DC CFAR Directors' Update

Drs. Alan Greenberg and Gary Simon Photo
September 27, 2018
On behalf of the DC CFAR, we would like to wish the HIV research community of Washington, DC a wonderful start to the new academic year. We recently completed our eighth year as one of 19 NIH-funded Centers for AIDS Research in the United States (the first five years as a Developmental CFAR), and the DC CFAR Executive Committee has already begun to draft our five-year renewal application for 2020-2025.  Focused on our collective mission of bringing an end to the HIV epidemic in DC, our unique city-wide CFAR now has over 230 investigator members at eight collaborating HIV research institutions; is actively engaged with the DC Department of Health and the DC CFAR Community Advisory Board; has awarded over $2.1 million in pilot funding to 51 investigators, many of whom have progressed to independent NIH funding; provided hundreds of laboratory, biostatistics, study design, and social and behavioral services each year; achieved a record amount of NIH-funded HIV research in DC of over $20 million this past year; and most importantly contributed broadly to efforts that resulted in the decline in new HIV diagnoses in DC by more than 70% over the past decade. 

However, our work is far from done, as the number of new HIV diagnoses in DC plateaued this past year and remains at the unacceptable rate of >1 case diagnosed each day. And as persons living with HIV age, there are increasing issues with comorbidities, such as cardiac disease, renal disease, cognitive disorders and the effects of aging.  The DC CFAR will redouble our efforts to support cutting-edge HIV research that contributes to the fight against HIV and its comorbidities in DC and will feature a number of new programs and events this coming year.  These include:

  • Continuing fall and spring cycles of our pilot awards program with up to ten $50,000 awards for early stage investigators
  • Launching a new $100,000 transitioning investigator award program to encourage R01-funded non-HIV investigators to transition to HIV research
  • Sponsoring our annual DC CFAR Research Day on November 13, 2018 which will highlight the broad scientific range of the DC Cohort
  • Coordinating the Dr. Fred Gordin Memorial lecture on March 22, 2019 to honor the one-year anniversary of the passing of the Founding Director of the DC CFAR Clinical Core
  • Investing in providing new services to DC CFAR investigators, including enhancing laboratory capability by providing new cutting-edge laboratory assays, grant writing workshops, and development of a high-risk seronegative cohort
  • Continuing and increasing in HIV prevention activities including those sponsored by the NIH-funded HIV Prevention Trials Network and in collaboration with the DC Department of Health
We look forward to continuing to support the research efforts of all HIV investigators in DC, and to promoting your accomplishments through the widely distributed Weekly Update. Please contact us if you have any suggestions that could improve our services and programming.
Alan E. Greenberg, MD, MPH
Director, DC CFAR
Gary L. Simon, MD, PhD, MACP
Co-Director, DC CFAR