Tune in to Focus Carolina during morning, noon and evening drive times and on the weekends to hear stories from faculty members at UNC and find out what ignites their passion for their work. Focus Carolina is an exclusive program on 97.9 The Hill WCHL, sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Melina Kibbe is the first female chair of the Department of Surgery in the Carolina School of Medicine and her research focuses on new ways to treat vascular disease and ensuring women are represented in clinical trials.

“I had a very defining moment when I was in ninth grade. I was diagnosed with scoliosis, and, promptly after being diagnosed, has surgery. So I have a Harrington rod in my back and it was really that whole event, meeting my surgeon and seeing what he did, how he fixed the problem, I just knew I wanted to do exactly what he did.”

Part 1

One of Dr. Kibbe’s research projects is the development of a new treatment for a specific kind of combat injury.

“I was at a meeting and we were presenting our work on the targeted therapies to keep the arteries open longer, and a trauma surgeon came up to me and actually said, ‘You know, have you ever thought of developing a therapy to stop hemorrhage, especially non-compressible torso hemorrhage? It’s the number one cause of death for our soldiers.’ So, as a vascular surgeon, I thought about it and said, ‘Well, that’s interesting. For me to develop a therapy to stop hemorrhage, I need to have something unique, some unique protein that’s expressed at the site of bleeding and nowhere else.’ And sure enough, there is something like that.”

Part 2