Since 1989 the mission of the Virology Core has evolved around two primary activities: (i) the provision of campus-wide laboratory infrastructure for BSL2+ research and (ii) the provision of services that facilitate the research adapted to the needs of our CFAR members. The Virology Core provides access for CFAR members to a fully equipped, laboratory infrastructure for BSL2+ research. Provision of access to this infrastructure starts with initial biosafety training and training in fundamental HIV methods. As CFAR members gain access to the BSL2+ facilities, the Virology Core monitors ongoing operation to assure biological safety compliance as mandated by NIH guidelines and UAB Biosafety regulations. Optimal operation is assured by continuous maintenance activities, which includes equipment and facility maintenance.
The specific aims of the Virology Core are as follows:
Aim 1 : Provision of access to state-of-the-art BSL2+ laboratory facilities. ? Provide and maintain BSL2+ laboratory infrastructure. ? Provide training in BSL2+ laboratory containment and personnel protection safety practices in accordance with HHS/CDC laboratory policies and practices for working safely with HIV. ? Provide training for the use of all laboratory equipment ensures safe and effective research activities within the BSL2+ laboratories. ? Monitoring ongoing operation to ensure compliance with biosafety assurance procedures.
Aim 2 : Provision of training for HIV-related research methods and assays developed at UAB. ? Provide training and consultation for the application of virologic methods, techniques and assays. ? Provide defined HIV/AIDS research reagents developed by UAB CFAR investigators.
Aim 3 : On-demand services for molecular cloning and protein expression/purification. ? Provide expertise and services for molecular cloning and protein expression. ? Provide convenient on-site access to commercially available research supplies Around this framework, and through execution of the specific aims by a dedicated professional staff, the Virology Core serves as an "academic hub", facilitating discovery, stimulating interdisciplinary research, fostering new research opportunities and promoting collaborations and research directions. Our forward looking focus will strengthen and extend Virology Core services that represent high priority opportunities as they align with both CFAR investigator's scientific needs and the National HIV/AIDS Research Strategy.

Public Health Relevance

The UAB CFAR is an academic leader in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. The Scientific Strategy of the UAB CFAR includes coordination of interdisciplinary research projects and programmatic initiatives. Through centralization of important virologic research resources and associated services, the Virology Core enhances the effectiveness and productivity of a large number of HIV/AIDS researchers within the UAB CFAR.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1)
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University of Alabama Birmingham
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