This application proposes continuation of the Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in AIDS (IRTPA) at Duke University where an exceptional group of basic scientists and clinical researchers has been assembled under the direction of the Duke Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). A large funding base from diverse sources (exceeding $50 million) provides a wide range of opportunities for research with the scientists who comprise the IRTPA faculty. Since the last re-competition of this grant, an international component has been added under the umbrella of the Duke Global Health Institute, further enriching the research environment. Over the previous 19 years of the grant, the program has had considerable success, consistently filling all available training slots (54 research trainees [22 MDs, 31 PhDs, 1 MD/PhD]). Almost 90% of graduates have been hired to positions in academia, biomedical research, or public health. These achievements reflect the careful selection of highly qualified and motivated young researchers, nurtured in an exceptionally rich training environment. Opportunities for HIV-associated research training at Duke include both basic science and clinical research. Potential training sites include: 1) Human Vaccine Institute (Bart Haynes, MD), offering basic science research into immune responses in HIV-infected persons;2) HIV Pathogenesis research (Bryan Cullen, Ph.D.) offering basic virology research opportunities;3) Acute HIV infection and clinical research studies (Charles Hicks, MD);4) HIV Opportunistic infections research (Jason Stout, MD) offering research into mycobacterial, fungal, and viral co-infections as well as other HIV-associated disorders;5) Pediatric HIV research (Coleen Cunningham, MD) focusing on a range of maternal-infant, pediatric and adolescent HIV research studies;6) International HIV research (John Bartlett, MD) with HIV research done in Tanzania in collaboration with the Global Health Institute;and 8) other research options including the potential to develop research studies in behavioral medicine and social issues to include access to care and health inequalities, led by Kate Whetten, Ph.D. The Duke Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in AIDS is positioned to continue and expand its ongoing record of success.
Although HIV is becoming a chronic, manageable disease, much remains to be done. Disappointing HIV vaccine trials, long-term toxicities from antiretroviral therapy, and failure to diagnosis many persons infected are only a few of the challenges that remain worldwide. Training the next generation of HIV research scientists is crucial to the solution to these problems. The Duke IRTPA will provide training for both basic scientists and clinical researchers to move the research agenda forward.
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