What's New? Updates from the CFAR

Duke CFAR Newsletter - July 20, 2022


In this newsletter:

News from the CFAR

Upcoming Events

Newly Published

Have you seen our website lately??

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Like the other Duke Health websites, our site got a fresh, new look! Check it out and let us know if there's anything you'd like to see on the website!

News from the CFAR

Duke Awarded Federal Grant to Build Structural Models of HIV


A recent article from Duke Health highlighted a new multi-million dollar award to create the Duke Center for HIV Structural biology:


Researchers at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) received a federal grant totaling more than $27 million over five years to focus on building structural models of HIV that will help guide the development of therapies and vaccines. The newly formed Duke Center for HIV Structural Biology at DHVI will become one of the few such centers in the U.S. funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.


“With this funding, we will create detailed three-dimensional models that will help us understand how HIV enters host cells, engages the host immune system, and how it lies dormant within the host during antiretroviral therapy only to rebound when the therapy is withdrawn,” said Priyamvada Acharya, Ph.D., associate professor in the departments of Surgery and Biochemistry and the project’s principal investigator.


“Such detailed models can greatly enhance our understanding of the virus and help us develop better ways to prevent and treat HIV infection,” Acharya said.


Acharya said the new DHVI center will focus on three pursuits:

  • Detailing the multiple steps that occur when HIV enters the body, with special emphasis on identifying several short-lived stages that have proven elusive and appear integral to the process. This project is led by Rory Henderson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Duke.
  • Building a model of how the surface of a B cell, an important immune responder, displays the receptor that interacts with antigens on viral and bacterial pathogens. This will help researchers better understand how pathogen-derived antigens interact and activate the immune system to generate antibodies. The project lead is S. Munir Alam, Ph.D., professor in the departments of Medicine and Pathology at Duke.
  • Determining how the autologous neutralizing antibody response to the HIV Envelope protein can be used to block viral rebound and achieve a functional cure. Janet Siliciano, Ph.D., at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is leading this project.


For each of the three research efforts, the Duke Center for HIV Structural Biology team will use cutting edge structural, computational and immunobiology methods. The Center will also include a developmental component led by Maria Blasi, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, that will provide a training and mentoring environment, as well as funds and research opportunities for early career researchers.


“These projects are essential to better understand how the immune system responds to and mounts a defense against HIV-1 infection,” said Barton Haynes, M.D., director of DHVI. “The knowledge gained from these sorts of models advances the field of HIV vaccine development and the field of immunology more broadly. We are excited about the recognition and support of this research.”


Read the article.

Update on the HIV Health Services Research Scientific Working Group

The HIV Health Services Research SWG was established in September 2021 by Lance Okeke, MD, MPH and Charles Muiruri, PhD, MPH. The group was formed to create a forum for Duke CFAR investigators with interests in health services and implementation science to discuss ideas and forge new collaborations. 

The HSR SWG meets every 4th Thursday of the month at 11a. The current working group brings HIV researchers from the Department of Population Health Sciences, the Divisions of Cardiology and Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, the School of Nursing and the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) together for robust discussions on how to expand Duke CFAR’s emerging HSR portfolio. The HSR SWG has also hosted guest speakers from the Center for Health Measurement and the Duke Institute of Health Innovation to their forum. The group also has speakers scheduled from the Center for REACH Equity and Clinetic, a healthcare informatics start-up company based in RTP, in the fall. To date, the SWGs activities have been heavily supported by the Social and Behavioral Science (SBS) Core and the Clinical Core. Membership to the HSR SWG is open to all CFAR members and affiliates. Please contact Dr. Okeke at lance.okeke@duke.edu to join, or for further details about the SWG. 

Upcoming Events

Today! AETC Webinar on HIV and Transplantation, featuring Duke CFAR Member Cameron Wolfe

Chest of a person wearing a suit and tie is visible. They are holding up one finger, with a red ribbon on their pointer finger. Text reads "Webcast Wednesday" with the AETC Southeast logo

Wednesday, July 20, 2022 |12-1pm ET


Join the Southeast AIDS Education & Training Center Program for a Webcast Wednesday event presented by Dr. Cameron Wolfe, Associate Professor of Medicine.


Register for the webcast.

Abstract Deadline approaching for International Workshop on HIV & Aging 2022

Flyer for International Workshop on HIV & Aging 2022. Submission deadline 22 July 2022 23:59 EDT

Abstract deadline: Friday, July 22, 2022


Workshop: October 13 & 14, 2022 |Virtual


The International Workshop on HIV & Aging 2022 will be virtual on October 13 and 14, 2022. Abstract submission is open now through July 22. Accepted abstracts are eligible for free or reduced registration. The scholarship application deadline is October 6. Please let us know of any submissions for CFAR tracking purposes.


Learn more and submit an abstract.

Newly Published

Identification of Determinants and Implementation Strategies to Increase PrEP Uptake Among Black Same Gender-Loving Men in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina: The PrEP-MECK Study.

Corneli A, Perry B, Wilson J, Reif S, Gulden C, Hanlen-Rosado E, Cooper H, Taylor J, Starling S, Thompson JW.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2022 Jul 1;90(S1):S149-S160. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002975.


Does Type of Social Support Influence Medication Adherence Among South African Adolescents Living With HIV? A Quantitative Analysis of Pilot Data.

Malo VF, Ritchwood TD, Relf MV, Bekker LG.

J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2022 Jul-Aug 01;33(4):492-498. doi: 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000325. Epub 2022 Jan 14.


Adaptive leadership in clinical encounters with women living with HIV.

Randolph SD, Johnson R, McGee K, A Adimora A, Ramirez C, Bailey DE Jr, Holt L, Koch A, McMillian-Bohler JM, Ritchwood T, Relf MV.

BMC Womens Health. 2022 Jun 9;22(1):217. doi: 10.1186/s12905-022-01810-1.


"An Extra Variable to Consider"-Vaccine-Induced Seropositivity and Adolescent HIV Vaccine Clinical Trials.

Fatola O, Corneli A, Perry B, Hanlen-Rosado E, Nsonwu A, Constantine EP, Thompson AB.

J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2022 May 30;11(5):221-224. doi: 10.1093/jpids/piac001.


Frequent Development of Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies in Early Life in a Large Cohort of Children With Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

Lucier A, Fong Y, Li SH, Dennis M, Eudailey J, Nelson A, Saunders K, Cunningham CK, McFarland E, McKinney R, Moody MA, LaBranche C, Montefiori D, Permar SR, Fouda GG.

J Infect Dis. 2022 May 16;225(10):1731-1740. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiab629.

Don't see your paper listed? Make sure your publication is linked to the CFAR grant for funding. Visit the CFAR website for example text to use when acknowledging the CFAR and assistance by its Cores in your publications, abstracts, grant proposals, and presentations.

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