Dear HIV/AIDS research community,
I am so thrilled to work with you all in the CFAR and am honored to serve as the new Director. The new strategic directions for the CFAR will be formed with all of you in consultation and strategic planning groups over the next few years leading up to the next re-competition. Although changes in the CFAR platform will be made with time and transparency, there will be a strong focus in the coming years in supporting the research careers of those from under-represented groups in HIV biomedical research, including investigators from racial/ethnic minority groups, those with disabilities, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. I am so excited to hear your ideas for CFAR. This really is a grant for us all, a grant to support the development of HIV/AIDS research at our institutions and our affiliated organizations. So, please know that I have an open-door policy for hearing your ideas!
I also wanted to announce the new leadership structure of the CFAR. Mallory Johnson, PhD has agreed to lead the behavioral/social sciences research arm of the CFAR as Co-Director and Peter Hunt, MD has agreed to lead the basic/translational research arm as Co-Director. Lauren Sterling, who has been an amazing Managing Director of the CFAR will become Associate Director in our new leadership structure leading up to the recompetition. Their pictures and short bios are below. Please join me in welcoming them to leadership roles. All current CFAR positions and cores will be discussed as part of the strategic process leading up to the recompetition. Of note, we will be recruiting this summer for a new Co-Director of the CFAR Mentoring Program to serve with Dr. Jonathan Fuchs from the SFDPH; this will be a searched position. Please stay tuned for an announcement regarding that search.
Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH
UCSF-Gladstone CFAR Director
Peter Hunt, MD
Co-Director, Basic/Translational Sciences
Peter Hunt MD is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Experimental Medicine at UCSF. His primary research focus is on the inflammatory consequences of HIV infection. His translational research program seeks to understand both the causes and consequences of persistent immune activation both in the presence and the absence of antiretroviral therapy. He collaborates extensively with a multidisciplinary team of investigators to assess the impact of persistent immune activation on mortality and chronic diseases associated with aging as well as on the persistence of HIV in cellular reservoirs. In July 2016, he started a laboratory to identify the determinants of persistent adaptive immune defects in treated HIV infection, which likely contribute to infectious and neoplastic complications and may also serve as barriers to HIV cure. Dr. Hunt looks forward to interfacing with the basic and translational researchers across campus and in our affiliated organizations to help serve their needs in the CFAR.
Mallory Johnson, PhD
Co-Director, Behavioral/Social Sciences
Mallory Johnson, PhD is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Prevention Science with a joint appointment in the Department of Community Health Systems in the School of Nursing. He is a licensed clinical health psychologist with a research program focused on understanding, measuring, and improving the health of persons at risk for or living with chronic diseases such as HIV. He is also Co-Director of the NIMH-funded Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) where he directs the Developmental Core. Dr. Johnson is active in mentoring and training early career investigators interested in HIV-related research from multiple disciplines, and he co-directs the mentoring core (with Monica Gandhi) within the CFAR Network of Integrated Clinical Systems (CNICS). Areas of expertise include clinical trials of behavioral interventions, couples research, behavioral medicine, mixed methods research, adherence measurement and intervention, research with sexual and gender minority groups, and scale development. Mallory looks forward to representing the rich behavioral/social science agenda in HIV research across the CFAR in this role.
Lauren Sterling has served as the UCSF-Gladstone CFAR Managing Director since 2016 and is excited to take on the new role of Associate Director. Lauren was instrumental in the initiation of the CFAR Health Disparities Core and Implementation Science Working group. Her leadership has been key in raising the profile of the UCSF-Gladstone Center for AIDS Research across campus, with our partner institutions, locally in the Bay Area, and within the national NIH CFAR network. Before UCSF, Lauren managed the Developmental Core and the Creative and Novel Ideas in HIV Research pre-award program (with additional service in the Clinical Research, Administrative, and International Cores) at the University of Washington/Fred Hutch CFAR, where she served from 2009-2016. She received her undergraduate degrees from UW in Public Health and Microbiology and completed further graduate training in Epidemiology at UW, with certificates in HIV/STIs and Maternal and Child Health. She enthusiastically looks forward to continued HIV research capacity building, growing community and research partnerships, and developing diverse and early stage investigators to position the CFAR to be ready to address the next stages of the HIV response.