Penn Center for AIDS Research

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Nonhuman Primate Pilot Grant Program

The purpose of this Pilot Grant Program is to (a) facilitate opportunities for investigators from Penn, CHOP, and Wistar to utilize nonhuman primates for studies of AIDS, and (b) foster collaborations between AIDS investigators of the Penn CFAR and nonhuman primate researchers at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC). The Penn CFAR’s Nonhuman Primate Core, based at TNPRC, provides animals (typically rhesus macaques) and support for these studies. The goal of this program is to enable investigators to acquire sufficient data that can be applied for future external funding.

Funds are available for the procurement and care of animals and procedures related to the mission of the Penn CFAR, particularly HIV treatment, co-morbidities, viral reservoirs, and cure strategies.  The TNPRC has several investigators with expertise in HIV treatment and cure research that collaborate with Penn scientists.  Support is provided for a comprehensive range of animal laboratory studies, including collection of body fluids, biopsies, surgeries, necropsies and basic laboratory studies for simian (SIV) or simian/human (SHIV) immunodeficiency virus research. From 1 to 3 projects per year will be funded, depending on the number of animals requested, the length of the project, and receipt of competitive applications. Beginning in 2019, the NHP Core will maintain cohorts of SIV and SHIV infected animals on antiretroviral therapy that may be provided to researchers for rapid implementation of HIV treatment and cure strategies.  

Investigators from Penn, CHOP, and Wistar are eligible for this Pilot Program. Junior investigators and HIV/AIDS investigators with no previous experience using the nonhuman primate model are particularly encouraged to apply.  All areas of HIV/AIDS research are eligible, including those related to HIV/SIV/SHIV pathogenesis, viral reservoirs, models for viral eradication and functional cure, vaccines, and behavioral research.  Project goals should be concordant with NIH priorities for HIV/AIDS research as revised in 2015.

All applicants interested in the NHP Pilot Project program must contact the Core Director, Dr. Ron Veazey of the Tulane National Primate Research Center, or Co-Director Dr. James Hoxie as early as possible to discuss potential studies, study design, and availability of animals.  No budget page is required as the award is for procurement, care and use of animals at TNPRC, although feasibility of the proposed work must be established in consultation and discussion with the NHP Core.  Laboratory studies performed at Penn/CHOP/Wistar will be the responsibility of the investigator, and NHP Pilot Project funds cannot be used for salary support.

A request for applications (RFA) will be offered in January 2019.  Please check back for future funding opportunities.

Core Director at TNPRC: Dr. Ron Veazey
Core Director at Penn: Dr. James Hoxie
For studies involving behavioral research: Dr. Kate Baker


Previous Nonhuman Primate Pilot Projects

Year Investigator Title of Project
2017 Sita Awasthi, PhD, Harvey Friedman, MD Evaluation of a trivalent genital herpes vaccine in reducing susceptibility to SIV infection in HSV-2 infected rhesus macaques
2017 Michael Betts, PhD Interruption of lymphocyte egress from lymphoid tissue during acute SIV!infection
2017 Luis Montaner, DVM, MSc, DPhil Pilot study to establish anti-Bcl-6 FX1 as an anti-HIV/SIV strategy by limiting SIV retention in germinal centers and replication in T follicular helper cells following ART-suppression
2015 Katharine Bar, MD A transmitted/founder simian human immunodeficiency virus/nonhuman primate model of HIV-1 infection and latency
2014 Kelly Jordan-Sciutto, PhD Contribution of peripheral HIV infections and antiretroviral therapy to neuropathology in SIV-infected Rhesus Macaques
2014 Greg Bisson, MD, MSCE Immunologic effects of IL-7 in TB: A pilot study
2012 David Allman, Ph.D. Long-lived plasma cells in non-human primates
2012 Michael P. Cancro, Ph. D., Jean L. Scholz, Ph.D. Manipulating BLyS as a strategy for relaxing B cell selection to reveal neutralizing specificities in nonhuman primates
2011 Sita Awasthi, Ph.D., Harvey Friedman, M.D. Evaluation of Immunogenicity and efficacy of a HSV-2 trivalent vaccine in macaque model of HSV-2 vaginal infection
2011 Beatrice Hahn, M.D., Nick Parrish Transmissibility of a SIVmac239 mutant with increased Env content
2011 George Shaw, M.D., Ph.D. Hypermutation in the 5' untranslated region (5' UTR) of SIVmac 251/239: A novel mechanism of virus containment and escape
2010 James Hoxie, M.D. In vivo studies of a novel CD4-independent variant of SIVmac239

Una O'Doherty, Ph.D.,Angela Mexas

SIV Reservoir Size and Location in Chinese Rhesus Macaques Progressors and Nonprogressors
2010 John Wherry, Ph.D.,Charley Kao T-bet-dependent regulation of CD8 T cell exhaustion and PD-expression during SIV infection
2009 Robert Doms, M.D., Ph.D. Zinc finger nuclease-mediated disruption of HIV-1 coreceptors
2009 Dennis Kolson, M.D., Ph.D. Francisco Gonzalez-Scarano, M.D. Oral dimethyl fumarate (BG-12), Funaderm?, an immune modulator and novel candidate central nervous system (CNS) neuroprotectant against SIV/HIV
2008 Ronald Collman, M.D. Gut Microbial Modification in SIV Immune Activation
2008 Fred Frankel, Ph.D. Intranasal Challenge
2008 Samuel Parry, M.D. and Preston Marx, Ph.D. Heterosexual Transmission of HIV: The Uterus as a Critical Target
2007 Jean Boyer, Ph.D. The Impact of Parasitic Infection on AIDS Vaccines
2007 Dennis Kolson, M.D., Ph.D. and Kelly Jordan-Sciutto, Ph.D. The Integrated Stress Response (ISR) in SIV Neuropathogenesis
2007 Elena Perez, M.D., Ph.D. and Carl June, M.D. NHP CCR5 ZFNs Proof of Concept
2006 Frederic Bushman, Ph.D. Lentiviral Infection and Dynamics of the Gut Microbial Flora
2005 Luis Montaner, D.V.M., D.Phil. and Andrew Lackner, D.V.M., Ph.D. TALL-104 Cell Inhibition of SIV Infection
2005 David B. Weiner, Ph.D. Directing Lymphoid Compartments by DNA Vaccines
2004 Steven D. Douglas, M.D. Pilot Study of the Safety, Tolerability, and Pharmacokinetics of Aprepitant, a Neurokinin-1R Receptor Antagonist, in Uninfected and SIV-infected Rhesus Macaques
2004 Drew Weissman, Ph.D. Analysis of Viral and Immune Response in Lymph Nodes of Virologically Suppressed SIV-infected Macaques


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