Clinical Core cohorts are largely funded by grants to individual CFAR members and leverage CFAR support with submission of research protocols to institutional review boards (IRBs), screening and recruitment of study subjects, clinical data collection, database entry and queries, and specimen retrieval. The Clinical Core has launched a Clinical Cohort Catalogue to help investigators learn more about HIV cohorts affiliated with Harvard.
If you are a CFAR investigator with a project that can benefit from CFAR cohort support or become a resource for shared investigation, please contact the Clinical Core Liaison.
HU CFAR Supported Cohorts
The Tissues Studies Cohort currently has many tissue specimens available, including fixed whole tissue, samples preserved in RNAlater, and fixed tissue sections obtained from the MGH and BWH pathology services from HIV-infected and uninfected individuals. These samples can be accessed by CFAR investigators without charge via submission of a concept sheet to the Ragon Institute.
HCV and HCV/HIV cohorts involve study subjects into HCV and HIV-HCV co-infection cohorts through sites at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital and MGH, and facilitate access to data and samples. These cohorts, led by Drs. Arthur Kim and Ray Chung, are now part of the International Collaboration of Incident Hepatitis C in Injecting Cohorts, which exemplifies how HU CFAR Clinical Core-supported cohorts have successfully led to additional funding.
HIV and Aging cohort, launched and executed by Dr. Nina Lin, is a collaborative research project on HIV and Aging, between the Partners Retrovirology Laboratory (Drs. Lin and Kuritzkes) and the Ragon Institute (Drs. Marcus Altfeld and Eileen Scully), funded by an HU CFAR supplement. The Clinical Core has assisted with regulatory work and subject recruitment at MGH, BWH and BIDMC. The Core also assisted Dr. Lin in establishing a study-specific clinical research database to capture clinical data and to track clinical samples for collaborative studies. During this year, many HIV-infected individuals have been enrolled into this cohort; in addition, HIV-negative individuals are being enrolled to serve as controls. Based on her successful development of expertise in the area of HIV and aging through support from the Clinical Core, Dr. Lin has obtained additional funding to investigate new neuroimaging methods to assess neurocognitive decline in older patients and the effect of antiretrovirals on neurocognitive function. Dr. Lin has also been invited to be part of the national CFAR HIV and Aging working group.
HIV and TB cohort of subjects with defined TB status has been established at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital. Clinical Core efforts supported important discoveries made by HU CFAR investigators, including the finding that the human immune system recognizes mycobacterial glycolipids, phospholipids, and lipopeptides as cognate T cell antigens. Novel immunostimulatory small molecules in the mycobacterial cell wall have also been discovered by probing patient specimens.
- Other Projects include junior investigator-initiated studies that have received support from the Clinical Core include Dr. Tim Henrich’s projects related to HIV reservoirs in subjects with malignancies, Dr. Athe Tsibris’s studies on viral reservoirs in pregnancy, and Dr. Mathias Lichterfeld’s project to examine the effect of raltegravir intensification on transcriptional profiles of CD4 cells in samples from the ACTG A5244 study, a study that Dr. Gandhi chaired.