This application constitutes a renewal on the part of the University of California/Los Angeles (UCLA) for a Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) grant. This grant will fund activities and programs conducted by the UCLA CFAR within the UCLA AIDS Institute. The UCLA CFAR was set up in 1988, and the AIDS Institute was established in 1992 to coordinate all AIDS research, clinical and educational activities at the University and its seven affiliated teaching hospitals under one central administration. The overall organization of the AIDS Institute and the CFAR was restructured in 2005, in order to more efficiently and effectively manage a faculty that has grown by 30% in the last five years and CFAR-applicable grants that have risen by 50% since we submitted our last renewal application. This renewal application includes CFAR core services and activities that are designed to advance knowledge of HIV/AIDS through the basic, clinical, and behavioral sciences. The overall mission of the UCLA CFAR is to create synergies among diverse disciplines that result in significant breakthroughs in the understanding, prevention and treatment of HIV infection-with particular emphasis on high-value cross-disciplinary collaborations. The UCLA CFAR consists of more than 200 faculty investigators who are responsible for more than 250 research projects that encompass virtually all aspects of HIV/AIDS biology, clinical studies, and behavioral science. UCLA has consistently been ranked among the top institutions for excellence in AIDS research, education and teaching, and clinical programs. Metropolitan Los Angeles is a major epicenter for the AIDS epidemic and one of the most culturally diverse regions in the nation, and our programs are designed to reach out to these diverse communities. We are particularly proud that 50% of the patients recruited into our clinical trials in recent years are members of minority communities. The role of the CFAR is to foster collaboration and build linkages both within and outside the university, through support of scientific and administrative core facilities, and the provision of seed grant funding for highly meritorious collaborative research projects. The action plan for the first year of requested support, January 2008 to December 2008, is summarized as follows: The CFAR plans to continue supporting eight of the cores funded by the previous CFAR grant: Administrative Core, Developmental Core, Virology/BSL3 Tissue Culture Core, Cytometry Core, Mouse/Human Chimera Core, Gene and Cellular Therapy Core, Mucosal Immunology Core, and the Biostatistics Core. Based upon changing epidemiology, needs assessments, strategic planning and revised short- and long-term goals, two cores were eliminated and a Clinical Research Facilitation Core and a Consultation Core are added. CORE A: Administrative Core (Zack, J.) CORE A DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The Administrative Core of the UCLA CFAR will provide infrastructure support that adds value to all AIDS-related research and programs at UCLA. The Administrative Core is responsible for overseeing all operational and governance aspects of the UCLA CFAR. The joint administration of the UCLA CFAR and the AIDS Institute provides the following forms of support for the CFAR: fiscal administration and grants management, procurement of equipment and supplies, short- and long-range planning, administrative support for CFAR symposia, colloquia, and think tanks (including financial, editorial, graphic-design, and logistical support), development of educational programs for scientists and laypersons, on-campus and community-based outreach activities, administrative support for seed grant and fellowship reviews, compliance with all UCLA, University of California and NIH requirements, marketing and fund-raising, respond to requests for information and assistance (from the NIH, from our colleagues and collaborators, from the press and public), and supervision of all of the day-to-day activities of the CFAR. The Administrative Core will provide efficient, effective management of all CFAR programs through an accessible, streamlined and responsive administrative operation. The Administrative Core is overseen jointly by the Principal Investigator of the CFAR, Dr. Jerome Zack, and the Co-Pi of the CFAR, Dr. In/in Chen, who is also the Director of the UCLA AIDS Institute.
The specific aims of this Core are:
Aim 1. Program Development: Develop, implement and coordinate programs that support the wide-ranging research activities of the UCLA CFAR through a flexible and responsive administrative structure designed to maximize access to information and assistance, to enhance communication and to encourage collaboration.
Aim 2. New Investigator Development: Facilitate the work of all UCLA AIDS researchers, but particularly junior, new and minority investigators, through specific mechanisms, such as mentorship programs and assistance with IRB applications, human-subject recruitment, data analysis, and grant writing, that reduce time, costs, and effort.
Aim 3. Business Affairs Administration: To provide an infrastructure dedicated to AIDS research through funding of administrative services and overall coordination of research activities, think tanks, seed grant reviews and other activities of the CFAR.
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