Modern antiretroviral treatments delay disease progression and death and create the possibility for HIV+ individuals to live near-normal life-spans. However, the treatments only partial restore immune function, have unknown long-term (>10 year) toxicities, and likely only partially reverse damage done by the virus prior to the initiation of therapy. The critical question that arises is how will clinicians maximize treatment success and minimize treatment and disease-associated long term toxicities? To answer this question, investigators need access to clinical outcome information that is tightly linked to biologic specimens and socio-biologic data to enable translational research. The CFAR Network of Integrated Clinical Systems (CNICS) project is a new resource that can contribute substantially to the contemporary HIV research agenda. Established in 2002 and funded as an R24 research platform in 2006, CNICS is a clinic-based research network that reflects the outcomes of clinical decisions and management options used in the care of HIV infected individuals at 8 CFAR sites: UAB, U Washington, UCSF, UCSD, Case Western Reserve, Fenway Community Clinic (Brown/Harvard), U North Carolina, and Johns Hopkins. The CNICS project supports a database that serves as a central repository of verified and quality-controlled data from the electronic medical records (EMRs) at each site. The clinical data is linked to patient reported outcome obtained at regular intervals, geospatial data, and to biologic specimens stored in repositories and readily available for use in translational research projects. The mission of CNICS is to provide access to the specimen and data repository to any investigator who submits an approved concept proposal. In this fashion, CNICS is a 'peer-reviewed open access'research platform available to investigators worldwide.
The specific aims for this competitive renewal of CNICS are to: 1: Expand the original CNICS research platform;2: Provide direct access to the expanded CNICS research platform to as many investigators as feasible;and 3: Establish a Mentoring Program that targets early and mid-career investigators engaged in multidisciplinary HIV-focused research.
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