The specific aim of the Boston University Clinical HIV/AIDS Research Training (BU-CHART) Program is to provide rigorous postgraduate training to physicians to enable them to conduct high-quality, ethical HIV/AIDS research focused on disadvantaged populations. BU-CHART will provide specific training in research methods of relevance to study substance abuse, healthcare disparities, and co-morbidities of HIV infection. A particular focus will be formal training in research ethics. The Program Site is comprised of the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH), and Boston Medical Center (BMC), the "safety net" hospital for the city of Boston. BMC is part of the national Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), the AIDS Malignancy Consortium, and CDC-sponsored clinical trials of HIV/tuberculosis co-infection. Its investigators have a strong record of sponsored research in HIV epidemiology, HIV/hepatitis C co-infection, HIV and alcohol abuse, adherence, prevention, international HIV research, and HIV interactions with tuberculosis. The proposed BU-CHART Program Director, Dr. Paul Skolnik, has been the PI of two prior NIAID T32 HIV training grants and an NIAID T32 infectious diseases basic research training grant. Dr. Skolnik has a substantial record of serving as mentor for successful trainees, and has ongoing HIV/AIDS-related funding. The Training Program Executive Committee (EC) will consist of Drs. Horsburgh, Skolnik, Samet, Cotton, Felson (who is PI of a K30 award that is partnered with this grant), and Center (the PI of a recently awarded Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). Trainee progress will be monitored through regular meetings of the Program Director with trainees, with oversight by the EC. BU- CHART will be administratively based in the Section of Infectious Diseases (ID), Department of Medicine, BUSM. Two trainees each year will enter a structured program that includes earning the MSc degree at the BUSPH, and conducting a clinical research project under the guidance of a Project Mentor that will form the basis of a thesis submitted as part of the MSc degree. Trainees will also be assigned an Ethics Mentor and write an ethics paper. A member of the EC will be assigned to each trainee as a Senior Mentor. Thus each trainee will have a mentoring team. The primary goal of BU-CHART, on which all efforts are focused, is to transform trainees into independent, physician-investigators in clinical research who have a special focus on research in disadvantaged populations and research ethics.
The BU-CHART program will train doctors to answer important questions about HIV infection through clinical studies and how best to improve people's health through prevention and treatment. BU-CHART will train the next generation of HIV researchers, through interactions with skilled physicians who currently conduct these studies, to meet the challenges of the future related to HIV infection of men, women, and children.
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