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NIH-Supported Center for AIDS Research to be Established in Washington, DC

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 AIDS/HIV News J E 4
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The George Washington University Medical Center To Lead Multi-Institutional Effort

WASHINGTON, July 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Researchers from institutions across Washington, DC, led by Alan E. Greenberg, M.D., M.P.H., of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, have been awarded an approximately $3M grant over five years from the National Institutes of Health to establish the District of Columbia Developmental Center for AIDS Research (DC D-CFAR). The mission of the D-CFAR will be to provide scientific leadership and institutional infrastructure to promote HIV/AIDS research, and to develop the next generation of HIV/AIDS investigators in Washington, whose population has one of the country's highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection.

The researchers who were instrumental in developing the grant proposal are HIV/AIDS experts from The George Washington University, Children's National Medical Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, Howard University, and the DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, with the support of investigators from numerous community-based clinics throughout Washington DC. The institutions have established administrative, developmental, scientific and educational functions that will serve as a foundation upon which the DC D-CFAR will be built.

The prestigious grant will enable the consortium of institutions in Washington to support new HIV/AIDS research through pilot grants, access to core research services and facilities, and mentorship by senior scientists to enhance the ability of junior and minority researchers to establish themselves as independent NIH-funded investigators. The overall goal is to establish a full CFAR following the initial five year funding period.

"The establishment of the Developmental CFAR in Washington DC is a major step forward in our ability to confront the large HIV/AIDS epidemic in our nation's capital. It will encourage junior and established researchers to pursue and develop their careers in HIV/AIDS research, and help unite HIV/AIDS researchers from across the District with a common purpose," said Dr. Greenberg of George Washington University.

"The District of Columbia applauds the National Institutes of Health for their investment in solving the ongoing HIV epidemic in the District. Congratulations to the District's academic institutions on receiving this exciting federal grant to establish a research center on HIV/AIDS in our city," said DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. "The District is leading the fight against the most complex HIV/AIDS epidemic in the nation and we welcome this first-time opportunity for DC to attract the best and brightest scientists to join us."

Currently, there are 20 CFARs located at academic and research institutions throughout the U.S. - 17 are standard CFARs and three are Developmental CFARs. The CFAR program emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, especially between basic and clinical investigators, translational research in which findings from the laboratory are brought to the clinic and vice versa, and an emphasis upon inclusion of minorities and inclusion of prevention and behavioral change research. The CFAR program is jointly funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and six other NIH institutes: the National Cancer Institute; the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; the National Institute on Aging; the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; the National Institute on Drug Abuse; and the National Institute of Mental Health.

"We congratulate Dr. Greenberg and his colleagues at our partner institutions on receiving this NIH grant to establish a D-CFAR in Washington. We look forward to seeing the results of their research on HIV/AIDS and how it can help address the critical needs of people in our city who are affected by this disease," John F. Williams, MD, MPH, provost and vice president for Health Affairs at GW Medical Center.

About The George Washington University Medical Center

The George Washington University Medical Center is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary academic health center that has consistently provided high-quality medical care in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area since 1824. The Medical Center comprises the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the 11th oldest medical school in the country; the School of Public Health and Health Services, the only such school in the nation's capital; GW Hospital, jointly owned and operated by a partnership between The George Washington University and a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.; and The GW Medical Faculty Associates, an independent medical practice with nearly 550 physicians in 47 clinical specialties. For more information on GWUMC, visit www.gwumc.edu.

SOURCE George Washington University Medical Center
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