This application is to establish the UNC-Malawi Cancer Consortium (UNC-MCC), to develop capacity and conduct high-impact research focused on HIV-associated cancers. The consortium builds on longstanding collaborations between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), Lighthouse Trust, Malawi Ministry of Health, and University of Malawi College of Medicine (COM). These partnerships have resulted in internationally recognized contributions for HIV care and prevention in sub-Saharan Africa. This infrastructure can now be leveraged for HIV-associated malignancies. UNC-MCC is focused on the herpesvirus-associated cancers, Kaposi sarcoma (KS), and lymphoma. Our consortium will be led by three principal investigators with highly complementary expertise (Satish Gopal MD, clinical research;Sam Phiri PhD, implementation science;Blossom Damania PhD, virology). The Applied Analytics Core (Analytics Core) for the consortium will be led by Nora Rosenberg PhD (UNC Project-Malawi) and Hannock Tweya MPH (Lighthouse Trust). Both are based in Malawi with strong track records in study design, data analysis, and manuscript writing, and have played key roles in supporting in-country research activities. This is an optional core prioritized by consortium partners to provide analysis support and training to Malawian investigators, which is currently insufficient. Supporting the Analytics Core co-PIs are an established group of faculty in Malawi and at UNC-CH, who have been enlisted to provide mentorship in key areas prioritized by consortium partners, and as required for the specific projects proposed. The Analytics Core will be focused on the following aims: (1) conducting analyses to support the three proposed research projects;(2) building analytic capacity within Malawi through various training activities;and (3) disseminating findings from consortium-sponsored research. The core's activities will take place in close collaboration with the other administrative and mentoring cores for the consortium, and will assist in building human research capacity and maximizing scientific outputs from UNC-MCC.
The UNC-Malawi Cancer Consortium will address herpesvirus-associated cancers in the HIV-infected population in Malawi through research and capacity building. The Applied Analytics Core for the consortium will support analysis, training, and dissemination of consortium-sponsored research.