Parent-child discussions about sexual health are complicated, particularly with a male teen who identifies as gay, bisexual, or queer. Research from CFAR member Dalmacio Dennis Flores of the School of Nursing found that even when such conversations avoid heteronormative stereotypes, outside factors like mass media and religion—those beyond the parents’ control—can reinforce them.
- Link to article: What influences how parents and their gay adolescent sons talk about sexual health at home?
Ghanaian Oncologist Yehoda Martei, MD, Seeks Ways to Improve Outcomes in the Developing World
Dr. Yehoda Martei, CFAR member and recipient of a CFAR FY19 Developmental Pilot Award, was featured in the May 25, 2019 edition of the ASCO Post. The article explores Dr. Martei's focus on access-to-care issues and barriers to preventive services such as mammography and other screening modalities in low- to middle-income countries. Her current work explores the vast differences in cancer between the United States and Botswana. Dr. Martei was awarded a CFAR Developmental Pilot award for her project "Impact of Toxicity on Therapy Delivery and Outcomes in HIV-Infected Breast Cancer Patients", which is a retrospective cohort analysis in Botswana to understand treatment-limiting toxicity profiles and factors underlying them in HIV+ and HIV- patients, to understand how they in differ in order to tailor interventions to each population, and to understand the unique contribution of HIV to outcome disparities in this disease in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The full article can be found here: https://www.ascopost.com/issues/may-25-2019/ghanaian-oncologist-yehoda-martei/
A study led by Marcus Buggert in Mike Betts’ lab demonstrated that a unique type of CD8+ T cells residing in HIV-infected lymphoid tissue may play a critical role in long term control of HIV replication. More than 99% of viral replication occurs in lymphoid tissues, which is the key site for controlling virus. These T resident memory cells (Trm) have distinct attributes from other T cells, and may central in control of HIV. This study was enabled by key collaborations through the Reservoirs and Tissue Immunology Scientific Working Group relied on support provided by the Penn CFAR Clinical Core.
- Link to article: Identification and characterization of HIV-specific resident memory CD8+ T cells in human lymphoid tissue.
Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Mohsen and a multidisciplinary team from Wistar, Penn and several other institutions, found that CD32, previously implicated as a marker of the HIV latent reservoir, is actually expressed preferentially on a subset of activated CD4+ T cells enriched for transcriptionally active HIV. This has important implications for identifying and targeting HIV latency in infected people. More information here.
- Link to article: CD32 is expressed on cells with transcriptionally active HIV but does not enrich for HIV DNA in resting T cells.
Dr. Laura Su and an international, transdisciplinary team have authored an article in Science Immunology that focuses on how follicular helper T cells (Tfh) play an essential role in shaping B-cell mediated antibody responses. The Su lab employed mass cytometry and TCR sequencing to directly examine the Tfh response to HIV and reported oligoclonal expansion of a functionally-restricted subset of Tfh cells in HIV infected lymph nodes. This lack of polyfunctionality may contribute to Tfh cell pathology in HIV infection and correlated with impaired isotype switching of B cells in the lymph nodes.
- Link to article: The receptor repertoire and functional profile of follicular T cells in HIV-infected lymph nodes.
George M. Shaw, MD, PhD, a professor of Hematology/Oncology and Microbiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has received $16.3 million over five years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to develop a long-sought-after HIV vaccine. Read more
Three-year Study Will Help Researchers Design a Program That Promotes HIV Awareness and Prevention Options Among Women
Dr. Anne Teitelman of Penn School of Nursing and Dr. Beryl Koblin of the New York Blood Center, in partnership with local community consulting groups, have received a 3-year grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to embark on designing and evaluating an awareness, uptake and adherence support program for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) among women in Philadelphia and New York City. Read more
A team led by A.T. Charlie Johnson (Professor of Physics in the School of Arts & Sciences), David Issadore (Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science), and Ronald Collman (Professor of Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine) were awarded a Gates Grand Challenge Grant to a develop novel point-of-care HIV diagnosis and monitoring assay based on nanotechnology, microfluidics, and graphed-based sensor technology. Read more
Dental Medicine's Kelly Jordan-Sciutto, Cagla Akay Espinoza and grad student Patrick Gannon led work that reveals how certain HIV treatments cause neuronal damage. Read more
A new study led by CFAR investigators Katherine Bar, MD, and Pablo Tebas, MD, with colleagues at the NIH and other institutions, reveal the impact of passive immunization with broadly neutralizing antibodies on HIV rebound and virus selection after treatment interruption and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Read more
José Bauermeister, PhD, MPH, Presidential Associate Professor of Nursing in the Department of Family and Community Health, leads a research team that has just been awarded a $9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The team, comprised of Penn Nursing, the University of Michigan School of Nursing, and Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, will adapt and test an HIV prevention intervention for adolescent men who have sex with men. The intervention, referred to as iCON (“I Connect”), builds on an Herb Ritts Foundation initiative and seeks to address the growing disparity in new HIV cases among young men by offering life skills training and community-based HIV prevention resources through an online app. Read more