Over 6 million new cases of sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPVs) infections are reported every year making HPV the most common sexually transmitted agent world-wide. At least 15 carcinogenic HPV types cause virtually all cervical cancers however;the costly HPV vaccine licensed in 2006 covers only HPV types 6/11/16/18 and has no therapeutic effect on established infections. Thus all women must continue routine cervical screening at a US cost of $4-5 billion annually. More importantly, the majority of women alive today are still at risk for developing cervical cancer. In addition, the current vaccine program presently leaves all men unprotected. Given these considerations and the fact that cervical cancer is a disease of disparities, it is unlikely that projected disease reductions will be realized with current strategies. Programs to characterize current US HPV vaccine implementation and effectiveness are needed and continuing efforts to better understand HPV biology and to develop broadly protective prevention strategies and therapeutics for existing infections remain critical.
The specific aims of this application are: 1) To establish the University of New Mexico Interdisciplinary HPV Prevention Center that incorporates research approaches to address these gaps in knowledge. 2) To fund and support 4 projects representing a spectrum of interdisciplinary approaches including: A) modeling of PV-host interactions in 3 dimensions to define elements of epithelial cell biology and immunity that contribute to the pathogenesis and prevention of infections;B) utilizing novel vaccine strategies based on virus-display technology to generate broad protection against a majority of HPV infections;C) utilizing a unique bioinformatics system that captures all events of a US population-based cervical screening program to characterize implementation and effectiveness of primary and secondary HPV interventions;and D) developing a set of web-based tools to promote the informed adoption of HPV and other STI prevention. 3) To establish 2 cores housing shared resources to support these interdisciplinary research approaches: A) a biostatistics and bioinformatics core and B) a virus infection core supporting technologies for virus production, quantitation, and animal imaging and housing a biospecimen resource.
The University of New Mexico Interdisciplinary STI Prevention Center will focus on the most common sexually transmitted agents, human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. To maximally realize improvements in HPV prevention, the Center will partner basic biological discovery, technological advancements, population-based effectiveness and diffusion of interventions across laboratory, clinical &real-world settings.
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