This application requests renewal of support for the fourth funding period (years 16-20) of the Baylor- UT Houston Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). Both institutional partners are located in the vibrant Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas. Houston is the fourth largest city in the US with a very diverse population and is ranked 7th in the US (2007) for cumulative number of AIDS cases. This current funding period (2004-2009) has proven the value of the synergistic partnership between Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas Health Science Center, raising CFAR efforts in HIV/AIDS research in Houston to a new level. Our historically successful Developmental grants program continued to foster HIV/AIDS research, with a lifetime record (1994-2008) of invested CFAR funds resulting in over 18-fold leveraging as reflected by new external funding to grantees. A comprehensive strategic planning process guided the CFAR in the development of visionary and proactive plans for the next 5 years that capitalize on unique strengths and opportunities. CFAR goals are supported by the expertise and services of six scientific cores: Immunology, Virology, Clinical Research, Design &Analysis, Behavioral Sciences, and International Research. New to this application, we propose to support a Scientific Program on HIV Associated Malignancies that builds upon opportunities provided by the recent development of an NCI designated Cancer Center at Baylor. Also new are identified Opportunity Areas that create a mechanism for Core Directors to provide proactive leadership in areas with potential to positively impact HIV/AIDS research at the CFAR. One opportunity to be pursued is developing ties with the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio, Texas, to facilitate CFAR member research involving nonhuman primates. Maturation of infrastructure and human capacity at international sites provides exciting possibilities for collaborative research which will be exploited in the next funding period. We will provide inter-CFAR leadership to support an innovative educational program on infectious diseases developed for middle schools. The unique environment of the Texas Medical Center creates many opportunities for scientific, clinical, and educational collaborations, of which the CFAR takes full advantage.
The Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) at Baylor-UT Houston supports research on the pathogenesis, prevention, detection, and treatment of HIV infection and AIDS. The CFAR has been an essential catalyst for HIV/AIDS research in the Houston area. The State of Texas ranks fourth in the total number of AIDS cases in the United States. The CFAR seeks renewal of support to continue its comprehensive efforts against HIV/AIDS.
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