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Cleveland researchers win $13 million for HIV/AIDS research

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 3:27 PM

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Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center have been awarded $13 million from the National Institutes of Health to research HIV and AIDS. Ideastream's health reporter Sarah Jane Tribble reports that the news is part of a larger mission.

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CWRU /UH AIDS Clinical Trials Unit Dr. Benigno Rodriguez, associate professor of medicine at CWRU School of Medicine. (Courtesy Roger Mastroianni)

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals have been fighting HIV/AIDS since it first surfaced in the 1980s. 

Early on, their clinical trials unit was one of just a few in the U.S. that won NIH funding to test potentially life-saving drug therapies, some of which are in use today.  In recent years, though, the unit’s mission has evolved, says Dr. Benigno Rodriguez.

“The focus of the research has changed dramatically over the past 20 years or so, moving from trials of anti-retroviral therapies to trials that are concentrating on how to end the transmission of HIV. And I think that is a goal that is now in sight,” says Rodriguez, associate professor of medicine at CWRU School of Medicine and Infectious Disease physician at UH.

Rodriguez says he believes research will find ways to halt the spread of HIV within the decade. Rodriguez is a co-principal investigator for the clinical trials unit. Dr. Michael Lederman, associate director of the Center for AIDS Research at CWRU and infectious disease specialist at UH is also a co-principal investigator.

This latest grant to Case for $12.7 million will fund seven years of core research. In addition, the unit is expecting an additional $9 million in NIH funding for patients in clinical trials.

The unit’s trials include, almost exclusively, subjects from the Greater Cleveland area.

Additional Information

Read the Cleveland Plain Dealer story here

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