What's New? Updates from the CFAR

Duke CFAR Newsletter - March 30, 2022

In this newsletter:

News from the CFAR

Upcoming Events

Funding Opportunities

Recognizing National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on April 10

Colorful background (intersecting purple, red, and blue ribbons) with text: "National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - April 10"

National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD), recognized on April 10th each year, is a day to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people. The day also highlights the advocacy of young people in the U.S. around linking people to services, providing sexual health resources, and HIV education. Campaigns led by youth activists highlight the challenges faced by young people living with and impacted by HIV, offer insight on how they combat stigma and discrimination on local, state, and federal levels, and enhance the awareness among physicians, policymakers, and youth-serving organization staff, etc. about the existing disparities.

Today’s young people are the first generation who have never known a world without HIV and AIDS. The CDC reports that in 2018, youth aged 13 to 24 made up 21% of the 37,832 new HIV diagnoses in the United States (US) and dependent areas. Young people living with HIV are the least likely of any age group to be retained in care and have a suppressed viral load. Addressing the impact of HIV on young people requires they have access to affirming, culturally-competent, and medically accurate resources and tools. Learn more about Advocates for Youth, the founders of NYHAAD and the importance of NYHAAD.

News from the CFAR

Headshots and names of the 10 faculty members, trainees, and staff selected to present at the Keystone meeting

CFAR Members present at the Next Generation HIV Vaccines and Therapies Keystone meeting

The Keystone Symposia conference was designed to bring together scientists working in the fields of HIV vaccines and/or the pathway to a cure. The following faculty, trainees, and staff were selected to present their work at the meeting:

Oral presentations

Derek Cain, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, DHVI - Ionizable Lipid Nanoparticles are Potent Adjuvants for Protein-Based HIV Vaccines in Non-Human Primates

James Counts, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow, DHVI - Elicitation of CH235-like CD4bs bnAbs via Germline Targeting Immunogens in Rhesus Macaques

Tyler Evangelous, Lab Analyst, DHVI - High-Throughput Screening of Antigen-Reactive B cells in SHIV-infected Rhesus Macaques

Brian Watts, PhD, BIA Core Manager, DHVI - B cells discriminate HIV-1 Envelope Protein Affinities by Sensing Antigen Binding Association Rates

Wilton Williams, PhD, Associate Professor of Surgery, DHVI - Shared Recognition Mechanism for V3-Glycan bnAb Lineage Maturation in Primates


Poster presentations

Brady Hueber, Lab Analyst, CHSI - Perturbations of nutrient transporter profiles and mitochondrial fitness predict NK cell functional failure in lentivirus infections

Stephanie Lundy, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow, DHVI - Induction of HIV-1 Env bnAbs in Pathogenic SHIV-infected Neonatal Macaques

Matthew Mosher, Lab Technician, CHSI - High-dimensional Polychromatic Flow Cytometry Reveals Mucosal-homing as a Putative Biomarker on Natural Killer Cells for Aging in Persons With or Without HIV

Kelly Seaton, PhD, Research Laboratory Manager, CHSI - Pharmacokinetic antibody concentrations of VRC01 correlate with prevention of HIV-1 acquisition (HVTN/HPTN AMP Studies)

Marina Tuyishime, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Surgery - Multivariate Analysis of FcR-mediated NK Cell Functions Identifies Unique Clustering Among Humans and Rhesus Macaques


Ashley Bennett, Dapeng Li, and Charlie Mu were also selected but were unable to attend.

Congratulations on being selected to present your work!

Article highlights DHVI study by CFAR investigators showing mRNA vaccine technology can be used for HIV vaccines

gloved hands hold a small vial at a lap bench full of other supplies

A new article, shared in The Duke Daily newsletter, discusses a recent publication in Cell Reports, where researchers at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) describe an important advancement in what is a complex vaccine development process. The approach uses mRNAs within lipid nanoparticles that are capable of stimulating HIV antibodies.

“This work demonstrates that we now have a practical platform for producing a complex HIV vaccine,” said co-senior author Barton Haynes, M.D., director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute. “The mRNA technology has been highly successful for COVID-19, and we previously found that it was also effective for a Zika vaccine. But HIV is so much more complicated. This is a major step forward.”

Read more about the important advancement by DHVI and CFAR investigators.

We've extended the deadline for our Community Chair position!

Applications are now due April 6. Know someone who might be a good fit?

Refer them to our application.

Flyer for community chair position

Upcoming Events

An Iterative, Patient-Centered Approach to Tobacco Cessation Program Development

Tuesday, April 5th | 1-2pm ET

Presenter: Sarah Wilson, PhD

Join virtually to attend this national talk through VA Health Services Research and Development, presented by Duke CFAR Investigator Dr. Sadie Wilson.

This presentation focuses on methodology for development of a tobacco cessation program for Veterans living with HIV. The methods that will be reviewed include:

  • qualitative analysis of formative patient interviews to inform intervention design
  • rapid qualitative analysis of staff and provider interviews to proactively maximize feasibility of the intervention
  • Amazon MTurk for crowdsourcing to inform intervention design
  • successive cohort design methodology to iteratively improve intervention design.

Register for the session.

Join CFAR colleagues at the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Network (SBSRN) Conference

Friday, May 27th | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / virtual

Colorful skyline of Philadelphia with city name also in rainbow colors. Text reads "14th CFAR Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Network (SBSRN) Conference Confronting Intersecting Epidemics: Prioritizing HIV/AIDS Research"

The 14th annual meeting of the Social and Behavioral Science Research Network (SBSRN 2022) will take place in Philadelphia on May 26th and 27th. The theme of the meeting this year will be, “Confronting Intersecting Epidemics: Prioritizing HIV/AIDS Research.”

While the first day of the meeting is limited to invited attendees only, the second day of the meeting (May 27th) will be a scientific symposium which any CFAR member can attend. The symposium will directly address current research challenges and energize investigators to consider the impact and lessons learned from the COVID pandemic, the opioid epidemic, and the HIV epidemic. At this point, the organizers envision that this will be held as an in-person/virtual conference.

For more information and to register, visit the SBSRN website.

Funding Opportunities

amfAR request for proposals to support research projects focused on curing HIV

amfAR’s research initiatives are aimed at finding a cure for HIV that will be useful to the 38M people living with HIV. Their priority is to fund biomedical research that aims to achieve an eradicative HIV cure.

If you are an HIV researcher holding a doctoral degree and affiliated with a nonprofit research institute, amfAR wants to know:

  • what you’d like to do
  • why
  • how much it will cost, and
  • how long it will take

If it’s an idea they think might be a good fit, they'll be in touch to start talking through more specifics and potentially solicit a full proposal. You can submit queries at any time. Full proposals will be reviewed each February, May and August, with funding to start in March, June and September.

Send your brief synopsis to grants@amfar.org with the subject line, “Target Grants – Synopsis.”

Learn more and find the document to prepare submission on our funding page (RFP: Target Grants - Rolling submissions).

Have a new member of your team? Were you forwarded this newsletter and want to sign up yourself? Please use and share this link to join the CFAR and receive all CFAR information and news.

Have something to add to the newsletter? Email Lizzy Knippler at elizabeth.knippler@duke.edu

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