The NIDA International Program has granted Liying Ma, M.D., Ph.D., a Distinguished International Scientist Collaboration Award (DISCA) to support her work with David Metzger, Ph.D., at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Dr. Ma is currently a professor and leader of the HIV Pathogen Group at the National Center for AIDS Prevention and Control at the China CDC.
During their collaboration, Dr. Ma and Dr. Metzger will be evaluating the biological and behavioral impact of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, among people who inject drugs (PWID) living with HIV. They will also explore laboratory-based strategies for measuring the impact of these medications on immune function in these individuals. Their analyses will be based on two studies examining the impact of MOUD on immune function among individuals living with opioid use disorder and HIV for which Dr. Metzger is a principal investigator. Understanding the impact of different MOUD on adherence to antiretroviral therapy for HIV and on immune functions has important scientific and policy implications for the treatment of PWID living with HIV both in China and globally.