviews, visits to museums and schools, and even testifying before Congress.

Sounding the alarm on BPA

The Future of Life on a Changing Planet

As the planet changes, life is changing with it. Desertification, sea-level rise and more powerful hurricanes are not just climate events, they affect where we live, what we buy and how we eat. Our researchers are developing more precise predictors of these complex Earth systems and projecting how the changing composition of life will affect human health, food production and other parts of society.

Chris Osburn

Protecting Water Quality

Chris Osburn turned his childhood interest in the great outdoors into research that is helping protect water quality in key ecosystems. He incorporates biology, geology and chemistry to study the flow of elements in ecosystems ranging from lakes and rivers to the oceans.

Making Ecosystems Healthier

More Than 400 Active Research Projects

The college is among the most research-intensive units at NC State, with hundreds of active research projects and more than $40 million in annual research expenditures.

Discoveries That Change Everything

The double helix. The theory of relativity. Certain discoveries are so revolutionary that they upend traditional ways of thinking about our world. We’ve created a fertile environment for our researchers to make these kinds of disruptive discoveries that change everything.

Carla Frohlich, astrophysics

Star Searcher

For astrophysicist Carla Fröhlich, stars and supernovae are not just awe-inspiring sights to view through a telescope — they hold the key to making sense of the elements that make up our planet.

Understanding the Origins of Everything

Data-Driven Science

NC State is a big-data powerhouse with long-held strengths in statistics and mathematics. Now we’re leveraging the power of big data — data sets that are massive in size and complexity — to develop more customized approaches to health care, improve national security and learn more about how pollutants affect our bodies.

Marie Davidean

Personalized Cancer Treatment

Statistician Marie Davidian collaborates with researchers at other Triangle universities on an important National Cancer Institute-funded project developing new statistical approaches to personalized cancer medicine. The long-term goal of such work is to identify the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.

Honoring a Legendary Data Scientist