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NIH designates Emory-CDC Clinical Trials Unit, including four HIV/AIDS clinical research sites

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Holly Korschun

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has selected the Emory-CDC HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Unit as one of 37 clinical trials units (CTUs) responsible for implementing the scientific agenda of the NIH international HIV/AIDS clinical research network. The NIH CTU effort is directed and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The seven-year designation, with expected core funding of more than $12.5 million and significant additional protocol-specific funding, includes Emory and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with two clinical research sites in Atlanta and one each in Kenya and Thailand.

The Emory-CDC HIV/AIDS CTU will conduct clinical trials within three networks sponsored by the NIH:

  • the AIDS Clinical trials Group (ACTG),
  • HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) and
  • HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN).

Emory's HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) first received NIH designation in 2007, but the new designation and the inclusion of CDC and international sites will significantly boost its clinical trials work in HIV/AIDS.

The new awards are intended to expand the scope of the network's current activities to include the treatment and prevention of other infectious diseases, including tuberculosis and hepatitis, which are the most significant co-infections for people infected with, or at risk for, HIV.

Principal Investigators

The three CTU principal investigators are:

  • Jeffrey Lennox, MD, associate dean for clinical research and professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine;
  • Carlos del Rio, MD, Hubert Professor and Chair of the Hubert Department of Global Health at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health and professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine; and
  • Mark J. Mulligan, MD, professor of medicine at Emory School of Medicine and executive director of the Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center.

"We are very excited about the important clinical trials work this designation and grant will allow us to pursue," says Lennox. "Our existing Emory CTU has been very successful in conducting HIV clinical trials, but our partnership with CDC expands our reach to two key international sites and will allow us to move forward with new research that could make a significant impact on this still challenging disease."

Clinical sites in Atlanta, Kenya, and Thailand

Clinical sites in Atlanta include the Ponce de Leon Center, the HIV/AIDS outpatient center in midtown that houses the outpatient infectious disease clinics of Grady Health System and is one of the largest and most comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment facilities in the country, and the Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center, located in Decatur, Ga.

International sites are located in Kisumu, Kenya, and Bangkok, Thailand. The Kenya site is a collaboration of the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the CDC, and the site in Thailand is a collaboration of the Thai Ministry of Health and CDC. These two international sites have already been conducting studies as part of the NIH HIV/AIDS Research Networks and the new funding will allow them to continue contributing to the HIV/AIDS research agenda. 

More information about the NIH HIV Clinical Trials Networks.

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