The Laboratory Sciences Core, Core D, under the direction of Dr Savita Pahwa (Director), Dr Rafick Sekaly (Co-Director), Dr. Geoffrey Stone (Core Coordinator) and recently recruited Co-Director of the CFAR, Dr Mario Stevenson will provide state-of-the-art assays in immunology, macrophage biology and molecular virology as well as expertise in systems biology. In the transition to a full CFAR, the Core has broadened its services to include systems biology and special virology. Core D laboratories that will serve the CFAR consist of I), the Immunology laboratory which performs specialized immunology assays and processes samples for the Miami CFAR biorepository;II), Sub-core 1, the Systems Biology Laboratory (new) at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI) in Port St. Lucie will provide consultation and bioinformatics support for gene array and related assays;HI), Sub-Core 2, the Special Virology Laboratory (new) that will offer molecular virology and purified myeloid-lineage cells by elutriation and IV, the CLIA approved Diagnostic Laboratory that performs routine CD4 and virus load assays and is also a back-up for cryopreservation of repository samples.
The specific Aims of Core D are: 1. To provide access to specialized, innovative and standardized immunologic assays for HIV/SIV immunopathogenesis and vaccine research, by providing immunologic services such as multiparameter flow cytometry, T- and B cell specific ELISPOT, assessment of cytokines, microbial translocation, thymus function, and immune monitoring protocols for investigations in human and non-human primate cells. The Core provides purified cell populations as well as protocols for manipulation (transfection, RNAi) of primary cells and links up investigators with specialized laboratories. 2. To provide capacity-building consultation for genomic assays and bioinformatic analysis performed at Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI) at Port St. Lucie, FL;3. To provide special virology and elutriated monocytes to CFAR investigators in the special virology sub-core. 4. To promote educational activities and to provide consultation/training for new CFAR-supported developmental grant awardees in collaboration with the Developmental Core, Core B and to T32 Trainees, 5. To assist in the CFAR objectives of developing scientific areas of research (SAR), by provision of laboratory resources to SAR members, and 6. To assist in development of repositories of clinical cohorts including HIV-negative and HIV-positive cohorts in collaboration with Clinical Sciences Core (Core C) and Behavioral and Social Sciences and Community Outreach Core (Core E).
The proposed project is relevant to public health because it will establish a series of laboratory services and mechanisms to enhance HIV/AIDS research of established- as well as new investigators conducting AIDS research. This Core has a strong leadership and is critical for the success in attaining the collective goal of the Miami CFAR to discover novel means of prevention, treatment and ultimately cure HIV /AIDS.
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