About Education Research Fall 2021


ERC-CFAR organizes the upcoming Second NYC-Wide HIV Research Symposium: Highlighting Cutting Edge Research

In response to the great success of the first NYC-Wide HIV Research Symposium organized by the ERC-CFAR symposium organizing committee consisting of Drs. Vinayak Prasad, Marina Caskey and Theodora Hatziioanno, we have organized a second symposium. The “Second NYC-Wide HIV Research Symposium: Highlighting Cutting Edge Research" will take place on Thursday, October 14, 2021 from 10AM - 12PM as a virtual event accessible by Zoom (meeting ID 975 1840 2675 Passcode 524502). The keynote lecture will be delivered by Michel C. Nussenzwieg, M.D., Ph.D. (Rockefeller University) and is entitled "Antibody Therapy for HIV-1 Infection." This will be followed by presentations from Benjamin K. Chen, M.D., Ph.D. (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai) entitled “Single cell transcriptomics of the HIV-1 latent reservoir,” Brad Jones, Ph.D. (Weill-Cornell Medicine) entitled “SARS-CoV2 mRNA vaccination exposes latent HIV to Nef-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes,” and Ganjam V. Kalpana, Ph.D. (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) entitled “Structural mimicry of INI1/SMARCB1 Rpt1 domain to TAR RNA and its influences on HIV-1 particle production and morphogenesis: Implications for a novel class of inhibitors.” Please join us to attend this symposium and get updated about these recent and cutting edge HIV research advances by our NYC colleagues. To download a poster containing further information about this symposium, please follow this link.

Congratulations to Laurie Bauman, Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Jonathan Ross, M.D, M.S., Assistant Professor of Medicine, and Matthew Akiyama, M.D., M.Sc., Associate Professor of Medicine, who were each recently awarded CFAR supplements from the NIH. Dr. Bauman’s project, “Testing Two Service Models of Prep Delivery in OBGYN Clinics,” explores the supplement topic of EHE team-initiated implementation research and has a total awarded amount of $352,214. Dr. Ross’s project, “Low-threshold, Community-Based Strategies to Scale Up PrEP for Latino MSM,” explores the supplement topic of planning projects to address social and structural determinants of HIV and has a total awarded amount of $331,779. Dr. Akiyama’s project, “Directly-observed-therapy Enhanced Peer-Support to Promote Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy Among Criminal Justice-Involved Individuals: The DEPART-CJI Study,” explores the supplement topic of planning projects to address social and structural determinants of HIV and has a total awarded amount of $317,000. In sum, these three supplements total over $1 million to study these vitally important topic areas.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine and City University of New York Researchers Receive $14.5 Million NIH Grant to Lead HIV Studies in Central Africa

Kathryn Anastos, M.D., Professor of Medicine, of Epidemiology & Public Health, of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Co-director Emerita of the Global Health Center, and an internist at Montefiore Health System, Marcel Yotebieng, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Medicine at Einstein, and Denis Nash, Ph.D., M.P.H. Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology and Executive Director of the Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health (ISPH) at CUNY SPH have been awarded a five-year, $14.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue leading and expanding their research on HIV treatment and care in five Central African nations.

The new award builds on previous NIH-funded work by the Central Africa International epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS (CA-IeDEA), a large-scale study involving more than forty researchers and tens of thousands of patients living with HIV/AIDS in Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. CA-IeDEA is one of seven regional centers that belong to a larger global research consortium, the International epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA). The IeDEA teams consolidate and analyze vast amounts of health data so that researchers can study high-priority questions on HIV treatment and care. CA-IeDEA focuses on determining successful strategies that lead to improved outcomes for people living with HIV.

For more about this grant, keep reading here.


Marcel Yotebieng, MD, PhD, MPH, Receives Five-Year, $3.6 Million Grant to Study Improving Outcomes for Infants Born to HIV-infected Mothers

Marcel Yotebieng, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has received a $3.6 million, five-year grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The study, titled “HIV/ART, low birth weight, and mortality in HIV-exposed uninfected children: a translational mechanistic study” aims to better understand why infants of HIV-positive mothers often don’t fare well and to develop strategies for improving their health outcomes. 

Click here to learn more about Dr. Yotebieng’s study


2021 Avenir Award Winner for HIV/AIDS Research: Matthew Akiyama, M.D., M.Sc.

Congratulations to Matthew Akiyama, M.D., M.Sc., Associate Professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, on being one of only two recipients of a four-year, $2.5 million HIV/AIDS Research Avenir Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which will fund his efforts to use advanced genetic epidemiological tools to curb infection among PWID. The NIDA award is part of the National Institute of Health’s Director’s Pioneer Awards program.

The title of his project is “Leveraging HCV Phylogenetic Networks to Prevent HIV and Other Blood Borne Infections Among People Who Inject Drugs”. The goal of Dr. Akiyama’s project is to characterize HCV phylogenetic networks to identify PWID who are highly central in injection networks and model the impact of targeted approaches to prevent HIV and other blood borne infections in Kenya, East Africa. He hopes that this study can “provide essential information for policy makers and researchers who need to focus their limited resources on the most effective strategies for preventing the spread of HIV among PWID,” according to Dr. Akiyama.

For more information about Dr. Akiyama’s Avenir Award, read the full article here.


Drs. Denis Nash and Mary Irvine Awarded Two New Grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

CUNY SPH Distinguished Professor Denis Nash, Ph.D, M.P.H. and Mary Irvine, DrPH, Director of the NYC Health Department’s HIV Care and Treatment Research and Evaluation Unit, were recently awarded two grants from the NIMH.

The first – a thirty-month, $625,000 grant – supports long-acting injectable antiretroviral therapy access, uptake, and adherence among people with HIV enrolled in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. The APPLI study (Assessing Perceptions and Preferences around Long-acting Injectables) is in partnership with six Ryan White Part A-funded medical case management provider agencies in New York City and the Tri-County area, which includes Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland counties.

The second is a five-year, $3.3 million grant to test a new strategy to help people living with HIV achieve viral suppression. The project aims to implement, refine, and evaluate a “data-to-suppression” (D2S) intervention designed to improve viral suppression among Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part A (RWPA) clients in New York City.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Nash and Dr. Irvine on these awards!


Drs. Vilma Gabbay, Anjali Sharma, and Joanna Starrels Awarded Five-Year, $4 Million Grant to Study Depression and Cannabis Use in Young PLWH

Through the newly-funded National Institute on Drug Abuse project, “The Neural Underpinnings of Depression and Cannabis Use in Young PLWH,” three Albert Einstein College of Medicine investigators – Vilma Gabbay, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, of Neuroscience, and Director, Psychiatry Research Institute at Montefiore Einstein (PRIME), Anjali Sharma, M.D, M.S., Associate Professor of Medicine, and Joanna Starrels, M.D.,M.S., Associate Professor of Medicine – will investigate reward and pain circuitry in cannabis use and depression comorbidity in young people, ages 18-34, living with HIV (PLWH) in the Bronx, New York in light of the high rates of substance use, reduced adherence to HIV treatment, and suboptimal viral suppression in this population. This collaborative proposal bridges disciplines of depression, neuroimaging, HIV, and addiction in an effort to improve our understanding of neural mechanisms underlying co-occurring cannabis use and depression in young PLWH and has the potential to improve HIV, substance use, and mental health outcomes. This research aims to facilitate the identification of specific biomarkers to serve as key diagnostic features and may result in new treatment strategies suggested by improved understanding of mechanisms of disease.


Vilma Gabbay, M.D. and Anjali Sharma, M.D., M.S. Awarded Five-Year, $4 Million Grant to Study the Neuroimmunology of Depression in Women Living with HIV

In the recently funded project “The Neuroimmunology of Depression in Women Living with HIV,” Vilma Gabbay, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, of Neuroscience, and Director, Psychiatry Research Institute at Montefiore Einstein (PRIME), and Anjali Sharma, M.D, M.S., Associate Professor of Medicine propose to investigate neuroimmunological and reward functions to study comorbid depression in women living with HIV (WLWH), a group heavily impacted by depression and its health consequences yet underrepresented in HIV research. In this collaborative proposal, Drs. Gabbay and Sharma aim to improve the overall understanding of neural mechanisms underlying depression in WLWH and potentially improve overall and mental health outcomes in this highly vulnerable group.

Featured Paper: T-cell Immune Dysregulation and Mortality in Women with HIV

In a new article for The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Assistant Professor – Brandilyn A. Peters-Samuelson, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor – David B. Hanna, Ph.D., Associate Professor –  Anjali Sharma, M.D., M.S., and Professor – Robert C. Kaplan, Ph.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, along with multiple other authors, examine the link between adaptive immunity impairments and mortality in HIV, particularly in women.

The authors studied data collected from 606 women with HIV in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study and used multiparameter flow cytometry of peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected from 2002-2005 to assess T-cell activation, senescence, exhaustion, and normal function. The underlying cause of death was gathered from the National Death Index up to 2018. After analysis, the authors determined that after adjusting for age, demographic, behavioral, HIV-related, and cardiometabolic factors at baseline, higher activation and exhaustion of CD4+ T-cells were associated with risk of natural-cause and non-HIV-related mortality. For the full article, continue reading here


Featured Paper: Focusing on Risk Factors for HIV, Article Explores Associations Between Prescription Stimulant Misuse and Subsequent Methamphetamine Use

In a new article for Drug and Alcohol Dependence, CUNY ISPH Research Assistant Professor and CFAR-affiliated Early-Stage Investigator, Drew Westmoreland, Ph.D., MSPH — along with University of Southern California doctoral student, Jesse Goldshear, University of Miami Professor of Public Health Sciences and Psychology, Adam Carrico, Ph.D., and CUNY SPH Professor, Christian Grov, Ph.D., M.P.H. —describe and investigate the associations of prescription stimulant misuse with later methamphetamine use.

Using data from the Together 5,000 cohort, the authors present their findings on substantial proportions of prescription stimulant misuse and methamphetamine use among cisgender men, transgender men, and transgender women. They also provide evidence that participants who reported only misusing prescription stimulants had higher odds of using methamphetamine at study follow-up.

From this data, authors provide a compelling argument for screening measures that can detect those vulnerable to escalating their stimulant use to methamphetamine. Continue reading for the full article.
ERC-CFAR’s Behavioral Science Core Expands into Implementation Science

The Behavioral Science Core, directed by Laurie Bauman, Ph.D. and Sarit Golub, Ph.D., M.P.H., will be expanding its services to include a greater emphasis on consultation in implementation science theory, methods, and designs. This shift comes in response both to increasing requests among ERC-CFAR researchers for implementation science support, as well as the renewed focus within NIH on implementation science as a critical tool to achieve EHE goals. The Behavioral Science Core will now be known as the Behavioral and Implementation Science Core (BISC). BISC helps CFAR investigators employ implementation science as a tool both to scale-up evidence-based prevention and care strategies, and to prevent or mitigate health inequities. These efforts are designed to support rigorous methodological and theoretical intervention science research through consultation on the use of implementation science frameworks, logic models, and Effectiveness-Implementation Hybrid Designs.

BISC will initiate a new infrastructure to support this work, the Implementation Science Interest Group (ISIG). The goals of the ISIG are (a) to increase awareness of implementation science and how it can be applied to address pressing ETE problems; (b) expand the user base of the BISC in implementation science research; and (c) to enhance the rigor and quality of implementation science projects produced by ERC-CFAR investigators. You can click here to view a presentation by Dr. Sarit Golub (Associate Director of BISC) at the Third Coast CFAR on the importance of practice-driven, collaborative implementation science research. For more information, please contact Dr. Laurie Bauman at laurie.bauman@einsteinmed.org or Dr. Sarit Golub at sarit.golub@hunter.cuny.edu.


Need Help with IRB? Did You Know that the Clinical Core Can Help?
The Clinical and Translational Science Core is available to help facilitate IRB for basic sciences research-related studies. Please see their webpage for additional information.

ID Week 2021
September 29- October 3, 2021

International Workshop on HIV & Adolescence 2021
September 19-October 7, 2021

10th IDA Symposium on HIV, Malaria and TB Vaccine Research
October 11-14, 2021

2021 Inter-CFAR Women and HIV Symposium
October 12-13, 2021
Abstracts are due August 24. For more information click here.

12th Annual International Conference on Stigma
November 15-19, 2021 | Washington, DC
Abstracts due October 1. For more information click here.

SSSS 2021 Annual Conference
November 18-21, 2021 | San Juan, PR

USCHA 2021
December 2-3, 2021

CAPS/PRC Town Hall, the CAPS Anti-Racism Working Group, and the CAPS VP Program hosted a webinar featuring DC CFAR SBS Core Director Dr. Lisa Bowleg on Getting Critical: Centering Racism in HIV & Other Health Equity Research


Gilead announced two new funding opportunity announcements around two initiatives: Gilead HIV Age Positively which supports programs focused on improving the quality of life for those who are aging while living with or affected by HIV and Gilead TRANScend that provides direct grants and capacity-building assistance to trans and non-binary-led organizations.


The Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS) published a supplement on "Oral abstracts of the 11th IAS Conference on HIV Science, 18-21 July". The supplement includes all oral and late breaker abstracts from the conference.


Funding Opportunity Number: RFA-AI-21-058
Posting Date: August 12, 2021
Closing Date: December 9, 2021


Funding Opportunity Number: RFA-DA-22-033
Posting Date: July 21, 2021
Closing Date: February 17, 2022


Funding Opportunity Number: RFA-AI-21-041
Posting Date: July 7, 2021
Closing Date: December 6, 2021


Click here for additional funding opportunities available from the National Institutes of Health.
Link to Facebook Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to LinkedIn Link to Instagram