The overall goal of the Virology Core is to enhance HIV and AIDS research! at Baylor College of Medicine and UTHouston by providing comprehensive state-of-the-art virological assays and services. The Virology Core will also make available its specialized BSL2/2+ laboratory facilities to CFAR HIV/AIDS researchers and train them in the proper usage of the facilities. The Core is headed by Dr. Andrew P. Rice, who has over 20 years'experience as a molecular virologist working on HIV. Dr. Edward Siwak, Associate Core Director, an experienced manager, is responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the Core. The Core also includes an experienced staff with specific expertise in the assays performed by the Core. A major goal of the Core is to foster HIV research through publicizing to CFAR investigators our ability to provide reagents (e.g., viral strains, reporter viruses, primary human macrophages) and develop assays tailored to individual user's needs. Current major Virology Core services include: (1) PCR-based assays for HIV-1 RNA and DNA and cellular mRNAs;(2) p24 antigen assays;(3) processing, storage and shipment of specimens and other biological samples from patients with HIV infection;and (4) training and usage of BSL2/2+ facilities. Finally, the Virology Core has a program in place to evaluate annually the current and future needs of CFAR investigators and provide them with new assays and services as needed for clinical, basic, and translational research projects.
The Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) at Baylor-UTHouston 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 Virology Core provides virus assays and training on how to handle HIV in special laboratory settings.
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