Development of a UCSF-Gladstone CFAR Health Disparities Core

Investigator: Paul Volberding, MD
Sponsor: California HIV/AIDS Research Program

Location(s): United States


The UCSF Disparities Core will complement the existing five Scientific and Development Cores within the UCSF-Gladstone CFAR, an NIH-funded interdisciplinary center dedicated to fostering the intersection of basic, clinical, and epidemiological HIV research at UCSF and affiliated institutions. The overall mission of the Core is to support, direct and advise the research of UCSF and affiliated institution investigators working to reduce the many disparities amongst vulnerable, at-risk, LGBTQ, minority and people of color populations in testing, treatment, and care for HIV-positive individuals and communities in the Bay Area. The Core will do so by soliciting, evaluating, funding and advising research projects that address a particular disparity and specific community in concert with community-based organizations and departments of public health. Regular advisement will be solicited of a Community Advisory Board comprised of individuals active in the Bay Area HIV/AIDS communities, as well as from partnering community-based agencies that work directly with the populations and clients, for whom the Core aims to have the most impact. The Core will host educational seminars, workshops, and conferences open to investigators and the community alike. Principal Investigator and CFAR Co-Director Paul Volberding, MD, and Core Director Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD, will provide exceptional institutional leadership, with decades of HIV research, clinical care, and community involvement between them.        

The Health Disparities Core will develop with the assistance and guidance of CFAR leadership and staff. Core Director Marguerita Lightfoot will immediately begin attending quarterly Core Director Committee meetings, which address issues of funding and budgets, Core user needs, discussions of how Cores can work together, and require updates from Core Directors on research activity generated by their Core. Dr. Lightfoot will continue her tenure on the Internal Advisory Board, which has kept her aware of recent and pending developments in the functionality of the CFAR. To ease some of the Core’s administrative duties and to expand the Core’s ability to offer consultation services, provide educational opportunities, and encourage young investigators, the CFAR will appoint an Assistant Director and two research Advisors. A meeting with the proposed Community Advisory Board and community-based agencies will occur within the first month of funding so decisions about the Core’s short- and long-term goals will be made in conjunction with our community partners. The Core will be developed and sustained by the contribution of current CFAR staff