Central Nervous System HIV Translational Research Training Program

Investigator: Richard Price, MD
Sponsor: NIH National Institute of Mental Health

Location(s): United States


Our understanding of fundamental aspects of the neuropathogenesis of HIV-1 and central nervous system (CNS) opportunistic Infections continues to be limited, and indeed in the current era of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), the manifestations and likely pathogenesis of HIV-1- and Immunosuppression- related neurological diseases continue to evolve. Thus, further dedicated investigation in the field of neuro- HIV, with a dynamic, multidisciplinary, and international perspective Is of major importance. The objective of this Training Program Is to provide a closely mentored program for physician scientists to develop careers in translational research relevant to the pathogenesis and treatment of HIV infection and associated opportunistic infections in the nervous system. This application seeks support for the UCSF/SFGH CNS HIV Research Fellowship Training Program, a formal clinical and translational research training program supported by a program faculty of 19 established investigators in HIV/AIDS research at UCSF and four extramural members of an external advisory committee. Our multidisciplinary training program includes opportunities in immunology, virology, clinical trials, disease progression, acute HIV, public health, HIV and aging, neuroimaging, and international research. Our three-year training program offers opportunities for both laboratory-based experiences and hypothesis-driven clinical and epidemiologic investigation. Postdoctoral training will be offered to clinically trained scientists with M.D. degrees and prior specialty training. In addition to laboratory or clinical research, trainees will participate in a series of regularly scheduled courses, seminars, journal clubs, conferences, and a seminar series on the responsible conduct of research. Through a carefully selected didactic and educational program, and close monitoring of trainee progress with a formalized mentoring process, trainees will gain the skills to design and execute rigorous investigative projects, analyze their data, and publish their results. Trainees will be guided both by mentors and CTSI and CFAR supported grant-writing workshops and courses in the preparation of extra-mural funding applications, with the goal of obtaining independent career- development awards by the conclusion of the fellowship. The program is designed to train a small number (one new fellow per year) of physician-scientist candidates who are highly motivated to gain expertise in the specialized area of clinical and translational neuro-AIDS research. With abundant resources in the form of study participants, outstanding local collaborators, and educational opportunities, UCSF/SFGH provides an exemplary environment for training in neuro-AIDS, facilitating the establishment of solid and visionary research programs by early-career stage investigators.