Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine Research

The major research strengths of the Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine include basic, translational and clinical research in HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, antimicrobial resistance, infections in the elderly, biodefense and emerging infections. The scientific disciplines involved in this work includes immunology, pathology, host-pathogen interactions and pathogenesis, genetics, pharmacology, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, epidemiology, public health, virology, and clinical trials. There is also significant international research in the division related to HIV/AIDS and co-infections, sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis and AIDS-associated malignancies.

Major Research Strengths:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Tuberculosis
  • Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Clinical Research
  • Infections in Elderly
  • Global Health
  • ID Organizations

AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (ACTU)

The Case ACTU has been in operation since 1987 and is a leader in clinical treatment trials research for the management of HIV infection. The ACTU is one of 33 units that comprise the national Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group (AACTG). More than 40 faculty and staff maintain the ACTU and participate in the design and implementation of new treatment trials for HIV infections and its complications, with an emphasis on trials designed to explore key questions in HIV pathogenesis. Through linkage to the Case Center for AIDS Research and its research cores, the Case ACTU has achieved top ranked status within the AACTG.

 

Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)

Since its foundation in 1994, the Case Western Reserve University Center for AIDS Research (Case CFAR) has been a center of excellence for both clinical and basic AIDS research. As the only NIH-funded CFAR in the Midwestern United States, we have provided our 174 members with national and international research, especially with respect to research in tuberculosis and HIV malignancy, microbicides, pathogenesis, virology, clinical trials, and training. As the first CFAR to make a major investment in international research, we have been able to expand a highly productive and long-standing (21 year) scientific relationship with Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

 

Tuberculosis Research Unit (TBRU)

"This is a very exciting time in the fight against TB as politicians, public health officials, researchers, donor agencies, and foundations worldwide refocus their attention on the pandemic caused by the age-old pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Multi-disciplinary research combining epidemiologic studies and clinical trials in TB endemic countries with modern microbiology, immunology, and genetics is essential to make progress in the fight against TB.

The NIH-funded Tuberculosis Research Unit (TBRU) is a leader in interdisciplinary TB research. The TBRU aims not only to understand how M. tuberculosis infects, persists, and causes disease in humans, but also to translate that understanding into improving prevention, vaccines, diagnostics, and drug treatment for TB."

 

Tuberculosis Trials Consortium (TBTC)

The mission of the TBTC is to conduct programmatically relevant clinical, laboratory and epidemiologic research concerning the diagnosis, clinical management, and prevention of tuberculosis infection and disease.

 

Richard F. Silver, MD, Laboratory

Our laboratory's main interest is the development of cell-mediated immunity within the human lung. In particular, we are primarily investigating how pulmonary immune responses provide protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB).

Our studies involve collecting lung cells from healthy volunteers who have evidence of prior Mtbinfection for use in laboratory studies of immune responses to Mtb. We also recruit healthy non-smokers without Mtb infection to serve as control subjects. Additional studies also involve the use of animal models of TB vaccination and infection, which are used to help confirm the significance of the findings from our studies of human subjects.

 

MTB ABSL3 Core Facility

This Biosafety Level 3 facility is a state of the art animal facility located in the Animal Resource Center (ARC) at Case Western Reserve University. This facility runs in collaboration with the W. Henry Boom Lab, the Tuberculosis Research Unit (TBRU), and the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).

We have 10+ years experience with MTB model infections and can perform many different types of analyses, including bacterial burden, flow cytometry staining (up to seven colors) and analysis, culture supernatants, PCR, and whole fixed organs harvested for pathology.

 

Center for Antimicrobial Resistance and Epidemiology (CARE)

Starting with studies by a single investigator in the 1980's at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, the Center for Antimicrobial Resistance and Epidemiology (CARE) program has evolved to include five faculty in the VA Research Service in approximately 5,000 sq. ft of lab space. The focus of research at the VA centers on the problems of antimicrobial resistance, bacterial pathogenesis, and mycobacteriology.

 

Infectious Diseases Clinical Trials Unit (IDCTU)

As part of the Division of Infectious Diseases, our trials unit primarily performs Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies related to infectious diseases research.

The commitment to exceptional patient care begins with revolutionary discovery. University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center is an affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, a national leader in medical research and education and consistently ranked among the top research medical schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Through their faculty appointments at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, physicians at UH Cleveland Medical Center are advancing medical care through innovative research and discovery that bring the latest treatment options to patients.

The Infectious Disease Clinical Trials Unit is seeking volunteers to participate in clinical research trials. Please visit their website to find out more.

 

The Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)

The Cleveland GRECC operates an Infectious Disease on-site consultation program in the Community Living Center (CLC) in Cleveland and has expanded to include the CLC at the Chillicothe VA Medical Center. This is an innovative and novel approach to providing infectious disease consultation for veterans. Infectious disease needs are addressed by a GRECC ID physician and nurse practitioner who conduct weekly rounds or provide consultation through televideoconference. This has resulted in a reduction in the need to transfer patients to acute care settings. The effect of circadian light on the behavior of patients with dementia is also being studied.

Cleveland GRECC Research Focus: Infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance, immunology of aging & treatment of chronic viral infections (HIV, HCV), Influenza & varicella zoster virus (VZV) post herpetic neuralgia, dementia care

 

Center for Global Health and Diseases

The Center for Global Health and Diseases at Case Western Reserve University was established in 1987 as a coordinating structure to help link the numerous international health resources of the University, its affiliated institutions, and the Northern Ohio community in a multidisciplinary program of research, training and clinical application related to global health.

The Center maintains dynamic and long-lived research collaborations with foreign scientists in Kenya (KEMRI), Papua New Guinea (PNGIMR) , Cote D'Ivorie, Uganda, and Brazil. These partnerships have productively supported field-based studies of malaria, schistosomiasis and filariasis for up to thirty years and have richly contributed to the recruitment, education and professional growth of foreign scientists from these host countries, significantly expanding their research capabilities.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has recently named Case Western Reserve University the lead institution of an International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research. The $7.9M seven-year grant will be lead by principal investigator James Kazura, MD, Director of the Center for Global Health and Diseases, and will work to eliminate Malaria worldwide.

 

Infectious Diseases Alliance (IDA)

The Infectious Disease (ID) Alliance is focused on addressing infectious diseases in populations often underserved by our healthcare systems (e.g., people in relatively poor, urban environments, especially children). The Division of Infectious Diseases has built successful partnerships globally to help fight the spread of tuberculosis, malaria, and AIDS in particular. Now, the ID Alliance seeks to build partnerships locally in Cleveland. Working with Cleveland Public Health officials, the ID Alliance is able to identify ID-related needs, and by collaborating with social science experts on campus, address them. Currently, the ID Alliance is developing themes for its work by conducting interviews and small group discussions with stakeholders. The results of these interviews and information from relevant model organizations will be aligned with the strengths of the Division of Infectious Diseases to develop consensus for the ID Alliance.

The goals of the ID Alliance remain to educate the under-served public about infectious disease prevention, seek to understand barriers that this population faces and how they can be overcome, and ultimately, reduce disease occurrence.

 

Infectious Diseases And Immunology Institute (IDII)

The Infectious Diseases & Immunology Institute (IDII) at Case Western Reserve University was formed in 2011. The multidisciplinary program of the Infectious Diseases & Immunology Institute is built around the outstanding faculty, research and clinical programs at the Case School of Medicine (SOM), other departments in the University and collaborating institutions for training, education and clinical expertise in immunology and infectious diseases. The IDII represents an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to basic and human-oriented research, education and clinical activities of pathogens of national and international health importance and their interactions with host immune responses.

The primary mission of the IDII is to conduct basic, translational, epidemiological and clinical research of molecular biology, immunology, evolution and population dynamics of microbial pathogens and associated host responses and to promote the delivery of the highest quality care of infectious diseases to be linked to the research enterprise. Our three areas of initial focus center around cancer virology, clinical trials and translational molecular diagnostics.