Michael M. Lederman, M.D., director of the Case CFAR, responded to the receipt of the grant: "This renewal of our Center for AIDS Research is wonderful news. It represents recognition by the NIH of the strong AIDS research program at Case and UHC, and the hard work of the more than 130 AIDS researchers who comprise this center of excellence. This five-year award will provide our researchers here and in Africa access to resources and facilities to speed the progress of their work."
The Case CFAR provides clinical and technological support to researchers working on AIDS-related projects at Case, UHC, MetroHealth Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and several international sites. It is part of a program that was established by the NIH to promote collaboration between basic and clinical researchers on AIDS-related projects, emphasizing translational research in which findings from the laboratory are brought to the clinic and vice versa.
There are 21 such centers currently funded by the NIH. The Case CFAR is the only one located in the Midwest.
"One of the positive benefits of the CFAR is the uniting of basic scientists working on AIDS with their clinical colleagues," said Jonathan Karn, Ph.D., associate director of the CFAR. "With the Case School of Medicine rapidly expanding centers of excellence, such as the CFAR, Case will continue to become more attractive to the outstanding researchers we are actively recruiting."
Since its founding in 1994, the Case CFAR has been dedicated to coordinating an ever-expanding spectrum of AIDS-related activities. Major strengths of the Case CFAR include clinical and translational research, international research, and in training young researchers, both on a national and international level. In Cleveland, a close, dynamic relationship between the CFAR and the NIH-funded AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (a collaboration between UHC, MetroHealth, and the Cleveland Clinic), assists in fulfilling these institutions' mandates as centers of excellence and providers of the highest quality patient care. On the international front, a long-standing scientific relationship with Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, has culminated in establishing sophisticated CFAR laboratories in Uganda, providing support for AIDS-related research in Africa.
The Case CFAR works actively with other Case centers and departments in areas of mutual interest. In addition to the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit, these include the Comprehensive Cancer Center (AIDS-related malignancies, studies of immune restoration), the Tuberculosis Research Unit (TBRU, HIV/TB interactions), the Skin Diseases Research Center's Center for Medical Mycology (CMM-opportunistic fungal infections), the Center for Global Health and Disease (international research), the EpID Center (epidemiology/biostatistics, international research), and the Department of Biomedical Ethics and the Law-Medicine Center (Ethics of AIDS Research and Care Research Program).