Science and Cores

The UCLA-CDU Center for AIDS Research, cementing the partnership between UCLA and Charles Drew University, consists of 6 cores and 1 scientific working group.

We welcome and encourage all researchers to partake of our many services and funding opportunities provided by our CFAR.

Some of the services that are being offered are:

  • Core B: Developmental, led by Drs. Risa Hoffman and Lola Ogunyemi:

Funding opportunities such as Incubator Awards, Travel Grants, and Pilot Project Awards will be offered, in addition to events such as Grand Rounds, Special Seminars, Mentor Pods, etc. Notices for participation will be sent via email.

  • Core C: Centralized Laboratory Support, led by Dr. Dong Sung An, with support from Core faculty member, Jennifer Fulcher.

Will enable researchers who do not have appropriate laboratory expertise or lab space and instrumentation to carry out virologic, immunologic, and microbiome/genomics studies.

  • Core D: Humanized Mouse and Gene Therapy, led by Dr. Scott Kitchen, with support from Core faculty member, Dr. Dong Sung An.

A highly specialized Core central to research at UCLA –provides humanized mice, access to BSL2+ vivarium facilities, expertise in humanized mouse models, and further development of improved humanized mouse models.

  • Core E: Community Engagement and Clinical Informatics, led by Drs. Dilara K. Üsküp and Dr. Aziza Lucas-Wright.

This Core, housed at and led by CDU investigators, will provide innovative and collaborative HIV research between CFAR investigators and community partners in Los Angeles and abroad; and by providing advanced clinical informatics analytic support to public health and community providers and clinics in Los Angeles who are on the frontline of the epidemic. The Core will institute and oversee two CABs (Los Angeles and Global) to work to identify new areas of need, provide community input on studies, and to help shape research studies to advance HIV health equity.

  • Core F: Clinical Science, led by Dr. Kara Chew.

The Clinical Science Core will provide support for basic/translational, clinical, and behavioral investigators who are engaged in or seek to engage in HIV-related research involving human participants. Some key functions of the Core are to provide training and assist researchers with regulatory, design, and implementation aspects of human subjects research, increase access to sample and data repositories, and engage underrepresented populations in HIV research. Through these essential services, the Core will support CFAR investigators in the translation of their ideas to clinical and behavioral studies and interventions, to STOP HIV in greater Los Angeles and beyond.

  • SWG: Translational Research on Substance Use, led by Drs. Pamina Gorbach, Steve Shoptaw and Gigi Simmons.

This Scientific Working Group will link investigators across disciplines on both our campuses along with Community Faculty to develop novel assessment tools that take into consideration barriers to social determinants of health, as well as interpersonal, cultural, and societal influences linked with substance use and misuse among people living with HIV (PWH) or are at risk.