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Basic Biomedical Sciences Research

Since 1983, CHRP has advanced HIV/AIDS science and supported the interests of non-profit research and academic institutions across California by funding small awards for basic biomedical discovery.  These pilot awards typically support early-stage laboratory exploration aimed at understanding mechanisms of HIV prevention, treatment, or cure at the cellular or subcellular level.

Early initiatives at CHRP pioneered what would become enduring cornerstones of HIV science: isolation of the virus; efficacy and toxicities of the first HIV treatments; the emergence of drug resistance; the first biospecimen banks for HIV-related research; and the first community-based laboratory service for HIV diagnostic serology.  More recently, this mechanism has supported pioneering work to establish zinc-finger nuclease-mediated disruption of CCR5 genomic sequences; demonstrate cytosine methylation and MBD2 as epigenetic regulators of HIV-1 latency; and utilize molecular epidemiology for outbreak investigation.    

In 2013, this mechanism focused specifically on moving the then nascent area of HIV cure science forward: the CHRP HIV Cure Initiative provided over $1.4 million to nine investigators, including senior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and doctoral students for dissertation awards.  

In 2016, topics that were funded by this mechanism included mucosal immunology, novel host-viral protein interaction, vaccine development, genetic therapeutics, molecular virology, and next-generation imaging.  Abstracts for those studies are available here []. 

In 2017, our work in basic biomedical science was featured in a Special Issue of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses (Volume 33, S1, 2017).  The cover, shown above, featured multiscale imaging of HIV transmission.  Feature articles addressed differentiating immune cell targets in gut-associated lymphoid tissue; somatic cell reprogramming; depletion of gut-resident CCR5+ cells for HIV cure strategies; CMV and HIV persistence; a validated method for lymphocyte characterization from HIV-positive tissues; and results from IL-21 therapy in acute SIV infection.  

In 2018, CHRP funded a single project in basic biomedical science as part of our One Step Ahead combined funding initiative.  This project addresses novel therapies that target proinflammatory immunophenotypes in the context of liver comorbidities of HIV infection, aiming to show that a simple nutritional supplement might be useful in treating HIV-related end organ disease.  More information on this project and all others funded by the One Step Ahead initiative is here [].

On April 8th, 2019, our new Call for Applications for work in basic biomedical science was released.  Results of that funding initiative will be posted on this page in December, 2019.  Details on how to apply and other information for potential applicants is here

Special Issue