UNC CFAR Newsletter is the quarterly e-newsletter from UNC CFAR

Issue 1

January 31, 2023



Associate Director

Welcome 2023! The New Year brings thoughts about the future and opportunities for new growth. We in the CFAR are using 2023 to ensure that the leadership of the CFAR has the vision and depth of knowledge to address the many challenges of the HIV epidemic. UNC CFAR's already outstanding leadership is being revitalized with younger, diverse leaders and below we share with you brief bios about these new leaders. We are grateful to each of them for their commitment to the CFAR, and we look forward to working together to ensure that we meet the needs of the CFAR community and strive to achieve the CFAR mission.

Administrative Core


Associate Director

Dr. Margolis is the Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor of Medicine and the Director of the UNC HIV Cure Center created to support novel and impactful research needed to advance towards therapies to induce an HIV remission. He has conducted seminal translational HIV research: investigating basic molecular, virological, and immunological phenomenon, and leveraging insights to develop new interventions in HIV disease. Directing the Dallas VAMC ID division and AIDS Clinical Trials Unit before coming to UNC, for more than 25 years, the central focus of his

research has been the study of molecular mechanisms of HIV proviral latency and persistence despite potent antiretroviral therapy (ART). He is the principal investigator for CARE (Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication), an NIH-funded research organization that seeks to develop the tools to bring an HIV cure from the bench to the clinic. His clinical research group has developed the concept of HIV latency reversing agents, testing drug that may force HIV out of hiding in numerous clinical trials. Recently studies have combined immunotherapies (vaccines, antibodies or antibody-like molecules, or antiviral cellular therapy) and small-molecule anti-latency agents (HDAC inhibitors), seeking to deplete persistent HIV infection. He has been elected as a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Also, within the Administrative core, we have recently incorporated Nancie Archin and Ed Browne to make available cutting edge technology and research in HIV Cure Science to the CFAR community.

Meet Dr. Brown and Dr. Archin


Assistant Professor

Dr. Browne CFAR faculty is an Assistant Professor of Medicine is interested in the replication and pathogenesis of HIV. In particular, he is focused on understanding the nature of latent HIV reservoirs, and in developing new tools to reverse latency. He is the principal investigator of a $4-million, 5-year NIH grant to study the role of cannabis use in HIV latency – one of the main barriers toward curing people with the infection.


Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Archin- CFAR faculty is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and a member of the UNC HIV Cure Center. She is especially interested in HIV infection and latency in women. She and her colleagues use molecular biology and biochemical methods to 1) define sex-specific and other factors that contribute to HIV persistence in people living with HIV with a particular focus on women, 2) define modalities to disrupt latency and clear latently infected cells, and 3) apply these observations in clinical applications.

Biostatistics Core


Assistant Core Director

Bonnie Shook-Sa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics. She has over 12 years of experience in collaborative public health research and statistical methods development with over 25 peer-reviewed publications. Her research focuses on survey sampling and causal inference methods and their applications to HIV research. Dr. Shook-Sa is the instructor for the graduate-level Sample Survey Methodology course in the Department of Biostatistics at UNC and is a member of a Causal Inference Research Group (CIRG). Her statistical experience includes study design, sampling frame development and evaluation, statistical analysis plan development, and complex modeling.

Social and Behavioral Science Core


Associate Director

Vivian Go is a social epidemiologist and implementation scientist with over 20 years of experience in the design and evaluation of HIV interventions among people who inject drugs and MSM in Vietnam. She specializes in mixed methods research. She is currently PI of two NIH-funded R01 implementation science trials, one to scale-up a systems navigation and psychosocial counseling intervention to increase engagement of HIV-infected PWID into HIV care in Vietnam, and one to develop and implement a service delivery plan for evidence-based interventions that can be scaled-up as a community-based response to the opioid epidemic in rural Ohio.



Annual CFAR Meeting November 3-4, 2022

By Jimmy Gibbs-National CFAR CAB Coalition-Chair

After a more than two-year hiatus, the National CFAR CAB Coalition (N3C) descended upon the Windy City for the Annual CFAR Meeting November 3-4, 2022. Although this year’s event was smaller than usual because we wanted to navigate slowly for in person meetings, we opened our meeting with many new faces sharing ideas and collaborating on what communities need and how to disseminate a plethora of information. We began with an Officer’s Get-to-Gather followed by an Officer/Executive Committee Meeting and finished our time together where we elected George Kerr III, DC-CFAR as Vice Chair and Daiquiri Robinson, PENN-CFAR as Treasurer. Meeting highlights included the Marcia V. Ellis Lightning Round, an N3C tradition, an update from Dr. Davis Haas, TENN-CFAR, on Faith and Spirituality Research Collaborative. Other speaker topics included: Implementation Science, Women and PrEP, Aging and HIV Comorbidities, and Engaging Black Sexual and Gender Minority Youth in Community-Based Participatory Research to name a few.

This year we participated in writing 9 abstracts, attended 6 national conferences, presented at 3 through panel discussions and tables in exhibit spaces.

As the N3C we must think how we can educate on topics as they happen. We assembled a team of experts from across the country and launched our very first Emerging Issues Forum. We envision ourselves as a leader in communicating these issues first through forums, webinars, panels, and our online resources. We are anticipating an even bigger year as we continue to celebrate more than a decade of service to the broader community. We will engage with Balm in Gilead to guide us as we develop a strategic plan which will enhance our reach locally and globally. Through our partnerships with HIV/AIDS Network Coordination, AIDS Quilt Foundation, HBCU Initiatives, working groups from across the CFAR network, Faith and Spirituality Research Collaborative, and other CFAR initiatives, we hope to continue to strengthen our work, educate the world, provide accurate and timely information. My continued vision for the N3C is to End the HIV Epidemic through education, testing, and providing a resource for community engagement and involvement in national CFAR initiatives. The N3C serves as a resource for the creation, development, and sustainability of CFAR CABs. 


Office of Community Engagement 2022 Event Reflections

By Alicia Diggs-CFAR Office of Community Engagement Manager

Wow! What a busy and exciting year 2022 has been for the Office of Community Engagement filled with trainings, presentations, advocacy planning, and conferences.

I and two other leaders presented at the Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit on April 20-21, 2022 which was held in Chicago, IL. This Summit focused on the importance of biomedical prevention tools such as PrEP, PEP, TasP, and U=U in ending the epidemic. We presented on an abstract that focused on the lack of information and education provided to cisgender women regarding PEP and PrEP availability and usage. The title of the presentation was, “We Didn’t Know - It was designed that way!”

In July, I attended the 24th International AIDS Conference in Canada. The conference focused on future research agendas, shifting the latest evidence to action, and new ideas on overcoming the HIV epidemic as a threat to public health and individual well-being. There was a preconference hosted by WomenNOW!, a Global movement based in South Africa, where a few select leaders in HIV advocacy came together to help create a program that centers a shared agenda on the intersections of HIV, Sexual & Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (SRHRJ).I was amongst the few selected leaders.

As a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), I attended the 74th full council meeting ( September 19-20, 2022 ) in Los Angeles, California. The two-day meeting was held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Outpatient Center on the campus of Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and included a PACHA-to-the-People community listening session. I along with John Sapero, Director of Ending the HIV Epidemic, Collaborative Research LLC, facilitated a panel discussion on Older Adults with HIV and Long-Term Survivors. Our very own CFAR investigator, Dr. Michele Floris Moore presented on the topic of Older Adults and Long Term Survivors (More info here: Older Adults and Long-Term Survivors (M. Floris-Moore, UNC School of Medicine)

The SisterLove had its annual 2020 Leading Women’s Society banquet and training institute on October 21-22. I was presented with the 2020 Leading Women’s Society honoree award and CFAR investigator Dr. Tonia Poteat was presented with the Pandora Singleton Ally Award, this award is a distinguished honor that is given each year to an individual who has worked in the movement to eradicate HIV/AIDS for 20 years or more. We ended the institute with trainings and updates where I had the opportunity to present on Research & Medication updates of HIV/AIDS.

We look forward to what 2023 has for the Office Of Community Engagement, stay tuned!


UNC CFAR-WIDE webinar series

Please join us for our UNC CFAR-WIDE webinars series that occur on the Fourth Monday of the month at 3:30pm EST. Sign for upcoming webinar for the spring semester.

  • February 27th, 2023            Registration is required; CLICK HERE to register
  • March 27th, 2023                 Registration is required; CLICK HERE to register
  • April 24th, 2023                    Registration is required; CLICK HERE to register        

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - February 7, 2023

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – March 10, 2023

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – March 20, 2023     


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