This application describes our proposal to establish the District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research (DC CFAR), building upon the strong scientific and administrative base that we have established over the past decade initially as the DC HIV/AIDS Institute from 2005-2009 and subsequently as a Developmental CFAR from 2010-2014. The DC CFAR represents a unique city-wide model which unites the complementary scientific efforts of the six major academic HIV/AIDS research institutions in Washington, DC - George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, American University, the Children's National Medical Center and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center - and works in close collaboration with government and community partners. The HIV epidemic in Washington, DC is one of the most severe in the United States, with more than 16,000 persons living with HIV/AIDS, and an HIV prevalence rate of 2.5% among all adults and 5.7% among black men. Created to help address what had been a suboptimal response to the local epidemic, the DC D-CFAR has had a transformative impact on the HIV scientific landscape in DC -- helping to inform the public health response to the local epidemic, competing successfully for numerous NIH awards and administrative supplements, and recruiting and supporting a large cadre of both senior and early stage HIV investigators. However, despite recent progress in decreasing the number of newly reported HIV cases, nearly two new HIV cases are still diagnosed in DC each day. The Mission of the DC CFAR is to expand our multi-institutional effort to support research that contributes to ending the HIV epidemic in Washington, DC and beyond in partnership with government and community.
The Specific Aims of the DC CFAR are: 1) to provide scientific leadership and institutional infrastructure to advance HIV research in Washington, DC; 2) to stimulate and support innovative, interdisciplinary and translational HIV research; 3) to promote the development and recruitment of early stage, new, and women and minority HIV investigators; and 4) to advance HIV research in DC by increasing communication and collaboration among HIV investigators. The DC CFAR will support research in three primary scientific domains: HIV Prevention; Immunology, Virology and Pathogenesis; and Optimization of HIV Care and Treatment. These domains will be supported by five well-established Cores: Administrative Core A will provide overall scientific leadership and coordination; Developmental Core B will focus on providing support and mentorship to early stage, minority and new HIV investigators; and three Scientific Cores, Basic Sciences Core C, Clinical and Population Sciences Core D, and Social and Behavioral Sciences Core E, will provide services to support innovative, interdisciplinary and translational research. Lastly, the DC CFAR will support two Scientific Working Groups (SWGs) to promote research in two priority areas: the Highly Impacted Populations SWG and the Cure SWG.
Washington, DC has one of the most severe urban HIV/AIDS epidemics in the United States, with 2.5% of adults living with HIV infection. The proposed District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research (DC CFAR) represents a city-wide consortium of 190 investigators at six academic research institutions who are deeply committed to conducting scientific research to help inform an effective public health response to the local and global epidemics. The DC CFAR will accomplish its mission by providing HIV scientists with pilot award funding, mentorship, and scientific services, and through the continued recruitment of both senior and junior HIV scientists.
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