The Case Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) comprises three highly productive clinical research sites: Case/UHC in Cleveland, the University of Cincinnati, and the Joint Clinical Research Center in Kampala. Each of these three sites is a top performing ACTG treatment trial site with excellent accruals, outstanding performance evaluations and major roles in the leadership of the network and it is scientific productivity. A key theme of this CTU is the close link of our clinical research portfolio with our basic and translational research programs. Thus, the three CRS sites of the Case CTU bring a comprehensive research plan to the enterprise. Led by faculty who are national and international leaders in their fields, these units are poised to make substantive contributions to each of the priority areas targeted by the ACTG: Inflammation/End Organ Disease, Antiretroviral Medications, HIV Eradication and Cure, Tuberculosis, and Hepatitis. The Case/UHC CRS has also been a productive member of the HVTN. The Case/UHC CRS has been a high- performing site in this network, having enrolled participants, including some from difficult-to-reach segments of the population, into multiple HVTN trials during this funding cycle. In some cases, enrollment has substantially exceeded expectations from the site. Additionally, Case CTU investigators are highly accomplished researchers who have extensive experience in the monitoring of immune responses form immunization, in evaluating diverse immunization strategies to enhance vaccine responsiveness, and in the use of vaccine responsiveness as a readout of immune competence. The University of Cincinnati CRS is a highly efficient, well-managed CRS that has been conducting clinical and translational research for the ACTG since 1987, and is the number 1 site by number of participants enrolled in the US. In addition to their extraordinary performance on enrollments, the site has extensive accumulated expertise in the metabolic complications of HIV, and is additionally a high-performing protocol-specific HPTN site. The JCRC is one of the top-performing international sites in the ACTG, and is the critical component in the contributions of the Case CTU to the tuberculosis agenda. It is also the site of the first hepatitis C treatment clinical trial in Africa, the ACTG A5360 protocol. The JCRC CRS has also previously demonstrated its ability to access large numbers of subjects in well-defined populations at high risk for HIV infection, having been the site of the first HIV vaccine trial in Africa, and can begin contributing to the HIV prevention networks immediately as well if selected as a site. Thus, the three CRS that comprise this CTU are positioned to provide sustained leadership and contribution to the treatment and prevention agenda of the NIAID Networks.
HIV infection can be treated and to some extent prevented with effective medications, but this alone has not resulted in sufficient progress worldwide to expect an end to the HIV epidemic. In addition, persons who are infected with HIV, even if they are receiving effective medication treatment, continue to have health consequences that likely persist for life; in many cases, they remain at risk for other infectious complications as well. The Case CTU plans to contribute to research to improve the options to deliver HIV treatment, to find an effective and universal HIV vaccine, to achieve long-term control of HIV in infected persons, and to understand lethal infectious complications such as tuberculosis and hepatitis.
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