The NIDA AIDS Research Program hosted a symposium in January 2021 of early-stage investigators to discuss their innovative research supported through the NIDA Avenir Award Program for Research on Substance Use Disorders and HIV/AIDS (DP2). The Avenir Awards are designed to stimulate innovation and potentially transformative research from early stage investigators.
The symposium featured remarks from NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow, after which ARP Director Dr. Redonna Chandler and ARP Associate Director Dr. Vasundhara Varthakavi facilitated presentations by recent HIV Avenir awardees:
- Ashley Buchanan, DrPH, University of Rhode Island
The University of Rhode Island NIDA Avenir Project: Causal inference methods for HIV prevention studies aamong networks of people who inject drugs
- Zachary A. Klase, PhD, Drexel University
HIV-1, epigenetics and substances of abuse
- Daniel Lingwood, PhD, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard
Epitope-shifting to an HIV vaccine target through the acquisition of low affinity
- Michael E. Newcomb, PhD, Northwestern University
Using relationship education as a platform to reduce HIV risk in young male couples
- Sunil Suhas Solomon, MBBS, PhD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University
Disentangling networks and their role in transmission of HIV and HCV among PWID
- Ryan Westergaard, MD, PhD, MPH, University of Wisconsin
Mobile health strategies for predicting and mitigating lapses in HIV care for substance using patients
The symposium provided an overview of the vitally transformative research funded by the HIV Avenir award in high priority areas toward new opportunities for improved HIV treatment and prevention among substance users.
The HRP also funds the complementary NIDA Avant-Garde Award Program for HIV/AIDS and Substance Use Disorder Research (DP1, Clinical Trial Optional) to support high-impact, innovative studies by researchers at all career levels, and hosted an Avant-Garde Symposium in May 2022 to highlight recent award recipients and their research.