The project supports the Data Coordinating Center (DCC) to the National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium (NNTC). The NNTC is a resource for investigators conducting NeuroAIDS research to identify the neuropathogenic mechanisms involved In HIV disease of the central and peripheral nervous systems. The consortium is composed of four NNTC Clinical Sites and one DCC that work cooperatively as a resource for the research community, providing HIV/AIDS Investigators with clinically annotated datasets of antemortem Information and associated postmortem tissue and fluids. The DCC provides the NNTC with scientific leadership, management expertise, bioinformatics and Information systems infrastructure, statistical and epidemiology expertise, and serves as a voting member of the NNTC Steering Committee. The DCC works cooperatively with the NNTC Clinical Sites to provide (1) management and database capabilities to ensure effective clinical and brain banking operations and (2) scientific expertise in biostatistics and HIV epidemiology to support broad analyses of the NNTC clinical database and analyses that support the recruitment and retention goals for the cohort. The NNTC has produced over 380 peer-reviewed publications, over 175 abstracts/book chapters/presentations, as well as supporting the work on numerous researchers'grants. The DCC serves as the point of contact for users of the resource (tissue and/or data requests) and services the requests from the time they are submitted through fulfillment of the request and follow up with the requestor to provide the results of their researc. The NNTC website is used extensively for dissemination of resource Information (query tools, reports, request applications) and management tasks such as resource tracking, document libraries, and communication activities. An inventory of all specimens housed at each NNTC Clinical Site will be maintained, as will be databases generated with additional research data beyond clinical assessments such as bioinformatics datasets by the users of the resource. The DCC promotes the NNTC through public relations materials including a comprehensive website and meeting presentations.
The NNTC has served as a valuable resource to the NeuroAIDS research community since 1998. Its continuation is critical given the need for quality CNS tissues and related antemortem clinical data. Investigators using these resources examine emerging research topics in the NeuroAIDS field such as: a) eradication of HIV from persistent CNS reservoirs;b) pathogenic mechanisms of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) in setting of long term HAART;and c) HIV and aging.