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NIH-funded Emory Clinical Trials Unit welcomes new principal investigators to help advance HIV/AIDS research
HIV ribbon for global health

In 2020, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) selected the Emory Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) as one of 37 CTUs responsible for implementing the scientific agenda of the NIH HIV/AIDS clinical research network. 

For the first three years of the project, principal investigators Jeffrey Lennox, MD, professor of medicine in infectious diseases and associate dean for clinical research at Emory School of Medicine, and Carlos del Rio, MD, professor of medicine in infectious diseases and interim dean of Emory School of Medicine, have overseen clinical trials conducted at five research sites across three continents. 

Effective June 1, Lennox and del Rio stepped down from their roles as co-principal investigators to become CTU investigators and Directors Emeriti of the CTU and two new clinical researchers are assuming leadership of the CTU moving forward.

Bringing extensive experience in infectious disease research, Ighovwerha (Igho) Ofotokun, MD, and Colleen Kelley, MD, will look to build on the legacy of Lennox and del Rio and continue to leverage the CTU to advance HIV clinical trials and trials in emerging infections that affect the HIV/AIDS community.

Igho Ofotokun, MD, MSc, physician scientist, is the Grady Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the associate dean for research development at Emory School of Medicine. He has been a member of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) since 2004 contributing actively to both the science and the operations of the network. He has served on multiple ACTG committees including the Underrepresented Populations, the Women’s Health, the Translational Research and Drug Development, and the Pharmacology Committees.

Colleen F. Kelley, MD, MPH, is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, the associate dean for research at Emory School of Medicine and oversees the Emory CTU laboratory activities. Kelley is co-director for prevention sciences of the Emory CFAR and directs the Emory HIV T32 translational research program. She is currently a principal investigator or co-principal investigator of three R01 awards (R01 AI174933, R01 MH122341, R01 AI147839) designed to better understand the real-life, human sexual contexts that influence HIV transmission in the rectum.

Both Ofotokun and Kelly value the need for mentorship, research education and training, and envision the CTU as a training ground to advance careers for the next generation of HIV researchers.

Lennox, del Rio, Ofotokun and Kelley have been collaborating since 2004 as leaders and investigators not only in the Emory CTU but also across various Emory School of Medicine and Grady Hospital enterprises. It is these longstanding collaborations which will make the transition of Ofotokun and Kelley into their roles as co-principal investigators seamless. 

The NIH CTUs are funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

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