Chronic sequelae of long-term HIV infection and treatment including heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) co-morbidities are increasingly important causes of morbidity and mortality. Latent HIV and maladaptive inflammation also persist despite successful ART. Therefore, we propose a new training program in HIV-related research, the Pittsburgh HIV Mentored Training for Investigation of Co-morbidities and Cure (HIV MeTrICC), led by Drs. Alison Morris, Dr. John Mellors, and Solomon Ofori-Acquah. They have an outstanding training record for PhDs and MDs, and their research experience spans the spectrum from basic to translational to clinical with expertise in lung, blood, and vascular co-morbidities and HIV cure. HIV MeTrICC will be an interdisciplinary, intensive mentored research training and career development experience focused around two interrelated training tracks ? HLBS Co-morbidities and HIV Cure with the following objectives: 1) To provide intensive mentoring in HIV-associated HLBS Co-morbidities and HIV Cure. Our team of established Mentors will offer unique multidisciplinary mentoring and career guidance to Scholars in the conduct of HIV research projects. Scholars will choose Mentors from the MeTrICC Co-morbidities and HIV Cure tracks. Tracks will be highly interactive. 2) To provide didactic training to foster progression to an independent career in HIV-related research. Formal training will encompass a broad spectrum of research methodologies, technologies, and analytical approaches to basic, clinical, and translational HIV research. Scholars with varying levels of prior research experience will be supported by Individual Development Plans geared to their needs. 3) To provide opportunities for training in Inner-city HIV and International HIV settings. Scholars will be able to choose from two different focus areas if relevant to their career plan. For the Inner-city HIV focus, we partner with the University of Maryland and the NIH to provide experience with the District of Columbia Partnership for AIDS Progress, the nation?s largest urban HIV cohort study. For our International HIV focus, we utilize several sites in Africa with ongoing basic, clinical, and translational research. 4) To provide access to large, multi-center HIV studies: Scholars will have access to large cohort studies including the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, the Women?s Interagency HIV Study, the Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Therapy pulmonary substudy, the Pittsburgh HIV Lung Research Cohort, and the Pharmacokinetic and Clinical Observations in People over 50 sleep Substudy. 5) To support scholars in preparation of an independent research proposal: The program will ensure that Scholars rapidly develop grant-writing skills and submit competitive grant applications to help them secure HIV research funding. We will support five post-doctoral Scholars (MDs and PhDs) for a period of 2 to 3 years based on initial level of experience (i.e. post-docs vs junior faculty). The success of the MeTrICC program will be measured by concrete milestones such first author manuscripts, grant funding, and transition to faculty with the ultimate goal to recruit a new generation of researchers to HIV and HLBS complications.
We propose a new training program in HIV-related research: the Pittsburgh HIV Mentored Training for Investigation of Co-morbidities and Cure (HIV MeTrICC) that will train five post-doctoral scholars. Scholars will receive inter-disciplinary, intensive mentored research training and career development in either the heart, lung, blood, and sleep Co-morbidities track or the HIV Cure track. They will also have the opportunity to train in an inner-city HIV setting or at an international site. The Pitt HIV MeTrICC program will help train the next generation of clinical, translational, and basic researchers in HIV heart, lung, blood, and sleep and cure.