WASHINGTON, DC (April 27, 2015)--An interdisciplinary, city-wide consortium of researchers, led by Alan E. Greenberg, MD, MPH, professor and chair, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University, has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for an expected $7.5 million over five years to fund the newly established District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research (DC CFAR). The consortium includes nearly 200 academic HIV investigators from three GW schools - Milken Institute SPH, the School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) and the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences - and five major DC research institutions---Georgetown University, Howard University, American University, the Children's National Medical Center and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
The mission of the DC CFAR is to expand the multi-institutional effort to support research that contributes to ending the HIV epidemic in Washington, DC and beyond in partnership with government and community. "This city-wide collaboration began with the creation of the DC HIV/AIDS Institute in 2005 and continued with initial funding from the NIH in 2010 to establish the DC Developmental CFAR," says Greenberg, who will serve as the director of the DC CFAR. The DC Developmental CFAR was established to develop a strong research infrastructure and collaborative network of HIV investigators with the goal of becoming a full CFAR. "This represents a milestone moment in the history of our collective efforts to build HIV research capacity and infrastructure in our nation's capital," Greenberg says.
"With this award from the National Institutes of Health, the District of Columbia and the DC Center for AIDS Research arrive as a premier destination for HIV research in the country," said DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. "I congratulate the leadership and vision of the George Washington University and the exceptional consortium of academic institutions and researchers in our city. This opportunity will attract and support scientists for new and exciting research breakthroughs to end the HIV epidemic."
The DC CFAR will provide HIV investigators with significant pilot award funding opportunities and mentorship through its Developmental Core, and with expanded services through the Basic Sciences, Clinical and Population Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences Cores. Two new scientific working groups will be created to promote and support scientific research in DC on HIV cure research and HIV prevention research in high-risk populations.
"After more than 3 decades of clinical and basic science research by investigators at Washington, DC institutions, the DC CFAR award will not only raise the level of HIV research in our city, but increase institutional collaboration," said DC CFAR Co-Director Gary Simon, MD, PhD, who is also the Walter G. Ross Professor of Medicine and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the GW SMHS. "The support of the DC CFAR will have a substantial impact on young investigators who are beginning their research careers."
Prior to this funding round, there were 17 full CFARs and 2 Developmental CFARs including the DC Developmental CFAR. The DC CFAR now joins the ranks as a full CFAR among the nation's leading research institutions. The NIH CFAR program emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary and translational collaborations between basic, clinical, prevention and behavioral investigators, with an emphasis on the inclusion of women and minority investigators. The CFAR program is jointly funded by the NIAID, NCI, NICHD, NHLBI, NIDA, NIMH, NIA, NIDDK, NIGMS, FIC, and OAR.
About Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University:
Established in July 1997 as the School of Public Health and Health Services, Milken Institute School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the nation's capital. Today, more than 1,534 students from almost every U.S. state and more than 45 countries pursue undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level degrees in public health. The school also offers an online Master of Public Health, MPH@GW, and an online Executive Master of Health Administration, MHA@GW, which allow students to pursue their degree from anywhere in the world.