The Viral/Molecular Core (Core D) provides reagents, facilities, lab services, consultation &training in support of innovative, multidisciplinary and translational HIV/AIDS research on the Penn/CHOP/Wistar campus with the broad goal of advancing collaborative research in the pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of HIV/AIDS, serving CFAR investigators from multiple programs. The specific Core activities supporting this goal are to provide: ? Virology services including a repository of HIV-1 prototype, primary and mutant strains;virus isolation from patient samples;amplification of virus working stocks;structurally intact inactivated virions;HIV p24 and SIV p27 ELISA assay;and other viral services. ? Molecular services including support for realtime qPCR along with reagents, optimized primer-probe sets and custom primer/probe development;viral genotyping or cloning from clinical specimens;molecular virology support for translational research programs;and in the next cycle a new high density pyrosequencing service. ? Education, training, consultation and leadership in molecular virology activities including training in BSL3 practices for CFAR members lab personnel;training and consultation in virological and molecular techniques for CFAR investigator personnel;facilitating the dissemination and adoption of new technologies; and collaboration with and support of other Cores and campus programs in their HIV/AIDS research-related educational efforts. During the current funding cycle the Core provided support to 46 CFAR investigators, contributing to novel gene therapy approaches to HIV infection;better understanding of integration and establishment of latency;new approaches to vaccine design;advances in viral entry and resistance to entry inhibitors;effects of neuroimmune mediators &drugs of abuse;HIV neuropathogenesis;and other areas. The V/M Core has evolved significantly over the past 9 years in response to CFAR member needs and user feedback, levels of utilization, and internal &external advisory input, and collaborates closely with other CFAR Cores in support of these goals. The Core has been directed since its inception by Drs. Ronald Collman (director) and Luis Montaner (co-director) and, going forward, will be joined by Dr. F. (Rick) Bushman (co-director) to supervise the introduction and dissemination of new molecular sequencing technologies to CFAR investigators.

Public Health Relevance

The Viral/Molecular Core provides laboratory services, reagents, facilities, training and support in the area of fundamental virology and molecular biology in order to enhance the ability of investigators on campus to carry out innovative research on the pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS utilizing state-ofthe art technology, optimal virus strains, maximal efficiency and the highest level of biosafety.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1-SV-A)
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University of Pennsylvania
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