The goal of the UNC CFAR Clinical Core is to enhance all aspects of human HIV research. We provide easy access to comprehensive clinical services, resources and expertise supporting basic science, translational, clinical and public health research.

UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill Campus

The Clinical Core offers support with recruitment, enrollment, protocol design development and implementation. Core personnel are available to assist with regulatory and study coordinator support, data and specimen collection, web-based tracking and data entry, database design and data management.

The Clinical Core maintains the UNC CFAR HIV Clinical Cohort (UCHCC), with adjudicated clinical outcomes data and samples, HIV sequences, behavioral surveys and patient reported outcomes. Ongoing collaborations exist with the CFAR Network of Integrated Clinical Systems and other national and international cohort studies. For more information visit the UCHCC website.

The Clinical Core holds regular trainings for research professionals. Please access our open source training materials here.

Please contact the UNC CFAR Clinical Core with new requests by e-mailing us here.


The Clinical Core relies on a comprehensive infrastructure, experienced leadership and diverse personnel resources to enhance all aspects of HIV research encompassing HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected patient and participant interactions, their specimens and data. The Clinical Core’s Specific Aims are:


Provision of comprehensive clinical services essential to HIV research.


Access to resources, expertise and leadership fostering and supporting new and ongoing HIV initiatives and goals.


Collaboration locally, nationally and internationally with HIV networks, cohorts and research groups.


Training and mentoring, organizing work in progress and research group seminars and grand rounds.


Infrastructure and resource innovation informed by ongoing evaluation and strategic planning.

Joseph J. Eron, MD

Core Director

Dr. Joseph Eron, UNC CFAR Investigator

Dr. Eron is Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dr. Eron is an active HIV clinician and has over 20 years of experience in translational, clinical and epidemiologic research. He leads the UNC HIV clinical trials unit which includes local and international sites participating in all five NIH-sponsored HIV treatment and prevention networks. Dr. Eron oversees the UNC CFAR HIV Clinical Cohort study and provides leadership to national and international cohorts, including the CFAR Network of Integrated Systems, the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design, and the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. He provides assistance with all aspects of undertaking basic science, interventional and observational research. Dr. Eron has been the UNC CFAR Clinical Core Director since 1998.

130 Mason Farm Road
CB #7030
Chapel Hill, NC
Fax: 919-966-6714
Office Phone: 919-843-2722

Claire Farel, MD, MPH

Core Co-Director

Dr. Farel is Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, and Medical Director of the UNC Infectious Diseases and HIV Clinic. She is an active HIV clinician providing care at UNC and UNC affiliated clinics. Dr. Farel leads the UNC Ryan White Part B and C projects. Her research focuses on challenges along the HIV care continuum including among women and incarcerated individuals. She provides assistance with recruitment of HIV-infected patients to translational and clinical projects and assists the implementation of clinic based interventional and observational studies, including the UNC CFAR HIV Clinical Cohort study. Dr. Farel has been with the UNC CFAR since 2014.

130 Mason Farm Road
CB #7030
Chapel Hill, NC
Fax: 919-966-6714
Office Phone: 919-843-3659

Sonia Napravnik, PhD

Associate Core Director


Dr. Napravnik is Research Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, and the Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dr. Napravnik has over 15 years of experience in HIV clinical and epidemiologic research, with a focus on analytic methods in using observational clinical data. She oversees the UNC CFAR HIV Clinical Cohort study and provides leadership to clinical cohort collaborations, including the CFAR Network of Integrated Systems and the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design. She provides assistance with study design, implementation and analysis to translational and clinical investigators. Dr. Napravnik has been with the UNC CFAR since 2000.

130 Mason Farm Road
Chapel Hill, NC
Fax: 919-966-6714
Office Phone: 919-966-3875

David Wohl, MD


WohlDr. Wohl is Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, Co-Director of HIV Services for the North Carolina Department of Corrections and Director of the North Carolina AIDS Training and Education Center. Dr. Wohl maintains a large HIV continuity clinic at UNC and sees patients at the North Carolina state prison. He has over 15 years of experience leading multiple-site clinical research investigations including complex HIV treatment clinical trials, pathogenesis focused collaborative studies and prison based research. Dr. Wohl is Site Leader of the HIV Network UNC Clinical Research site in Chapel Hill and provides leadership within the AIDS Clinical Trials Group and HIV Prevention Trials Network. He provides assistance with prison based research, clinical research on HIV complications and HIV prevention strategies. Dr. Wohl has been with the UNC CFAR since 2000.

130 Mason Farm Road
CB #7030
Chapel Hill, NC
Fax: 919-966-6714
Office Phone: 919-843-2723


Oksana Zakharova, MS

Core Manager


Ms. Zakharova is the Clinical Core Manager. She has over 10 years of experience with electronic health record systems, clinical outcome adjudications, in-person interview techniques, specimen collection, and clinical and translation protocol implementation. Ms. Zakharova manages the Clinical Core’s daily operations and project activities, and links investigators with CFAR resources and services. She provides assistance with recruitment, data and specimen collection, and requests for services. Ms. Zakharova has been with the UNC CFAR since 2004.

130 Mason Farm Road
Chapel Hill, NC
Fax: 919-966-6714
Office Phone: 919-843-7704

Kuo-Ping Li, PhD

Data Manager


Dr. Li graduated from UNC-CH with a doctorate degree in Physics. He is skilled in building and maintaining databases, data management, analysis and programming, including SAS, SQL and web development applications. Dr. Li manages the UNC CFAR HIV Clinical Cohort database and management systems. He provides assistance with data requests from existing resources and data sources. Dr. Li maintains data collection and management systems for investigators and provides programming and information technology support. Dr. Li has joined the UNC CFAR in 2019.

130 Mason Farm Road
CB #7030
Chapel Hill, NC
Fax: 919-966-6714
Office Phone: 919-843-6531

Tania Caravella, MPH

Regulatory and Ethics Consultant



Ms. Caravella is the Director of Regulatory Affairs for the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases and serves as the Regulatory and Ethics Consultant for the International Core of the UNC CFAR. She has an MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Boston University and a BA from Duke University. She has 20 years of experience working in the pharmaceutical industry and in academic medical centers. Currently, Ms. Caravella oversees the regulatory affairs for 400 studies worldwide, providing support with both international and domestic IRBs, and works with other regulatory authorities including the FDA and equivalent bodies in collaborating countries. She assists investigators and sponsors in the regulatory approval process, provides GCP and Human Subjects Protection training for staff, and serves as a resource for sound ethical research in human subjects. She has worked with researchers in 10 countries such as Malawi, Zambia, Vietnam, South Africa, Cameroon, China, and Russia.

CB# 7215
Chapel Hill, NC
Office Phone: 919-843-5301

Cheryl Hendrickson, BS

Regulatory Coordinator



Ms. Hendrickson is a regulatory coordinator with the UNC Institute of Global Health and Infectious Diseases. She provides assistance with completing and submitting IRB applications, including drafting informed consent and HIPAA forms, and maintaining IRB approvals. She has been with the UNC CFAR since 2013.


130 Mason Farm Road
CB #7030
Chapel Hill, NC
Office Phone: 919-843-2541

Heather Prince, MPA, PA-C

Research Coordinator


Ms. Prince is a board certified specialized surgical Physician Assistant with over 16 years of patient care and clinical trials experience, including HIV clinical, translational and pharmacologic research. She provides assistance with more complex interventional trials and protocols that require invasive specimen collection. She has been with the UNC CFAR since 2008.


130 Mason Farm Road
CB #7030
Chapel Hill, NC
Fax: 919-966-6714
Office Phone: 919-843-6848

Amy Durr, MSN, FNP

Project Manager


Ms. Durr is a Nurse Practitioner in the UNC Infectious Diseases and HIV Clinic and manages UNC Ryan White projects. She has expertise in evaluating and monitoring HIV clinical care provision, including developing and implementing continuous quality improvement and care retention initiatives. She provides assistance with implementing clinic based HIV studies. She has worked with the UNC CFAR since 2001.


130 Mason Farm Road
CB #7030
Chapel Hill, NC
Fax: 919-966-6714
Office Phone: 919-843-5174

Merdi Lutete, BA

Clinic Screener


Ms. Lutete is a Clinical Research Assistant who is based in the UNC Infectious Diseases and HIV Clinic. She assists with recruitment into HIV translational, clinical, interventional and observational research studies. Ms. Lutete also provides assistance with obtaining informed consent and biospecimens collection.



130 Mason Farm Road
CB #7030
Chapel Hill, NC
Fax: 919-966-6714
Office Phone: 984-974-0156

Thibaut Davy-Méndez, MSPH

Graduate Research Assistant


Mr. Davy-Méndez is a predoctoral trainee in the Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health. He has substantial experience with HIV clinical data collection and data management. Mr. Davy-Méndez provides assistance with data and specimen requests, including those from the UNC CFAR HIV Clinical Cohort study. He has been with the UNC CFAR since 2013.


130 Mason Farm Road
CB #7030
Chapel Hill, NC
Fax: 919-966-6714
Office Phone: 919-843-0010


Laura Ruegsegger, BS

Research Assistant

Laura Ruegsegger


Ms. Ruegsegger graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in public health in 2017. She has contributed to several projects in the field of infectious diseases in Malawi and has experience in data collection and in-person interviews. Ms. Ruegsegger provides assistance with data collection and cleaning and surveying administration. She has been with the UNC CFAR since 2018.



130 Mason Farm Road
CB #7030
Chapel Hill, NC
Fax: 919-966-6714
Office Phone: 919-966-7235

Deana Agil, MR

Research Assistant


Ms. Agil received her BS in Biochemistry from UNC Chapel Hill in 2014 and Master’s degree in Physiology from NC State University in 2017. She has experience in interacting with patients and is knowledgeable of medical terminology. Ms. Agil provides assistance with data collection and project coordination. She has been with the UNC CFAR since 2018.



130 Mason Farm Road
CB #7030
Chapel Hill, NC
Fax: 919-966-6714
Office Phone: 919-966-6216


Training and Tutorial Consultation

-Consultation for clarification, review, or teaching of essential clinical and clinical research concepts.

-Provision of texts and reference literature.

-Provision of on-line resources and reference material for investigators via the www.

-Statistical and epidemiologic software tutorials.

-Classroom teaching and specialized lectures for Schools of Medicine and Public Health.

Planning and Study Design

-Review and critique of existing / draft protocols.

-Assistance in framing of hypotheses, identification of clinical, therapeutic, metabolic, epidemiological, behavioral and disease specific factors.

-Collaborative development of study design (experimental and observational).

-Development of clinically appropriate analysis plans and strategies.

-Justification of proposed methods and strategies, or comparison of methods.

-Assistance with investigational new drug (IND) submissions.

Grant Proposal Support

-Budget planning for grant proposals, estimation of costs.

-Letters of support, biosketch, other-support pages.

-Assistance with obtaining background information.

-Writing of major sections, or collaborative editing of text.

-Critiques of existing grant proposals.

-Assistance with IRB and GCRC application.

Clinical and Translational Interpretive Analysis and Publication

-Assistance with data collection or identification, and assessment of appropriateness to research hypotheses.

-Guidance with model choice and selection of appropriate analytic technique.

-Assistance with clinical epidemiologic analytic computations.

-Interpretive analyses of clinical, laboratory and basic science results.

-Collaborative preparation of publications and presentations.

Database Management

-Consultation on design of database management plans for individual projects.

-Consultation on the operation and maintenance of project-specific systems.

-Assistance or consultation in design and creation of data collection instruments and forms.

-Access to UNC CFAR HIV Clinical Cohort (UCHCC) to assess subject availability and provide reliable background information.

-Access to the UCHCC for observational clinical based research.

-Database coordination with other Cores and Centers.

-Preparation of datasets suitable for statistical analysis.

Coordination and Project Management

-Consultation on study implementation, operations, and monitoring adherence to protocol.

-Consultation regarding communication, coordination, and timelines in large studies.

Clinical and Translational Research Development and Implementation

-Subject identification, recruitment and consent.

-Identification and collection of clinical samples.

-Access to stored samples from well characterized patients.

-Assistance with study design and development.

-Conducting or assisting in the conduct of clinical research trials.

-Access to expertise in multiple sub-disciplines of HIV research including oral medicine, hepatology, cardiology, neurology, nephrology, hematology/oncology, obstetrics and gynecology, and psychiatry.

-Access to expertise in the development and implementation of HIV vaccine trials.

-Publish and present expository papers for AIDS researchers.


-Guidance and consultation to new CFAR members.

-Mentoring investigators with CFAR Developmental Awards or NIH K Awards.

-Mentoring dissertation or masters thesis students, infectious disease fellows, medical students, and physician extender students working on a CFAR project.

-Mentoring of international clinical and laboratory researchers.

AIDS Research Communication

-Monthly collaborative research meeting.

-Annual World AIDS Day HIV/AIDS symposium.

-Annual Community Forum for HIV infected patients.


-Identification and recruitment of appropriate professional clinical and basic scientists available to assist new or ongoing projects.

-Successful referral and follow-up with monitoring and verification of client satisfaction.

Past Projects

Over the past several years the Clinical core has provided comprehensive services (please see services page) to diverse grants funded through the seven NIH institutes that support the CFAR. Selected examples of grants supported are shown below. We further include examples of grants funded through other NIH institutes and through North Carolina State and University of North Carolina Sources.

SponsorAward SupportedAward Title
NIAIDU01 AI046749HIV Prevention Trials Network Leadership Group (HPTN)
NIAIDU19 AI31496Acute HIV and STDs in Malawi
NIAIDT32 AI007151Infectious Disease Pathogenesis Research Training
NIAIDU01 AI069243UNC AIDS Clinical Trials Unit
NIAIDR01 AI66920Effect of Earlier HAART on HIV Disease Progression and Survival
NIAIDUO1 AI067854 (CHAVI)Viral and Host determinants of HIV-1 transmission, persistence and containment in natural human infection: Application to AIDS vaccine design
NIAIDR03 AI068484Antiretroviral treatment strategies with optional switching times
NIAIDK23 AI54980Antiretroviral Pharmacology in the Genital Tract
NIAIDR34 AI087065Preventing HIV infection in women: targeting antiretrovirals to mucosal tissues
NIAIDR01 AI045297Repression of HIV Transcription-A Pathway to Quiescence
NIAIDU19 AI082608Pilot studies to disrupt persistent HIV infection in man
NIAIDR34 AI084553The in vivo effect of HDAC inhibitors on HIV gene expression in resting CD4+ T CE
NIAIDR01 AI83059 (MP3)Acute HIV Infection – A key link for transmission prevention
NIAIDU01 AI 069918North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration Research and Design
NIAIDR21 AI087360Viremia Copy-Years: Measuring the Effect of Cumulative HIV Burden on Outcomes
NIAIDK23 AI077355Sex, Aging and Antiretroviral Pharmacology
NIAIDR24 AI067039CFAR-Network of Integrated Clinical Sciences, CNICS
NIAIDR01 AI044667Biological Properties of HIV-1 V3 Evolutionary Variants
NIAIDR01 AI50845Role of Fitness in HIV Protease Inhibitor Resistance
NIAIDU01 AI048005HIV Prevention Trials Unit ? Malawi
NIAIDU01 AI068619HIV prevention trials network coordinating and operations center
NCIU01 CA121947AIDS Malignancy clinical trials consortium
NHLBIR01 HL74814Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV Infection (FRAM)
NICHDK24 HD059358Mentoring junior faculty – The minority imperative
NICHDK12 HD01441Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health
NICHDK99 HD063961Pregnancy and response to antiretroviral therapy in South Africa
NIMHK23 MH075718Internet based HIV prevention for students at historically black colleges
NIMHR01 MH086362Improving HAART adherence in depressed HIV clinic patients
FICD43 TW01039AIDS International Training and Research Program
FICD43 TW06568Infectious Disease Epidemiology Training for Malawians
NEIU10 EY08057Longitudinal Study of the Ocular Complications of AIDS
NIAGR01 AG024379The role of p16ink4a in mammalian aging
NIDCRBRS-ACURE-Q-06-00160-T002Oral HIV AIDS Research Alliance
NIDDKR01 DK049381HIV in Semen-Effects of STDs
NINDSR01 NS062754Effect of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy on cerebral autoregulation
AHRQR01 HS018731Comparative safety of antiretrovirals among HIV-infected patients: minimizing coronary heart disease outcomes
NC DHHSN/ACreating links between HIV testing, care and prevention
NC DHHSN/ACD4 And RNA Testing With HIV Diagnoses in North Carolina – Program Evaluation of The Card to Care Program
NC Dean’s ProjectN/AInvest for the Future. The North Carolina Integrated response to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment
UNC LCCC AwardN/AUnderstanding the Epidemiology and Pathobiology of Cancer in HIV-Infected Individuals in North Carolina
NC TRACSN/AThe Molecular Epidemiology of HIV infected Latinos in NC
NC TRACSN/AExtracellular and Intracellular Atripla Pharmacokinetics in the Aging HIV-Infected Population
NC TRACSN/AInvestigation of cardiovascular disease among patients with HIV
NC TRACSN/ASpatial Epidemiology, Risk Behavior, and HIV Resistance in North Carolina