The use of opioids, methamphetamines, cocaine and other stimulants is the second-most common cause of exposure to HIV among those in the United States diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS.
Thanks to a new $16 million, five-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health, Case Western Reserve is launching a multi-institutional research effort dedicated to deepening understanding of the relationship between substance use and HIV.
The Case Western Reserve University Center for Excellence on the Impact of Substance Use on HIV will be established at the School of Medicine as a resource for scientists across the university, at the four university-affiliated hospital systems in Cleveland, and among researchers around the country.
To advance, grow and support the university’s rapidly expanding portfolio of funded cutting-edge research in substance use and HIV, the Center for Excellence will provide access to advanced computer-based, cell biological, genomic and biochemical technologies and fully characterized patient populations.
“This center will investigate the biology, physiology, pathology, and social conditions for people who are carrying the HIV virus and using substances,” said center leader Alan D. Levine, a professor of molecular biology and microbiology, medicine, pediatrics, pathology and pharmacology at the School of Medicine, and recipient of the prestigious NIDA-sponsored Avant Garde award.
Jonathan Karn, the Reinberger Professor of Molecular Biology and chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, and Mark Chance, vice dean for research, professor of nutrition, Distinguished University Professor and director of the Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics, will serve as co-directors. Ann Avery, director of infectious diseases at The MetroHealth System, will lead the new center’s clinical activity.