THIRD COAST CFAR CORE C: CLINICAL SCIENCES CORE (CSC) Against the backdrop of a worsening HIV epidemic among Chicago's men who have sex with men, the Clinical Science Core (CSC) of the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (TC CFAR) is structured to facilitate and enhance patient-oriented clinical and translational HIV research, and in concert with the other TC CFAR Cores, actualize the strategic focus of the Scientific Working Group (SWG) called END HIV.
The specific aims are: 1) to optimize recruitment of targeted populations and access to clinical data and biological samples; 2) to provide research design, implementation and liaison services; and 3) to catalyze innovative research involving investigators from multiple disciplines by disseminating advances in clinical HIV research that spark new collaborations and by mentoring new investigators. To achieve these aims, the CSC will implement innovative strategies to increase the value of existing infrastructure strengths, which currently include world-class researchers and research laboratories at Northwestern University (NU) and strengths in social sciences at the University of Chicago (UC). The CSC will also synergize latent potential for HIV research that exists in strong community partners including the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Alliance of Chicago Community Health Services, which has a functional electronic health records system and data warehouse that will be leveraged for clinical/translational research. Innovations introduced by the CSC include: i) a centralized web-based recruitment portal to expand cross-institutional subject recruitment, particularly of hard-to-find patients such as those with acute/recent HIV infection, ii) a biological specimen registry to maximize sharing of valuable specimens without adding cost, iii) and a resourceful data analyst, a highly experienced research navigator and program coordinator, all working as part of a Database Team empowered to interconnect researchers with data and research resources. Regularly convened ?Meet Your Researcher Forums? to improve research literacy of patients and their providers will anchor CFAR investigators to the HIV community, while the Clinical HIV Collaborative nested within the Lunch and Learn series will uncover research collaboration opportunities, foster cross-fertilization of ideas and facilitate excellent mentoring. A range of research development and implementation services, including support for clinical research design, statistical analysis, regulatory approvals, linkage to research-related professional services (including biopsies) and specialized laboratory services will transform the capacity and efficiency of HIV research. Overall the CSC will exponentially increase the number of outstanding investigators in the TC CFAR and fuel discoveries that will propel us towards the goal of ending the HIV epidemic.
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