Peninsula HIV/AIDS Research Center (PARC)

Dennis M. Israelski, Jeff Klausner, David A. Katzenstein

The overarching theme for the San Mateo County, San Francisco Peninsula HIV/AIDS Research Center is the innovative application of technologies to public health interventions that advance the surveillance, prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS. The partnerships of the San Mateo County, Health Department and Medical Center’s Clinical Trials and Research Unit, Stanford’s University School of Medicine’s Center for AIDS Research, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s STD Program will promote this theme through interrelated research studies which address problems important to advances in the prevention transmission, pathogenesis, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Specifi c research efforts will focus on (1) evaluation of the detection of early and acute HIV infection as a public health strategy through the development and validation of assays of saliva and oral secretions; (2) providing the foundation for a cohort study to evaluate shedding of HIV in various biological compartments. Informatics and experimental methods in molecular virology will provide new information about the role of drug resistance, fi tness and envelope tropism in transmission and pathogenesis. The aim is to understand and improve antiretroviral treatment and secondary prevention strategies in vulnerable patient populations.

Infrastructure components designed to support the Center’s theme will build the individual and shared capacity of each partner. This includes strategies to support an emerging community based HIV/ AIDS research center on the San Francisco Peninsula focused on underrepresented populations; create joint mentoring and training infrastructure, to support development of young investigators committed to public health careers in HIV / AIDS research; create a multi-jurisdictional information system, to serve the clinical and research needs of HIV/AIDS patients, providers and researchers; implement community resource strategies, to enroll and retain women and people of color on ART and in clinical trials that are based on principles of participatory community research; award pilot study funding to promising young investigators for projects that advance the Center’s research theme and promote the transfer of knowledge, skills and technology.

The Center presents a unique opportunity in California to form a three-way partnership involving two neighboring health jurisdictions. The San Mateo Clinical Research and Trials Unit (CTRU), an emerging research entity with a strong communitybased research track-record, will be the coordinating center for this highly innovative partnership that will bring together advanced methods in public health and laboratory science to serve a research agenda that is responsive to the needs of historically understudied populations.