The Northwestern University (NU) Clinical Research Site (CRS) for the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) addresses the highest research priorities in AIDS research through retention and maintenance of the cohort, collection and repository storage of specimens, and development and implementation of the MACS Research Agenda. Through the leadership we provide and the data and biological specimens we collect, the NU CRS actively contributes to all MACS core protocols and thematic substudies to characterize the long-term, natural and treated history of HIV infection in a cohort of men who report sex with men (MSM). We strictly adhere to good practice guidelines, established policies and procedures, and robust quality assurance and quality control measures to ensure the accuracy, reproducibility, and integrity of the clinical and laboratory data and biological specimens. Scientific and administrative management provides both the flexibility and means to conduct multidisciplinary research projects as well as the resources to respond rapidly to evolving scientific opportunities. For the past 30 years, we have maintained a strong AIDS research portfolio that supports basic discovery research into important priority areas in etiology and pathogenesis, behavior and social science, and natural history and epidemiology. The diversity of the work makes possible a broad and multidisciplinary view of AIDS research. Scientific questions take full advantage of the strengths of the MACS, namely, its duration and the continuity of data and specimens that timespan provides. Researchers can distinguish data and specimens from men before and after infection, before and after beginning medications, or before and after the development of comorbidities or their complications. Productive relationships across the entire MACS consortium, as well as other consortia and organizations, have coalesced around specific issues to advance scientific knowledge, the health of people, and policy development. By capitalizing on the unique resources of the NU Genome Sequencing and Analysis Program, we are able to explore the human genome and define the biological circuits that underlie cellular processes in search of the molecular basis of disease. MACS genomic data are shared among investigators in an interpretable manner and made widely available to the research community through a controlled-access system that reduces the risks of sharing potentially identifying data. Looking ahead, the NU CRS will continue to support a rational, holistic research plan that will provide insight into the evolving biological and psychosocial characteristics of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in MSM. We will build upon our AIDS research portfolio built on a unique cohort, rich with clinical and biological information. We will replace existing cohort members who die or are lost to follow-up using a rolling cohort design. With data obtained through multidisciplinary studies of high scientific quality, we expect to advance research that will help to better manage the care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS, and contribute to vaccine development as well as public health policy and interventions.

Public Health Relevance

The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) is the longest ongoing natural and treated history study of people with HIV/AIDS. This ongoing study, which chronicles the biological and psychosocial factors that have shaped the epidemic, tracks HIV disease and its comorbid conditions. The knowledge that we acquire about immune and host restriction factors, the mechanisms of viral persistence, and the impact of treatment and normal aging, will improve the clinical care of people with HIV/AIDS, guide public health public health policy and interventions, and contribute to vaccine development.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1)
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Roe, Joanad'Arc C
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Northwestern University at Chicago
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Friedman, M Reuel; Stall, Ron; Plankey, Michael et al. (2017) Stability of Bisexual Behavior and Extent of Viral Bridging Behavior Among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Women. Arch Sex Behav 46:903-912
Natsag, Javzandulam; Erlandson, Kristine M; Sellmeyer, Deborah E et al. (2017) HIV Infection Is Associated with Increased Fatty Infiltration of the Thigh Muscle with Aging Independent of Fat Distribution. PLoS One 12:e0169184
Okafor, Chukwuemeka N; Cook, Robert L; Chen, Xinguang et al. (2017) Prevalence and correlates of marijuana use among HIV-seropositive and seronegative men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), 1984-2013. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 43:556-566
Roy, Sion K; Estrella, Michelle M; Darilay, Annie T et al. (2017) Glomerular filtration rate and proteinuria associations with coronary artery calcium among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. Coron Artery Dis 28:17-22
Zhang, Long; Tin, Adrienne; Brown, Todd T et al. (2017) Vitamin D Deficiency and Metabolism in HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 33:261-270
Levine, Andrew J; Martin, Eileen; Sacktor, Ned et al. (2017) Predictors and Impact of Self-Reported Suboptimal Effort on Estimates of Prevalence of HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 75:203-210
Korada, Sai Krishna C; Zhao, Di; Tibuakuu, Martin et al. (2017) Frailty and subclinical coronary atherosclerosis: The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). Atherosclerosis 266:240-247
Venkatachari, Narasimhan J; Jain, Siddhartha; Walker, Leah et al. (2017) Transcriptome analyses identify key cellular factors associated with HIV-1-associated neuropathogenesis in infected men. AIDS 31:623-633
Jotwani, Vasantha; Scherzer, Rebecca; Estrella, Michelle M et al. (2017) Association of HIV infection with biomarkers of kidney injury and fibrosis in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. Antivir Ther 22:421-429
Margolick, Joseph B; Bream, Jay H; Martínez-Maza, Otoniel et al. (2017) Frailty and Circulating Markers of Inflammation in HIV+ and HIV- Men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 74:407-417

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