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HIV/STD Laboratory CORE DESCRIPTION

The HIV/STD Laboratory Core of the UNC CFAR offers services and collaborations to HIV researchers for their basic and clinical research projects. The Core provides a CAP/CLIA accredited environment for testing, although we currently have few assays on the CAP menu. However, we can offer testing for the diagnosis of HIV, Neisseria gonorrheae, Chlamydia tractomatis, Trichomonas vaginalis, and Mycoplasma genitalium. In addition, the Core provides specimen processing for clinical trials taking place at UNC.

The HIV/STD Laboratory Core consults and collaborates with researchers at UNC-CH, RTI International, and FHI 360 (as well as outside researchers). Our contributions to recent research projects include:

  • developing flow cytometry assays and cytokine ELISA and multiplex bead array panels
  • providing instrumentation, e.g. ELISPOT reader
  • sequencing of HIV from patients
  • testing new microbiologic diagnostic assays on a variety of specimen types
  • testing compounds for anti-HIV activity
  • measuring prostate specific antigen (PSA) as a marker of sexual activity
  • training of personnel in virus work and various assays

The Core serves as a repository for long- and short-term storage of biological specimens from HIV+ patients in the UNC Clinical Cohort and maintains a current CDC-USPHS permit for importing HIV+ specimens from foreign countries.

Researchers and clinicians can request services using the button at the top of the page and you can contact us by our email address.

Microscopic images of HIV particles, CD4+ cell, and cell infected with N. gonorrhoeae

 

HIV/STD Laboratory CORE NEWS

The CAP/CLIA part of the HIV/STD Laboratory Core is currently located on the 2nd floor of the Genome Sciences Building (behind the hospital) near the Bell Tower parking deck, and this part fo the Core will be moving to the 5th floor of Taylor Hall in November. The Basic Science part of the Core lab in the Lineberger Cancer Center is housed in 22-059. The Immunology part of the Core lab on the 4th floor of the Brinkhous-Bullitt Building is staying put.

Julie Nelson, Ph.D.

Core Director

Julie Nelson

Dr. Nelson is a Research Assistant Professor in Microbiology and Immunology and serves as the Director of the HIV/STD Laboratory Core. She has extensive expertise in HIV virology and molecular biology, working on HIV envelope evolution, genotyping of all regions of HIV, adapting viral load and sequencing assays to multiple specimen types (including breastmilk, genital secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, throatwash, dried blood spots, and urine), infection of different cell types with different strains of HIV, mutagenesis of HIV, and testing new antiretroviral compounds.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
CB# 7291
Chapel Hill, NC
jnelson@med.unc.edu
Fax: 919-966-9873
Office Phone: 919-966-6872

Kristina De Paris, Ph.D.

Associate Core Director

Kristina De Paris

Dr. De Paris is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Her research focuses on host-pathogen interactions in HIV-1 infection. The long-term goal of her work is to prevent HIV-1 transmission by breast-feeding. Towards this goal, her lab is performing pathogenesis and vaccine studies in the infant macaque model of oral SIV infection. Realizing that pediatric vaccine design and implementation require a detailed understanding of immune development in infants, her lab is trying to understand how molecular mechanisms of immune signaling differ between human infants and adults and how these responses mature during the first year of life. This knowledge will be instrumental for further vaccine optimization. Dr. De Paris is an experienced immunologist who is assisting clinicians in immunological aspects of their research, including flow cytometric sample analysis, measurement of biological mediators in various body fluids by ELISA or multiplex micro-bead analysis.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC
abelk@med.unc.edu
Office phone: 919-843-9560

Marcia Hobbs, Ph.D.

Associate Core Director

Dr. Hobbs is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology. Marcia earned her BS from Duke University and her PhD from UNC; she has been on the faculty at Carolina since 1996. The Hobbs lab conducts translational research focused on non-viral sexually transmitted infections; the lab supports a variety of research projects aimed directly at diagnosis, treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted infections or the use of these infections as bio-markers in evaluating biomedical or behavioral interventions aimed at STI/HIV prevention.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
CB# 7031
Chapel Hill, NC
marcia_hobbs@med.unc.edu
Fax: 919-843-1015
Office Phone: 919-843-6893

John Schmitz, Ph.D.

Associate Core Director

Dr. Schmitz is a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Microbiology/Immunology and directs the Histocompatibility, Flow Cytometry and Clincal Immunology Laboratories at UNC Hospitals. Dr. Schmitz has experiences in the use of cytokine assays, flow cytometry including cell surface and intracellular cytokine assays as well as lymphocyte proliferation assays. He has used that experience in validating and implementing assays for HIV related research for over 15 years. Prior to establishing the Immunology Core Dr. Schmitz served for 8 years as the Director of the UNC Immunology Support Laboratory, one of 8 Immunology Cores within the ACTG. In addition to his experience providing support of basic, translational and clinical studies of HIV infection, Dr. Schmitz has extensive experience in diagnostic Immunology as director of the Clinical Immunology, Flow Cytometry and Histocompatibility Laboratories at UNC Hospitals. Dr. Schmiitz’ 25 years of clinical research experience include assessment of antigen-specific humoral and cell-mediated immune responses, quantitation of soluble markers, immunogenetic testing and molecular diagnostics of infectious diseases.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
CB# 7600
Chapel Hill, NC
jschmitz@unch.unc.edu
Fax: 919-966-0486
Office Phone: 919-966-8453

Nicole Maponga

Laboratory Manager/Supervisor

Nicole Maponga

250 Bell Tower Drive
2156 Genome Sciences Building
Chapel Hill, NC
maponga@med.unc.edu
Fax: 919-966-9873
Office Phone: 919-966-6867

Takesha McMillion

Research Specialist

Takesha McMillion

250 Bell Tower Dr.
2124 Genome Sciences Building. CB 7291
Chapel Hill, NC
tbrksmc@med.unc.edu
Fax: 919-966-9873
Office Phone: 919-966-6867

Paul Alabanza

Research Specialist

Paul Alabanza

Charles West

Research Assistant

Charles West

250 Bell Tower Dr.
2158 Genome Sciences Building
Chapel Hill, NC
cbwest@med.unc.edu
Fax: 919-966-9873
Office Phone: 919-966-6867

Dana Lapple

Research Associate

Dana Lapple

Laura Finerty

Research Technician

 

William Wolf

Research Technician

 

Hannah Munro

Research Technician

 

PUBLICATIONS

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015