The goal of the Tissue Culture and Virology Laboratory Core is to provide experimental and reagent support for the four Projects focusing on HIV-1 pathogenesis in the female genital tract and for pilot projects awarded by the Administrative Core. There are three specific aims to address this goal: 1) to perform experiments using a cervical tissue explant model;2) to produce HIV-1-related molecular and virological reagents and perform standardized virological assays;and 3) to manage and maintain a respository containing blood and cervicovaginal lavages specimens from HIV-1 exposed or infected women. Dr. Nell Lurain will serve as the Director of the Core to oversee all activities and to communicate results to the Project Investigators. Dr. James Bremer will serve as a co-investigator to facilitate the use of the specimen repository. Drs. Lurain and Bremer have collaborated with all of the Program Investigators for over five years on other projects and will meet monthly with them to ensure that the Core program fulfills their requirements in a timely manner. In particular, the Core offers a unique expertise in the design and performance of experiments using the cervical explant model, which is highly relevant to HIV-1 disease in the female genital tract. This model will be used to measure inhibition of HIV-1 by cervical secretions from women exposed to HIV-1 who fail to become HIV-1 seropositive (Project III)or from women who have changes in the bacterial flora of the genital tract (Project II). The model will be used to study hormonal effects on HIV-1 infection (Project IV), and the model will be used to study the effects of HIV-1 co-infection with other viruses such as human cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex type-2 (Project I). The strong working relationship that has already been established between the Core Director and the Project Investigators will allow the maximum efficiency in utilizing this important model. The Core staff has molecular and virological expertise, which will provide specific reagents needed by the Projects. The knowledge and proficiency of the Core staff will provide reliable results in support of each Project, leading to a better understanding of the mechanisms of HIV-1 transmission and development of new interventions to prevent HIV-1 infection.
The purpose of Core C is to provide assays and reagents required by the four projects, which all focus on different aspects of HIV-1 infection of the female genital tract. In particular, the Core can perform experiments in cervical tissue, which is a relevant human tissue for testing conditions that affect HIV-1 replication.
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