The overall goal of the Rush Center of Excellence on Disparities in HIV and Aging (Rush CEDHA) is to provide an infrastructure to support collaborative, multidisciplinary epidemiologic research focused on understanding and eliminating racial disparities in the aging-related consequences of HIV. The proposed Center will integrate and centralize minority health and health disparities research into a single interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary enterprise. It has four Cores and three related research projects to support the goals of the Center. The Administrative Core will provide scientific leadership to the CEDHA as a whole. The Research Core will collect annual cognitive and motor function data, psychosocial risk factors, co-morbidities, and biospecimens in older adults (>50 years) with and without HIV infection, and compare them to existing data from HIV-uninfected persons age 65-90 matched on race, gender, and socioeconomic status. The data generated by this Core will be used to support two research projects and one pilot project focused on inflammation and immune senescence in HIV. Project 1 will collect MRI data and serum inflammatory markers on subjects from the Research Core, and test hypotheses concerning the relationships among age, race, and inflammation in HIV. Project 2 will measure immune perturbations and markers of immune senescence in lymphocytes to estimate the age-associated acceleration in aging due to HIV, and test the hypothesis that racial differences in immune perturbations lead to early immune senescence in African Americans with HIV. Pilot project 1 will conduct a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to explore the safety and estimate the effect offish oil to modulate parameters of aging-related inflammation and immune senescence in HIV. The Research Training/Education Core will centralize education efforts in health disparities research and develop a research training component to mentor early career investigators interested in health disparities. The Community Engagement/Outreach Core will provide a wide range of educational programs to support outreach and recruitment of minorities into studies and disseminate research findings back to the communities experiencing the health disparities.
The rich resources generated by the Rush CEDHA will provide the research community with unparalleled opportunities to conduct studies that are essential to combat the pervasive health disparities between older African Americans and whites infected with HIV, a large and growing public health challenge.
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