Penn Center for AIDS Research

Developmental Core: Penn CFAR Pilot Grant Program in HIV/AIDS

Mission | Pilot Awards | Mentoring Program | Personnel | Contact Info

CMV retinitis
The same eye with CMV retinitis before and after treatment with a ganciclovir implant. (Kempen Pilot)

The major goal of the Developmental Core is the promotion of AIDS- and HIV-related research at the University of Pennsylvania, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and The Wistar Institute by providing a source of funding for pilot projects. The Developmental Core supports short-term (one year) projects in emerging areas of HIV research, including new research related to the recruitment of new investigators, research by established investigators who are turning their attention to AIDS, and research by HIV/AIDS investigators who are undertaking studies that represent a significant departure from their previous work. Please see here for a full description of the Pilot Program.



Recipients of Developmental Core Pilot Grants in HIV/AIDS

Fiscal Year Investigators Title of Project
2019 Aletha Akers, M.D. Understanding HIV Testing Behavior Among Young, Urban, At-Risk Women Seeking Contraceptive Services
2019 Lily Brown, Ph.D. PTSD, Substance Use, Sleep Disorders, and Suicide Risk in Persons Living With HIV
2019 Robert Carpick, Ph.D. Characterization of Hydrogels as Lubricious Coatings for Intrarectal Products
2019 Sarita Sonalkar, M.D., M.P.H. Integration of HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Screen into Care for Women with Abnormal and Undesired Pregnancies
2019 Jianxin You, Ph.D. Discovering the Immune Evasion Mechanism of Merkel Cell Carcinoma, an HIV-associated Malignancy
2018 Mohamed Abdel-Mohsen, Ph.D. Cell-surface Glycomic Signature Associated with Blood and Tissue HIV Reservoirs
2018 David Allman, Ph.D. Sequential immunization and lasting humoral immunity
2018 Laurence Eisenlohr, VMD, Ph.D. Processing of HIV-1 antigens for MHC class-II restricted presentation
2018 Shruthi Ravimohan, Ph.D. Host genetic correlates of aberrant immune recovery and pulmonary dysfunction in HIV/TB patients initiating ART
2018 Oriol Sunyer, Ph.D. Using an evolutionary old immune system for the discovery of broadly neutralizing HIV-1 epitopes
2018 Sarah Tishkoff, Ph.D. Impact of maternal exposure to HIV and anti-retroviral therapy on DNA methylation state in HIV-uninfected newborns in Botswana: A pilot study
2017 Stewart Anderson, M.D. A model system for the study of human macrophage synaptophagy of human forebrain synapses in HIV
2017 Surbhi Grover, M.D., M.P.H. Treatment Outcomes in HIV Patients with Locally Advanced Breast Cancer Who Receive Pre-Operative Chemotherapy
2017 Michelle Johnson, Ph.D. Robot Assisted Rehabilitation After HIV-Associated Stroke
2017 Laura Vella, M.D., Ph.D. Circulating T Follicular Helper Subsets as a Periscope into the Lymph Node and a Biomarker of HIV Resevoir
2017 Sarah Wood, M.D. Social Support as Facilitator of Adherence to HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men
2016 Emile Mohler, M.D. Evaluation of cardiovascular risk in patients infected with HIV
2016 Courtney Schreiber, M.D., M.P.H. Contraceptive service delivery with a cervical cancer prevention program in Botswana: a hybrid type 2 clinical intervention and implementation strategy
2016 Anastasios Vourekas, Ph.D. The role of RNA helicase DDX3X in the activation of HIV replication in latently infected T cells
2016 AT Charlie Johnson, Ph.D. Graphene-Aptamer Biosensor to Detect Tenofovir in Urine
2016 Chelsea Morroni, Ph.D., M.P.H. SACHOICE Study: Southern African Contraception and HIV Study: Options for Implant Continuation on Efavirenz
2016 Changchun Liu, Ph.D., M.S. A Novel Point-of-Care Isothermal PCR Assay for Meningitis Diagnosis in Low Resource Settings
2015 Nadia Dowshen, M.D. (Pediatrics) Development of a novel Mhealth intervention to improve adherence to antiretrovial therapy among HIV+ youth
2015 Joseph Jarvis, M.D. (Medicine/ID); Madisa Mine, Ph.D. (Ministry of Health, Botswana Government) The feasibility and potential utility of cryptococcal antigen screening to reduce early mortality in patients initiating Antiretrovial Therapy in BOTS: a pilot study
2015 Michael Mullen, M.D., MSCE (Neurology); David Bearden, M.D., (Neurology at CHOP) HIV and stroke in Botswana
2015 Laura Su, M.D., Ph.D., (Medicine/Rheumatology) Characterizing influenza-specific follicular helper CD4+ T cells in the lymph nodes of HIV patients on anti-retrovial therapy
2015 Anne Teitelman, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN (School of Nursing); Yukiko Washio, Ph.D. (TRI) What is the impact of substance use and violence on HIV testing among postpartum women?
2015 Ramin Herati, Ph.D. (Microbiology; E. John Wherry, Ph.D. (Microbiology) Assessment of serological and cellular inflammation to predict influenza vaccine responses in HIV-infected individuals
2014 Malitta Engstrom, Ph.D., LCSW (School of Social Policy & Practice) Community reinforcement and family therapy with men leaving prison and their female partners
2014 David Issadore, Ph.D (Bioengineering), Gregory Bisson, M.D. (Medicine) The ultra-sensitive detection of rare mycobacterium tuberculosis using a µHall chip
2014 Helen Koenig, M.D., MPH. (Medicine, ID), Karam Mounzer, M.D. (Medicine) Validation of a urine assay for the measurement of tenofovir levels as a means of monitoring adherence to truvada given as pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention
2014 Emilio Parrado, Ph.D. (Sociology), Felicia Lewis, M.D., CDR, USPHS (Philadelphia Dept of Health) HIV risks and health care access among Mexican and Central American immigrants in Philadelphia
2014 Xiaolu Yang, Ph.D. (Cancer Biology), Jim Riley, Ph.D. (Microbiology) Restriction of HIV by TRIM5a: mechanism and potential therapeutic application



Abass Alavi, M.D. (Radiology), Pablo Tebas, M.D. (Medicine/ID) Assessment of cardiovascular and central nervous system complications of HIV/AIDS by PET/CT imaging
2013 Katharine Bar, M.D. (Medicine/ID) Viral Dynamics of HIV-1 Rebound Viremia
2013 Henry Kranzler, M.D. (Psychiatry), David Metzger, Ph.D. (Psychiatry) Cognition as a Potential Mediator of Alcohol Use and Poor ART Adherence in HIV+ Drinkers
2013 Lilie Lin, M.D. (Radiation Oncology), Surbhi Grover (Medicine), Doreen-Ramogola-Masire (Botswana-UPenn) Impact of HIV infection and treatment on tolerability of cervical cancer therapy
2013 Deirdre Sawinski, M.D. (Medicine/ Renal), and Emily Blumberg M.D. (Medicine) Effect of rATG on HIV reservoirs in HIV+ kidney transplant recipients
2013 Jean Scholz, Ph.D. (Pathology & Lab Med), Michael Cancro (Pathology & Lab Med) Are potentially broadly neutralizing clonotypes eliminated at peripheral selection checkpoints?
2012 David Artis, Ph.D. (Microbiology), Gregory Sonnenberg, Ph.D. (Microbiology) Immune regulation of intestinal barrier function following SIV infection
2012 Paul Bates, Ph.D. (Microbiology) NFkB activation by Tetherin
2012 Haim H. Bau, Ph.D. (Engineering), Changchun Liu, Ph.D. (Engineering), and Robert Gross, M.D., M.S.C.E. (Medicine/ID; CCEB) Point of Care, Integrated System for Molecular Detection of HIV
2012 Hans-Peter Kohler, Ph.D. (Sociology) and Iliana Kohler, Ph.D. (PSC) Mental Health, HIV and Aging in a poor high-risk disease environment: A pilot study in rural Malawi
2011 Jennifer Cohn, M.D. (Medicine/ID) Mobile telecommunication solutions to improve HIV patient care at the community level in Kenya
2011 Ron Collman, M.D. (Med/Pulmonary) and Anjana Yadav, Ph.D. (Medicine); Dennis Kolson, M.D., Ph.D. (Neurology) Stain modulation of monocyte activation: a pilot study for potential use in NeuroAIDS
2011 Dennis Dlugos, M.D., M.S.C.E (Neurology at CHOP) and David Bearden, M.D. (Neurology at CHOP) Risk Factors for Seizures in Children with HIV/AIDS in Botswana
2011 David Metzger, Ph.D. (Psychiatry) and Sumedha Chhatre, Ph.D. (Psychiatry) Effects of stress reduction on chronic immune activation and inflammation
2011 Shikata Mudakha, M.D. (Medicine/ID) and Mary Kestler, M.D. (Medicine/ID); Harvey Friedman, M.D. (Medicine/ID) Developing a TB screening algorithm for coughers presenting for inpatient care in an arear of high HIV prevalence
2011 Virginia Stallings, M.D. (Pediatrics, CHOP) Botswana Vitamin D Supplementation Study in HIV/AIDS
2010 Sita Awasthi, Ph.D. (Medicine/ID) To establish a humanized mouse model for HSV-2 and HIV-1 Co-infection
2010 Ron Collman, M.D., (Med/Pulmonary) and Nicola Zetola, M.D. (Botswana) Alcoholism and MDR TB in HIV patients in Botswana
2010 Andrea Doyle, Ph.D. (Social Policy & Practice) and Jeffrey Draine, Ph.D., (Social Policy & Practice) Healthcare engagement of women who test positive for HIV in a vaccine trial
2010 Robert Gross, M.D., MSCE (Medicine) and Elizabeth Lowenthal, M.D. Psychosocial Assessments of HIV-infected children and adolescents in Botswana
2010 Carrie Kovarik, M.D. (Dermatology) and Rahat Azfar, M.D. The use of mobile telemedicine for remote diagnosis of HIV-infected patients in Botswana
2010 Daniel Langleben, M.D. (Psychiatry) and Daniel Romer, Ph.D. (Annenberg) Functional MRI of Brain Response to HIV Prevention Public Service Announcements
2010 Vincent Lo Re, M.D., (Medicine, ID) and Mary Leonard, M.D., MSCE A structural approach to bone disease due to Hepatitis C co-infection in HIV
2010 Zhengyu Ma (CHOP) and Dennis Discher, Ph.D. (Engineering) Probing the mechanism of HIV TCR specificity using atomic force microscopy
2010 Jon Merz, J.D., Ph.D. (Medical Ethics) and Francis Barchi, M.S. Botswana Ethics Training Initiative: Using web-based tools to enhance learning and skills-development in research ethics training of host-country HIV/AIDS
2010 Andrew Steenhoff, M.D. (Pediatrics) and Nicola Zetola, M.D. Novel diagnostics for pediatric tuberculosis
2009 Stefania Gallucci, M.D.(Pediatrics), and David Weiner, Ph.D. (Path/Lab Medicine) Clonogenic Progenitors of Dendritic Cells as Novel Antigen Carrier in anti-HIV
2009 Toorjo Ghose, M.S.W., Ph.D. (Social Policy & Practice) Implementing PATH-India: Reducing HIV Risk Among the Dually Diagnosed in India
2009 John Kempen, M.D, M.H.S., M.P.H., Ph.D. (Opthalmology), and Maureen Maguire, Ph.D. (Opthalmology) Pilot Study in Preparation for the Intravitreous Ganciclovir-Valganciclovir Cytomegalovirus Retinitis Trial (GIVCyT)
2009 Steven Marcus, Ph.D. (Social Policy & Practice), and Julie Cederbaum, M.S.W.,M.P.H. (Social Policy & Practice) HIV Serostatus and its Influence on Mother Influence Behaviors and Adolescent Engagement in HIV Risk Behaviors
2009 Doreen Ramogola, M.D. (Women's Health, University of Botswana), and Harvey Friedman, M.D. (Medicine, ID) Epidemiology of HPV Infection in HIV-infected Women with Precancerous Cervical Lesions in Botswana
2009 Samir Shah, M.D., M.S.C.E.. (Pediatrics, Epidemiology), and Zsofia Szep, M.D. (Medicine, ID) Association of Serum Vitamin D Levels and Insulin Resistance Among Patients Infected w/Human Immunodeficiency Virus
2008 Frederic Bushman, Ph.D. (Microbiology) The Macaque Gut Microbiota and SIV Infection
2008 Branch Coslett, M.D. (Neurology) and Kathy Lawler, M.D. (Neurology) Assessment of HIV-Related Dementia and Depression in Botswana
2008 Roy Kim, M.D. (Pediatrics) and Ian Frank, M.D. (Medicine, ID) Effects of Recombinant IGF-I in HIV-Associated Metabolic Disease
2008 Susan Ross, Ph.D. (Microbiology) Development of an in vivo Model to Study APOBEC3G/vif Interaction
2008 Courtney Schreiber, M.D. (OB/GYN) How to Avoid Pregnancies in HIV Prevention Trials: a Case-Control Study and Point-of-Care Questionnaire
2008 Anne Teitelman, Ph.D. (Nursing); Loretta Sweet Jemmott, Ph.D. (Nursing); Therese S. Richmond, Ph.D. (Nursing); and William Holmes, M.D. (Medicine/Epidemiology) HIV/STI Risk Reduction for African-American Adolescent Girls: Addressing the Context of Partner Abuse
2007 John B. Jemmott, III, Ph.D. (Psychiatry) and G. Anita Heeren, M.D., MSc., Ph.D. (Annenberg School of Communication) HIV/STI Risk Reduction for African American Men
2007 Shane T. Jensen (Statistics, Wharton) and Jon D. McAuliffe (Statistics, Wharton) Spatially Varying Evolutionary Models of Viral Escape Response
2007 Dennis Kolson, M.D., Ph.D. (Neurology) and Julio Martin-Garcia, Ph.D. (Microbiology/Immunology, Drexel) Neurotropism and Neurovirulence of Subtype C HIV-1 Isolates from Botswana
2007 Ian C. MacMillan, MBA, DBA (Wharton); Darren Linkin, M.D. (Medicine, ID); James Thompson, MBA, Ph.D. (Wharton); Alan Abrahams, Ph.D. (Wharton); Diana Dickenson, M.D. (Clinician in Gaborone, Botswana); and Peter Ehrenkranz, M.D., MPH (Clinical Scholars, Penn) A Pilot Study of Cellular Phone Text Message Reminders to Improve HIV Medication Adherence in the Developing World
2007 Erle Robertson, Ph.D. (Microbiology) and Gregory Bisson, M.D., M.S.C.E. (Medicine, ID) Identification of an Etiological Basis Associated with Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia
2007 Guido Silvestri, M.D. (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine) and Ian Frank, M.D. (Medicine, ID) Mucosal Immune Activation in HIV-infected Patients
2006 Yair Argon, Ph.D. (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine) and Stefania Gallucci, M.D. (Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital) Augmenting the Presentation of HIV Peptides to T cells using an Engineered Chaperone Protein
2006 Michael Betts, Ph.D. (Microbiology) and Ian Frank, M.D. (Medicine, ID) Modulation of HIV-specific CD8+ T cell Function and Control of HIV Replication During and After Cessation of HAART
2006 Arthur Caplan, Ph.D. (Medicine, Medical Ethics) An Ethical Framework for HIV Vaccine Research
2006 Sridhar Hannenhalli, Ph.D. (Genetics) and Frederic Bushman, Ph.D. (Microbiology) Computational Analysis of HIV-1 Integration in the Human Genome
2006 Nancy Hanrahan, Ph.D. (School of Nursing) Quantifying Nurse Interventions in the Treatment of Individuals with Serious Mental Illness and HIV
2005 Randy Cron (Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital) and Pablo Tebas (Penn Medicine, ID) NFAT Activity in CsA-Treated HIV-1-Infected Individuals
2005 Stefania Gallucci (Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital) and Terri Finkel (Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital) Activating Anti-HIV Dendritic Cells by Abnormal Cell Death
2005 Edward George (Statistics, Wharton) Exploratory Markov Modeling of Discrete Biomarkers
2005 David Oslin (Medicine, Psychiatry) Aging Among HIV-infected Individuals as a Risk for Cognitive Decline and Poor Adherence
2005 Pablo Tebas (Medicine, ID) Prevalence of HCV and HBV Among HIV Positive Patients in the Dominican Republic
2004 Harvey Friedman (Medicine, ID) and Gregory Bisson (Medicine, ID) Virologic Effectiveness, Predictors of Virologic Failure and Development of a Clinical Prediction Rule for Virologic Success in the Botswana National ARV Program
2004 John Detre (Neurology) and Beau Ances (Neurology) Brain Activation Using fMRI in Asymptomatic, Mild Cognitive Motor Deficit, and AIDS Dementia Patients
2004 Muredach P. Reilly (Medicine, Cardiovascular Division) Pilot Study of the Genetics of ART-associated Dyslipidemia in HIV
2004 Hao Shen (Microbiology) Role of CD4 Help in Heterologous Prime-Boost Immunization
2003 Li-Wei Chao (Anesthesiology, Children’s Hospital) and Mark Pauly (Wharton) Educator and Pupil Training in HIV/AIDS in South Africa
2003 Andrew Dancis (Medicine, Hematology/Oncology) Roles for Three Distinct Iron Uptake Systems in Mucosal Infections by Candida albians
2003 Paul Lieberman (The Wistar Institute) Regulation of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Virus Reactivation
2003 Gerd Maul (The Wistar Institute) Improvement for Gag DNA Vaccine Vector by Nuclear Targeting
2003 Barbara Turner (Medicine) and Kathleen Brady (Medicine) Unlinked Seroprevalence Testing of Hepatitis C in Inpatients
2002 Jean Boyer (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine) A Polarized Th2 Immune Response Can Decrease HIV-1 Vaccine Efficacy
2002 Robert Doms (Microbiology) Analysis of Envs from HIV-infected Children in Nairobi, Kenya
2002 J. Kevin Foskett (Physiology) Interaction of HIV Nef with the Inositol Trisphophate Receptor Intracellular Ca2 Release Channel
2002 Kaivan Munshi (Economics, School of Arts and Sciences) Marriage and Sexual Behavior: With an Application to Urban Migrants in Kisumu, Kenya
2002 James Riley (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine) Control of CCR5 Expression in Primary CD4 T Cells
2001 Michael Blank (Psychiatry) and Aileen Rothbard (Psychiatry) Co-Occurrence of HIV/AIDS Among Persons with Severe Mental Illness
2001 Bruce Freedman (Animal Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine) Mechanism of HIV-1 gp120 Induced Capping on Primary Human Macrophages
2001 Samuel Parry (Ctr for Research on Reproduction and Women’s Health) Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Across the Placenta
2001 William Swiggard (Medicine, ID) Interactions of Circulating Human Dendritic Cells with HIV-1
2000 Jeffrey Field (Pharmacology) Role of Pak kinases in Kaposi's Sarcoma
2000 Stuart Isaacs (Medicine, ID) Development of Novel Recombinant Vaccinia Virus Based anti-HIV Vaccines
2000 Robert Ricciardi (Microbiology, School of Dental Medicine) A Novel Approach for Identifying HHV-8 Anti-virals
2000 Antonia Villarruel (School of Nursing) Effectiveness of an HIV Risk Reduction Intervention for Spanish-speaking Latino Youth
2000 Susan Watkins (Sociology) and Jere Behrman (Economics) Social Science Aspects of Intergenerational and Intragenerational Interactions Related to HIV/AIDS in a High HIV/AIDS Incidence sub-Saharan Population