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Penn Center for AIDS Research

Scientific Working Groups

Mission

To maximize the impact of the Penn Center for AIDS Research in advancing innovative research addressing key needs in HIV/AIDS, the Penn CFAR has created three Scientific Working Groups (SWGs) that build on current strengths combined with clear yet-untapped opportunities for synergy, collaboration, and novel multidisciplinary approaches. By taking a proactive leadership role to galvanize and coordinate research in these areas, the SWGs will:

  1. create interdisciplinary programs through new collaborations leading to synergy and novel approaches to key issues;
  2. engage established investigators in related fields who have not previously worked on HIV/AIDS, by providing both an outreach mechanism and a working group structure in which they can collaborate to pursue studies;
  3. establish mentoring relationships for junior investigators to both maximize the opportunity for their success as well as harness the creativity of new perspectives;
  4. identify critical support needed from CFAR Cores that will inform and guide new service development, help leverage resources directed at these needs, and utilize Core resources.

For the coming cycle, the Penn CFAR SWGs will target the following areas:

  • HIV Eradication & Functional Cure focused on developing innovative strategies to target reservoirs novel approaches to control HIV, and developing multi-pronged combinatorial therapeutic strategies for HIV eradication
  • HIV & Viral Hepatitis Co-Infection focused on optimizing therapeutic and clinical outcomes in HIV/HCV and HIV/HBV co-infected patients, and developing novel vaccine strategies for protecting against HCV infection and re-infection including those with HIV-1 infection, and
  • HIV & Substance Use focused on improving ART adherence through treatments for substance use, reducing drug use-related HIV risks, and promoting research on substance use and HIV transmission, outcomes and comorbidities in our Botswana International program

The Penn SWGs will rely heavily on CFAR Basic and Clinical Cores for support, as well as the Developmental Core to prioritize SWG initiatives for Pilot funding (in concert with the Administrative Core and Executive Committee oversight) and collaborative mentoring of new investigators. The SWGs are designed to be forward-looking and dynamic, and as SWG goals are met the SWGs will evolve to enable new areas of strategic priority and opportunity to be emphasized.

SWG: HIV and Viral Hepatitis
Co-Director: Co-Director:
George Shaw, M.D., Ph.D.
shawg@mail.med.upenn.edu
Jay Kostman, M.D.
kostman@mail.med.upenn.edu
   
SWG: HIV Eradication & Functional Control
Co-Director: Co-Director:
Luis Montaner, D.V.M., M.Sc., D.Phil.
montaner@wistar.org
Jim Riley, Ph.D.
rileyj@mail.med.upenn.edu
   
SWG: HIV and Substance Use
Co-Director: Co-Director:
Jim McKay, Ph.D.
jimrache@mail.med.upenn.edu
Paul Crits-Christoph, Ph.D.
crits@mail.med.upenn.edu