The overall NeuroGerm (NG) Core is co-directed by Drs. Davey Smith and Rob Knight and comprises a ?Virology-Inflammation Unit? and a ?Microbiome Unit?. These units will be integral to the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center (HNRC), and will develop new knowledge and new technologies to meet the Center's scientific and training goals. Specifically, the units will provide HNRC and collaborating researchers with expertise and techniques relevant to the virologic and immunologic investigation of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) with an enhanced focus on the role of the microbiome, and on HIV eradication from the central nervous system (CNS). The NG Core will offer a range of services focused on: (i) assay development, validation and provision, (ii) analytical support, (iii) quality assurance, (iv) training, and (v) provision of samples and reagents. Since viral populations in the central nervous system (CNS) can be genetically distinct from populations in other tissues, such as blood, lymphoid and genital tract, advanced virologic techniques will be needed to characterize neurotropism and neurovirulence in the CNS in relation to HAND, as well as to design appropriate HIV eradication strategies involving the CNS. The NG Core will also enhance the HNRC's transdiciplinary focus through close collaboration with the NeuroBiology, NeuroAssessment and Developmental Cores, utilizing multiple laboratory and analytical techniques specific to CNS derived virus, and characterizing the microbiome in relation to neurocognitive functioning. In summary, the NG Core will provide the proposed quality services to tackle the mission of the HNRC. The provision of these services will be based on a detailed strategic planning process designed to maintain flexibility and to maximize utility of offered services based on the scientific needs of the field and our associated HIV investigators. With its variety of cutting-edge molecular and immunologic techniques, the NG core will be crucial to the understanding and mechanisms of the neuropathogenesis of HIV.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1)
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University of California, San Diego
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