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Mission of UMass Chan CFAR Working Groups

Despite the success of anti-HIV-1 treatment, there is great need for a vaccine or other strategies that block HIV-1, treatments that cure those who are already infected, and drugs to block ongoing virus replication, inflammation, and the accompanying pathology. There also remains a great need for understanding behavioral, cultural and societal factors that present barriers to effective HIV prevention and care. Without basic scientific research, including detailed genetic, biochemical and structural characterization of the HIV-1 genes and their products, and translation of this knowledge to the clinic in the form of better anti-HIV-1 drugs, HIV-1 infection would still be untreatable.

The Scientific and Exploratory Working Groups direct the HIV/AIDS research priorities of the CFAR. Their missions are to provide scientific leadership and to stimulate innovative, interdisciplinary and collaborative HIV-related research, bringing together scientists at UMass Chan Medical School and beyond, working in diverse HIV/AIDS and non-HIV/AIDS fields. These groups exploit diverse approaches to new understanding, therapies and vaccine development strategies, and work to translate these new discoveries into novel diagnostic, preventative, or treatment strategies. The Working Groups enhance communication and collaboration between scientists and clinical investigators with an emphasis on: 

            • HIV Host Defense – Scientific 
            • HIV Viral Replication – Scientific 
            • HIV Clinical and Community Outreach – Exploratory

The goals shared by the groups are to: 

            • Establish research goals and priorities; 
            • Facilitate communication and collaboration between scientists and clinical investigators in the forms of 
                    o Internal Research Talks 
                    o CFAR External Seminar Program;
            • Recruit our established non-HIV UMass Chan colleagues, and their highly relevant expertise to approach key problem areas in HIV research;
            • Coordinate with CFAR Cores to identify and implement novel assays and services that will strengthen our capacity for HIV and HIV-related research; 
            • Develop CFAR funding initiatives with the Developmental Core to develop internal funding initiatives and identify external funding opportunities;
            • Mentor trainees and new investigators; 
            • Coordinate the UMass Chan CFAR with other UMass Chan Programs (such as: Immunology Virology Program, Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Office of Global Health, Institute for Drug Resistance, ForHealth Consulting) to sponsor workshops, seminars, or mini-symposia to identify novel research areas and foster collaboration.