Emory CFAR Members Receive R01 from NIH NIDCR to Accelerate Search for Novel Biomarkers for Oral HPV Infection Among People Living with HIV

Emory CFAR Members Receive R01 from NIH NIDCR to Accelerate Search for Novel Biomarkers for Oral HPV Infection Among People Living with HIV

Emory University is awarded 3.9 million ($3,930,416 from 2022 to 2027) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH, NIDCR) for a new R01 to accelerate the search for novel biomarkers for oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection among people living with HIV. The principal investigators, Canhua Xiao, PhD, RN, FAAN is an Associate professor in the School of Nursing, and Lisa Flowers, MD, MPH is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory University School of Medicine.

HPV infection has been identified as a definite human carcinogen for oropharyngeal cancer.  People living with HIV (PLWH) have a much higher rate of oral HPV infection and oropharyngeal cancer than the general population.  Yet, the etiology and pathophysiology of oral HPV infection in PWH are not well-documented. Therefore, the collaboratory team will examine the associations among oral microbiome, periodontal diseases, and oral HPV infection.  In addition, the team to identify and harness the unique immunological underpinnings of oral HPV infection in people with HIV.  The immunological analysis of this study will be conducted by the study Co-investigator Vijayakumar Velu, PhD an immunologist, Assistant Professor from Emory Vaccine Center and Emory National Primate Center. Other Co-investigators are Drs. David Reznik, Deborah Bruner, Sudeshna Paul, Timonthy D. Read, Minh Ly T. Nguyen, Terryl Hartman, Elizabeth Unger, and Gypsyamber D’Souza.  The findings may indicate new biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets for preventing and managing oral HPV infection.

 

The study leaders are (left to right) Canhua Xiao, PhD, RN, FAAN; Lisa Flowers, MD, MPH; and Vijayakumar Velu, PhD.

Call for Proposals that Address the Intersection of HIV and the Monkeypox Virus

Call for Proposals that Address the Intersection of HIV and the Monkeypox Virus

NOTICE OF SPECIAL INTEREST (NOSI): Research at the Intersection of HIV & Monkeypox 

The Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) at Emory University is soliciting applications for pilot grants of up to $25,000 for one-year research projects that address the intersection of HIV and the monkeypox virus. Proposals must focus on monkeypox prevention, treatment, care, and/or vaccines in one or both of the following priority populations: people living with HIV and/or people at increased risk for HIV (e.g., men who have sex with men, people of trans experience, sex workers, people who inject drugs) who are currently on or actively seeking to be on PrEP.  

Applicants must be current Emory faculty or Morehouse School of Medicine faculty who meet the eligibility criteria in the below NOSI.

Examples of potential project areas may include (but are not limited to):

  • Understanding susceptibility, local transmission, risk factors for, and clinical outcomes of monkeypox in one or both priority populations;
  • The effects of the monkeypox outbreak on health outcomes in one or both priority populations;
  • Health equity research related to monkeypox care delivery or treatment for one or both priority populations;
  • Community-engaged research on stigma reduction and/or prevention messaging aimed at preventing acquiring HIV and/or monkeypox among one or both priority populations;
  • Implementation science research on the local response in the context of a monkeypox outbreak and the implications for HIV prevention/care delivery for one or both priority populations;
  • Monkeypox virology and/or immune responses in one or both priority populations;
  • Uptake of and immune responses to approved and candidate monkeypox vaccines in one or both priority populations;
  • Basic research, including use of animal models, to better understand the intersection of monkeypox virus and HIV.

ELIGIBILITY:

  • Eligibility to be PI on an NIH R-level grant
  • Faculty or faculty-equivalent position with a full-time appointment at Emory University or the Morehouse School of Medicine as of award start date.
  • Meets the definition of an NIH “New Investigator” in HIV/AIDS. Specifically, prior funding as an NIH independent investigator makes an applicant ineligible ONLY IF the funding has been in the HIV field.
    • Exception: Investigators with prior independent NIH funding in HIV are eligible if they have not been the PI on any NIH HIV-related grant within the last five years.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: August 19, 2022 by MIDNIGHT EST

APPLICATION PROCESS

Project proposals should be submitted online as a single PDF document using the following link by midnight EST on Friday, August 19, 2022: https://bit.ly/HIV-MonkeypoxNOSI.

Submissions must include the following:

  1. Research proposal (limited to one page) that includes brief scientific rationale and specific aims. References may be added if needed beyond the page limit.
  2. Line item budget and budget justification (limited to one page each).
Call for Applications for the Emory Training Program in HIV Translational Research to End the Epidemic

Call for Applications for the Emory Training Program in HIV Translational Research to End the Epidemic

TRAINING OPPORTUNITY: Fellow-driven & mentor-supported HIV translational research fellowships at Emory University

Are you a PhD, MD, MD/PhD graduate with an interest in HIV Translational Research? Are you within seven years of your terminal degree? Are you a U.S. Citizen or Naturalized (Green Card) U.S. Citizen? Can you devote two years to training?

All trainees must commit full-time effort to the program and its related research activities.

Eligible Areas of HIV Research

  • Laboratory-based science, vaccine, and cure research
  • Patient-centered clinical research
  • Public health and implementation science

Trainees will gain expertise in cross-cutting areas ofscience and translation to the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative

HIV T32 Program Trainees will Receive:

  • Annual stipend at appropriate NIH-specifiedlevel based on years of postdoc experience
  • Travel & childcare allotments; research supplies
  • Tuition support for formal didactic training intranslational research (MSCR, CPTR, or selectedgraduate level courses)
  • Hands-on translational research rotation

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: April 15, 2022

Application Process:

1. Potential candidates should complete an HIV T32 Interest Form to initiate discussion with the faculty Program Director (PD) in the target area of interest regarding the candidate application: https://bit.ly/EmoryHIVT32

a. Laboratory-based basic science, vaccine, and cure research: Ann Chahroudi, MD, PhD
b. Patient-centered clinical research: Colleen Kelley, MD, MPH
c. Public health and implementation science: Patrick Sullivan, DVM, PhD

2. Applicants will identify potential mentor(s) from the list below during the discussion with the faculty PD. The PD will then contact the mentor(s) suggested to confirm willingness to meet with the applicant.

3.  The Program Coordinator will then connect applicants and potential mentors. It is up to the applicant/mentor to meet and mutually decide the best fit. Once the mentor has agreed to support the trainee throughout the duration of the appointment, the applicant must notify the Program Coordinator via email of final decision.

4.  Approval to apply should be obtained prior to April 1, 2022. Candidates are encouraged to apply after mentor and program reviews are

To apply, submit an application package including the following documents as a single PDF via email to deaunna.thomas@emory.edu by 5 PM EST on April 15, 2022:

  • Cover letter specifying focus area of interest with statement of future goals for a career in HIV research. Applicants should include personal qualifications for the fellowship and what they hope to gain from the fellowship;
  • Current CV or NIH biosketch;
  • A letter of support from the proposed HIV T32 mentor;
  • Letter(s) of support from one other scientist (e.g. recent supervisor, mentor, or a collaborator);
  • A two-page description of the proposed research project and proposed didactic training plan (including graphs/figures but not references);
  • MD applicants from clinical departments must also provide a letter from the applicant’s Department/Division Chair, indicating departmental commitment to provide at least 75% protected time for the trainee applicant to devote to the proposed research project. This letter can be same as the required letter of support from one other scientist, described above.
Emory CFAR at Virtual CROI 2022

Emory CFAR at Virtual CROI 2022

Strong Showing by Emory University at CROI 2022

Emory University is well-represented at the Virtual CROI 2022 conference with 33 presentations — 8 talks (two of which are invited) and 25 posters — featuring Emory faculty, students, and staff.  Please use the spreadsheet below as guides to support your fellow Emory CFAR Members by tuning in for their sessions and Q&A.  We also invite you to follow along with us on Twitter (@EmoryCFAR) for daily tweets featuring Emory CFAR Member presentations!

We are pleased to highlight 10 Emory CFAR Members who received prestigious New Investigator Scholarships this year.  Join us in congratulating:

  1. Brady Bennett
  2. Sakthivel Govindaraj
  3. Timothy Hoang
  4. Christina Mallarino-Haeger
  5. Aditi Ramakrishnan
  6. Maura Statzu
  7. Boghuma Titanji
  8. Vanessa Van Doren
  9. Elise Viox
  10. Bhrugu Yagnik

On behalf of the Emory CFAR, congratulations to all of you who are representing Emory at virtual #CROI2022!

2022 Greeting from the Emory CFAR Co-Directors

2022 Greeting from the Emory CFAR Co-Directors

Happy New Year from the Emory CFAR!

On behalf of the Emory CFAR leadership team, we hope the new year is off to a great start for you!  We are both hopeful for what 2022 will bring to the local HIV research community and energized by a very productive last year for the Emory CFAR. Let’s take a minute to reflect on a few successes from 2021:

WELCOMED NEW LEADERSHIP THROUGHOUT THE CFAR 
In January 2021, we welcomed Ann Chahroudi, MD, PhD and Colleen Kelley, MD, MPH to the Emory CFAR senior leadership team. Chahroudi was appointed as the Co-Director for Basic Science, and Kelley was appointed as the Co-Director for Prevention Science. This change was the first in our Emory CFAR strategic succession plan to identify and mentor the next generation of HIV research leaders, increase diversity across the CFAR, and bring new voices to the table to push science forward.  Read the Emory press release for details. That momentum continued in August 2021 when new leadership joined our Developmental Core and all five science Cores. Learn more about these changes here.  In October 2021, we launched two new CFAR Scientific Working Groups (SWGs) – the Health Equity SWG and Next Generation Therapeutics SWG.  For the first time in the history of the CFAR, the leadership of the Health Equity SWG includes an Emory investigator (Sophia Hussen, MD, MPH), a Morehouse School of Medicine investigator (Rhonda Holliday, PhD, MA), and a community advocate (Alphonso Mills, BA). To learn about the SWGs and their top-notch leadership teams, click here.

SUBMITTED A STRONG NIH CFAR COMPETITIVE RENEWAL APPLICATION
In July 2021, we submitted our fifth NIH CFAR competitive renewal application (in total 1,045 pages!). This milestone reflects months of preparation, collaboration, innovation, and late nights of work from Emory CFAR leaders and staff. We are pleased to announce that our application was reviewed very favorably in December and that we received an outstanding priority score. In particular, reviewers applauded our forward-thinking succession plans, the breadth and volume of science supported through our Cores, the productivity of our early- and mid-career investigators as demonstrated through the return on our Developmental Core pilot program ($2.47M CFAR investment resulting in a $42.7M NIH return), the CFAR’s strong institutional support, and a robust partnership between the CFAR and the local community, spearheaded by our Community Liaison Council.

WITNESSED HIV RESEARCH CONTINUE TO GROW AT EMORY
Since we submitted our first CFAR application in 1997, NIH-funded HIV research at Emory has grown leaps and bounds.  In FY97 we had a little over $8 million dollars of NIH-funded HIV research. We recently learned that for FY21, Emory investigators received over $73 million dollars in HIV research from NIH! This incredible growth placed Emory as one of the top six research universities in total HIV research dollars received from NIH.  Serving as the cornerstone of Emory University’s transdisciplinary HIV research community, the CFAR provided scientific leadership and critical services to nearly 440 investigators over the last five years.

SUPPORTED THE LAUNCH OF MAJOR NEW HIV RESEARCH EFFORTS AT EMORY
In 2021, the CFAR was proud to support the launch of two new HIV research programs at Emory.  The first program is the NIH-funded Martin Delaney Collaboratories (MDC) for HIV Cure Research.  Emory CFAR Members, Deanna Kulpa, PhD, Mirko Paiardini, PhD, and Guido Silvestri, MD were awarded the first Emory-based MDC – The Enterprise for Research and Advocacy to Stop and Eradicate HIV (ERASE HIV).  Likewise, Emory CFAR Co-Director, Ann Chahroudi and colleagues at Johns Hopkins launched the first pediatric research-focused MDC – the Pediatric Adolescent Virus Elimination (PAVE) Collaboratory.  Emory CFAR Systems Immunology Core Associate Director, Rafick Pierre Sékaly, PhD will co-lead the new Sanford Burnham Prebys-based Reversing Immune Dysfunction (RID) for HIV-1 Eradication.  Silvestri also co-leads the UNC-Chapel Hill-based Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication (CARE) MDC which was first funded in 2011.  Learn more about these four MDCs here and here.

Last year, we announced the first HIV-focused NIH T32 post-doctoral training program at Emory – the Emory Training Program in HIV Translational Research to End the Epidemic.  This exciting new initiative is led by Emory CFAR Co-Directors, Ann Chahroudi and Colleen Kelley and CFAR Prevention & Implementation Sciences Core Co-Director, Patrick Sullivan, DVM, PhD.  Trainees will choose from one of three research tracks (basic, clinical, or implementation science), gaining expertise in cross-cutting areas of science and translation to the Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative.  Learn more about the program here, and be on the lookout for an announcement for the next application cycle!

FACILITATED COVID-19 RESEARCH AT EMORY
Lastly, we were honored to provide key CFAR services and support to Emory investigators who are leading the way in the response to COVID-19.  As of July 2021, Emory investigators published 1,037 COVID-related research papers with 24 citing the CFAR grant including studies that describe the impact of COVID-19 among people living with or at risk for HIV. Emory CFAR Members leveraged our infrastructure and Cores to lead the response to this public health emergency, garnering >$88M in federal grants (~20% of Emory’s FY20 NIH funding).

Thank you all for your support over the last year!  We look forward to working together in 2022 to contribute to ending the HIV epidemic by accelerating the highest caliber translational research — fostering team science, equity, and multidirectional stakeholder engagement.  

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