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New HIV research training program launched

Sep. 20, 2018, 9:53 AM

by Paul Govern

With the help of a $1.6 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Vanderbilt University Medical Center is launching a specialized research training program called Vanderbilt Scholars in HIV and Heart, Lung, Blood and Sleep Research, or V-SCHoLARs.

The two-year program for instructor/assistant professor-level MD and PhD researchers will focus on heart, lung, blood and sleep (HLBS) disorders in people living with HIV/AIDS. Leading the interdisciplinary program will be HIV and cardiovascular disease epidemiologist Matthew Freiberg, MD, MSc, and infectious diseases specialist John Koethe, MD, MSCI.

“With the transitioning of HIV infection to a chronic disease, people with HIV infection are now living longer and are at risk for non-AIDS diseases like cardiopulmonary, hematologic and sleep diseases,” Freiberg said.

“Vanderbilt provides an optimal environment for developing a diverse, well-trained cadre of next-generation investigators with expertise in both HIV and HLBS disorders.”

Koethe and Freiberg have assembled a varied slate of research mentors; each trainee will be paired with two senior scientists, one focused on HIV and the other on HLBS disorders.

Trainees will each complete a mentored research project, pursing topics ranging from basic science to population health.

“We’ve assembled a group of highly accomplished and productive mentors who are committed to developing new scientists uniquely cross-trained in HIV and HLBS research. The culture and research infrastructure at VUMC are ideal for this type of interdisciplinary training program,” Koethe said.

The program is supported by National Institutes of Health grant HL143956.

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