The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was named the 15th most productive institution in the world for publishing cancer research studies, according to Nature Index. The ranking was based on a review of more than 20,000 research articles published in 82 prominent natural-science journals between 2015 and 2019.

Person wearing a white coat and gloves in a research lab using a pipette.
A cancer researcher in the Franco Lab at UNC Lineberger.

UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center is the nexus of cancer research at UNC-Chapel Hill and the largest research center at university. The cancer center brings together more than 400 scientists from schools and departments across the health affairs and the college to conduct laboratory, clinical and population-based cancer research with a focus on creating a greater understanding of cancer, its prevention, early detection and treatment. UNC Lineberger’s members are also key to UNC’s nationally renowned cancer care programs.

“This is a tribute to an amazing faculty and their creative approach to cancer, from the cell to society, as well as to their ability to communicate their findings in the world’s top science journals,” said UNC Lineberger Director Shelton Earp, MD. “Scientific discovery is fundamental to the development of better methods for cancer detection and patient care, and it is critical that research findings are shared through published studies so others can build on our knowledge and we on theirs.”

The Nature Index Cancer 2020 is a supplement to the journal Nature, one of the world’s leading scientific journals. In addition to tracking institutional scientific publication output, the supplement identifies trends in cancer research findings and collaboration, as well as research funding and progress in the prevention, treatment and survival rate for different forms of the disease.

More than half (28) of the 50 institutions included in the ranking were from the United States. China, with 12, had the second most institutions recognized. Harvard University earned the top ranking followed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Institutes of Health. Duke University was ranked 28th, giving North Carolina two institutions included in the rankings.