Center for AIDS Research

Core Facilities


Cores directed by outstanding investigators and operated by highly experienced technical staff provide CFAR investigators with access to the training, specialized scientific services and sophisticated instruments required for cutting-edge and novel research.  These Cores are dynamic, adding new services and instruments in response to the needs of CFAR investigators identified during our strategic planning process. A short summary of each core is provided below with more detailed information provided by clicking on the Core name. 

Developmental Core:
The Developmental Core expands the breadth and depth of HIV/AIDS research by providing mentoring and pilot project funding to develop the careers of ESI and to support the recruitment of non-HIV/AIDS researchers into HIV/AIDS research through a highly structured mentorship program involving one-on-one mentoring matching early-stage investigators with senior CFAR investigators and grant-targeted mentorship meetings of grant applicants with selected relevant senior CFAR investigators.    

Clinical and Translational Investigation Core:   

Provides CFAR investigators with access to the HIV Integrated Clinical Database (HICDB), a comprehensive clinical database encompassing almost 15,000 HIV-infected patients, to apply epidemiologic and clinical approaches to investigate the acquisition and clinical course of HIV infection and to access well-characterized patients (including HIV-negative controls) for enrollment into new research protocols. Supports translational investigations (e.g. virologic, immunologic, genetic) using human specimens, both through the existing research and clinical biorepositories accessed through the HIV Integrated Research Database (HIRDB) and by rapidly sourcing and enrolling consenting patients with specific characteristics, and providing specimen collection, transport and processing. 

Biohazard Animal Core:   

Provides CFAR investigators with access to BSL3/BSL2-enhanced biocontainment animal facilities, a wide array of mouse model systems, technical support and well-developed training programs to utilize in vivo modeling of disease pathogenesis, host defenses, protective effects of vaccines and the therapeutic efficacy of new treatments for infection with HIV and HIV-associated pathogens. Supports studies of in vivo infection and co-infection with HIV and XDR-TB, in vivo visualization of fluorescent/luminescence signals in infected mice and cognitive/behavioral evaluation of infected mice.     

Biostatistical Core:   

Provides CFAR investigators with a wide range of expertise and training required to perform detailed biostatistical analysis and power calculations for clinical, behavioral, epidemiological, genomic and basic science studies through designated biostatisticians embedded in each Core who not only have extensive experience in biostatistical analysis and power calculations, but also have a long track record of involvement in HIV/AIDS-related research studies. 

Flow Cytometry Core:   

Provides access to sophisticated flow cytometry instruments to sort and analyze cells infected with HIV and other HIV-associated pathogens under appropriate biosafety containment and staff to provide training and consultations for flow cytometric techniques and to perform phenotypic analysis of patient samples.   

Immunology and Pathology Core:   

Provides a centralized facility for the functional and anatomical analysis of immune responses and histological evaluation of cellular and tissue appearance after infection with HIV and or HIV-related pathogens including cytokine/chemokine measurements and the visualization of the dynamic ex-vivo interactions between HIV and/or HIV-associated pathogens with cells or tissues over time using real-time video imaging with an inverted fluorescent microscope. 

Virology Core:   

Supports clinical, translational and basic science research focused on investigating HIV infection, pathogenesis and therapy through a multipronged approach that provides investigators with access to a fully equipped BSL3 lab to culture, process and store HIV, a range of titered wild-type and GFP or luciferase-expressing HIV for infection and tracking of infected cells, an expanded array of laboratory services and assays using the AB 7900HT RT-qPCR machine and Abbott m2000 machine for quantifying HIV and HCV infection in cells, tissues and fluids from patients' systemic and mucosal compartments and a well-developed training program in laboratory skills for cellular and molecular analysis of HIV infection.  

Administrative Core:   

Utilizes an integrated governance structure including CFAR leaders, interdisciplinary faculty groups, as well as internal and external scientific advisory committees to lead and advise the CFAR and  coordinate the CFAR strategic planning process including organize the annual CFAR retreat. Serves as the central focus of interactions with the Institution regarding recruitment and requests for institutional support for HIV/AIDS research, coordinates financial management of the scientific Cores, and organizes internal and external scientific seminars and symposia. 



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