Developmental Core Announces 2 new funding sources

In addition to its recent Microgrant, the UNC CFAR Developmental Core has released its 2022-2023 RFP and a CFAR Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Request for Proposals of HIV/COVID-19 Small Grants. Letters of intent for these proposals are due no later than Wednesday, December 1, 2021. 

All current Developmental Core funding opportunities are linked below.

Microgrant (Rolling Deadline)

Traditional RFP

  • Contact the CFAR Developmental Core during application preparation for a telephone or email conversation to verify eligibility and briefly describe research idea
  • Letter of Intent Due Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2021
  • Application Due Date: Friday, January 7, 2022
  • CFAR Scientific Review: February 2022
  • Notification of Award: early March 2022
    • Actual start date may be delayed if required approvals are delayed; see below.
  • Period of Award: Funding expires on July 31, 2023, however, we ask that you spend as much of your funds as possible by July 31, 2022.

HIV/COVID-19 NOSI

  • Contact the CFAR Developmental Core during application preparation for a telephone or email conversation to verify eligibility and briefly describe research idea
  • Letter of Intent Due Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2021
  • Application Due Date: Friday, January 7, 2022
  • CFAR Scientific Review: February 2022
  • Notification of Award: early March 2022
    • Actual start date may be delayed if required approvals are delayed; see below.
  • Period of Award: Funding expires on July 31, 2023, however, we ask that you spend as much of your funds as possible by July 31, 2022.

 

Alicia Diggs named one of Plus+ Magazine’s 25 Amazing People of the Year (who are also living with HIV)

Alicia Diggs has been living with HIV for 20 of her 49 years, and she’s made good use of every year. Not only is she an author, a PhD, and a fierce advocate for people living with HIV, she’s also a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, the manager for the Office of Community Engagement for the North Carolina-Chapel Hill Center for AIDS Research, and a member of many other HIV support organizations.

“Through my trials and tribulations, I made a decision to fight and stand strong as a woman living with HIV so that I can help my fellow brothers and sisters fight and stand strong,” she says about her decision to be a leader in her community. “It has been important to me to help build coalitions and solidarity within and amongst our diverse communities to that we can dispel the myths, rid the stigma, and educate others about HIV.”

Being included on this list reminds her that there are “so many amazing, inspiring, and fabulous leaders out there doing this work,” and that the work she does really does make a difference.

Before she became a leader herself, Diggs says she had other leaders and community members who supported, protected, and pushed her, and she wants to live up to that legacy, passing the torch to others like herself. 

“As people living with HIV, it is important to know that decisions about us cannot be made without us. Our voices and input are the key to ending the HIV epidemic,” she says. “If you feel like the door is not open to you, create your own door. If you feel there is not room for you at the table, create your own table. Do not take no for an answer and make sure that your voice is heard because you are the change we want and need to see in the world.”

 

The above article originally appeared in Plus+ magazine as part of their November/December 2021 issue. Read more here.

UNC HIV Cure Center Awarded $26.2 million over the next 5 Years

Margolis headshot“The National Institutes of Health will award $53 million annually to 10 research organizations over the next five years to continue working toward curative therapies for HIV. The Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication (CARE), led at the UNC HIV Cure Center by David Margolis, MD, is one of two programs to have received funds for all three five-year grant cycles since 2011.”

This story was originally published by the UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine Newsroom on August 17, 2021 – read more here.

Study Compares Mortality Among People Entering HIV Care with General US Population

“HIV-related mortality has decreased since 1996 due to improving treatments and evolving care guidelines, but the extent to which persons entering HIV care have a higher risk for death over the following years, compared with peers in the general population, has been unclear.

Joseph Eron, MD, the Herman and Louise Smith Distinguished Professor of Medicine and chief of the division of infectious diseases, was the senior investigator on this novel observational study that advances the understanding of trends in mortality in the years after entering HIV care, compared with the general US population, published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study was led by Jessie K. Edwards, PhD, assistant professor in the department of epidemiology, and utilized 13 sites from the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design. Participants included 82,766 adults entering HIV clinical care between 1999 and 2017, and a subset of the US population, matched on calendar time, age, sex, race/ethnicity, and county using mortality and population data compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics.

The results showed a dramatic mortality decrease between 1999 and 2017, although those entering care remained at higher risk for death in the years after starting care than comparable adults in the general US population. Five-year mortality for people entering HIV care was 10.6%, and mortality among the matched U.S. population was 2.9%, for a difference of 7.7 (95% CI, 7.4 to 7.9) percentage points. This difference decreased over time, from 11.1 percentage points among those entering care between 1999 and 2004 to 2.7 percentage points among those entering care between 2011 and 2017.

“While we have seen substantial improvement in survival for people with HIV after they enter care, there is still a modest but real difference in survival compared to a carefully matched population of people without HIV,” Eron said. “Some of our patients still enter care years after infection and cannot take full advantage the improvements in treatment and care.”

Researchers acknowledge that understanding the differences in mortality between persons entering HIV care and the matched US population is critical to improving care, and that gaps still remain. Being able to quantify the elevation in mortality observed for persons in HIV care will inform future efforts to address both AIDS and non–AIDS-related consequences of HIV infection and long-term ART.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; the Health Resources and Services Administration; Grady Health System; the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care; and the Government of Alberta, Canada.”

This story was originally published by the UNC Department of Medicine on July 13, 2021 – read more here. 

Joseph Eron named to endowed chair

JE wearing white coat and maskUNC School of Medicine Dean Wesley Burks named Infectious Diseases Chief Joseph Eron, Jr., MD, the Herman and Louise Smith Distinguished Professor of Medicine on March 10, 2021. The honor acknowledges his decades-long commitment to infectious diseases along with his work this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are honored to work with Dr. Eron, our CFAR Clinical Core Director!

Michael Hudgens Appointed Associate Chair of Biostatistics

Hudgens headshotMichael Hudgens, UNC CFAR Biostatistics Core Director, is the new Associate Chair of the Biostatistics Department! Dr. Hudgens joins Lisa LaVange, Department Chair, and brings many years of experience to UNC’s top-ranked biostatistics department. Hudgens has co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers in statistical journals such as Biometrics, Biometrika, JASA and JRSS-B as well as biomedical journals such as the Lancet, Nature and New England Journal of Medicine. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for Biometrics, JASA and JRSS-B. He is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association and has taught graduate level biostatistics courses at UNC for over ten years. Congratulations!

Nature Highlights UNC HIV Research in ‘Best of’ List from 2020

Drs. Margolis, Garcia, and Dunham (left-to-right) pose in the Genetic Medicine Building

UNC-Chapel Hill HIV researchers David Margolis, MD, and J. Victor Garcia, PhD, along with Rick Dunham from ViiV Healthcare (from left to right). Margolis is director of the UNC HIV Cure Center, which is home to Qura Therapeutics, a company formed through a partnership between UNC-Chapel Hill and ViiV, formerly the HIV research wing of GSK.
Photographed January 21, 2020 at the Genetic Medicine Building on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
(Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

UNC HIV researchers were featured in a recent Nature article titled, “Viruses, microscopy and fast radio bursts: 10 remarkable discoveries from 2020.” A study on HIV latency reversal from J. Victor Garcia, PhD, David Margolis, MD, and team (with Qura Therapeutics and Emory University) is listed as one of the 10 most remarkable discoveries of 2020!

Read more at the UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine Newsroom here. 

Gates Foundation awards UNC Global Women’s Health $6.2 million to study pregnancy outcomes in Zambia

UNC Global Women’s Health has received two new grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for work on pregnancy outcomes in Zambia. The first grant funds the “Multi-omics for Mother and Infants (MOMI) Consortium,” which seeks to identify new predictive biomarkers for preterm birth, preeclampsia, stillbirth and fetal growth restriction. UNC Project-Zambia is one of six international sites to receive this funding. The second grant, “Antenatal-Postnatal Research Collective (ARC),” will expand UNC’s partnership with the University of Zambia to conduct prospective clinical research in pregnancy. The team will recruit 5,000 households in Lusaka into a community-based cohort and follow women from the preconceptional period through conception, gestation, delivery, and postpartum. Biological samples from the ARC cohort will be made available to the MOMI study, and participants enrolled in the ARC cohort will be offered participation in future interventional trials.

“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been critical to our pregnancy outcomes research in Zambia, and we could not be more grateful for this new support,” says Jeffrey Stringer, MD, FACOG, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of UNC Global Women’s Health. “Our group is committed to reducing the unacceptable burden of adverse birth outcomes faced by women living in the Global South. These new grants will support new research and further solidify our partnership with the University of Zambia.”

“This support from the Gates Foundation allows our partnership in Zambia to pursue exciting new innovations in pregnancy research,” says Myron Cohen, MD, director of UNC’s Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases. “We are grateful for the Foundation’s continuing support, which strengthens the Institute’s capacity as a leader in global women’s health.”

With these new awards, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested $27 million in the UNC-Zambia site over the past 3 years. The team is also working on developing new technologies to bring obstetric ultrasound to the primary care level and to improve intrapartum monitoring of laboring women with wearable sensors. This portfolio of grants, combined with resources from the National Institutes of Health, UNC’s Center for AIDS Research, and the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, creates a world-class pregnancy research center working in a setting where adverse outcomes are common.”

These project are part of the UNC CFAR International Core efforts. Dr. Stringer is the Director of the the International Core, and Dr. Cohen is Associate Director of the CFAR and CFAR International Core. 

This story was originally published by the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases on December 9, 2020. 

Three UNC faculty elected IDSA Fellows

Headshots of JK, AL, CHThe Infectious Diseases Society of America has elected Joseph Eron, MD; Anne Lachiewicz, MD, MPH; and Christopher Hurt, MD, to its latest group of Fellows of IDSA. This Fellowship in IDSA is the highest honor in the field of infectious diseases and is given to those who have achieved professional excellence and provided significant service to the profession. 

Eron is a professor of medicine, chief of UNC’s Division of Infectious Diseases, and a global leader in HIV research. He serves as vice chair and co-principal investigator of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, the world’s largest and longest running HIV clinical trials network, and leads UNC’s AIDS Clinical Trials Unit with four sites in North Carolina, Malawi, and Vietnam. He directs the UNC CFAR Clinical Core. Lachiewicz is an associate professor of medicine, director of the Immunocompromised Host Fellowship Program, and infectious diseases specialist. Christopher Hurt is an associate professor of medicine, director of the North Carolina HIV Training and Education Center, and co-leader of UNC’s Center for AIDS Research’s PrEP Scientific Working Group.

Applicants for IDSA Fellowship are nominated by their peers and meet specified criteria that include continuing identification with the field of infectious diseases, national or regional recognition, and publication of their scholarly work. Nominees are reviewed and elected by the IDSA Board of Directors. Fellows of IDSA work in many different settings, including clinical practice, teaching, research, public health and health care administration.

See full list of new IDSA fellows here.

Read more at the IGHID website here.