HIV and Substance of Abuse Laboratory Core The HIV and Substance of Abuse Laboratory Core (H-SALC) will continue providing human and physical resources needed to support studies In the areas of HIV/AIDS and related diseases as well as in substances of abuse. This support is extended to the Retrovirus Research Center, Center for Addiction Study, Comprehensive Center for the Study of HIV Disparities and other centers of the RCMI Program. In addition, it will continue with the existing collaborative activities with at least three communities and government based agencies. Furthermore, it will provide administrative and scientific support to pilot projects with the participation of consultants and mentors. Therefore, the research plan for the Renewal Proposal Is directed toward: 1) Providing a centralized, well-structured laboratory supportive of research activities undertaken by centers and programs, including those handling infectious material and immunodeficiency diseases (HIV/AIDS, HCV, cancer, and vaccine development). 2) Improving and introducing new methodology to test the effect of addiction-related drugs (cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and, methadone, and buprenorphine) on the immune system, the glial-neuro-network and HIV (i.e., NeuroAIDS), and HCV infectivity. 3) Upgrading and replacing obsolete instrumentation and acquiring new equipment to meet the increasing need of research projects for redirecting their methodology and making it more amenable to the translational research trend, 4) Strengthening existing and new affiliations with community service agencies to facilitate the involvement of specific disease populations in our research and services efforts, 5) Providing scientific and administrative support to pilot projects with the participation of consultants and mentors. To achieve these objectives, a research plan is discussed in the present proposal.

Public Health Relevance

Sustaining RCMI Program funding to H-SALC is crucial to help in establishing mechanisms by which illicit drugs alter human health (i.e., HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis) and formulate policies conductive at detecting, preventing and treating diseases associated with them.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Research Centers in Minority Institutions Award (G12)
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Universidad Central Del Caribe
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