(This article appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of SSA Magazine.)

SSA faculty with expertise in HIV/AIDS research are providing leadership for a new multi-institutional project to combat HIV infection in Chicago.

Assistant professors Alida Bouris and Leyla Ismayilova and professor Dexter Voisin and Harold Pollack, the Helen Ross Professor at SSA, are part of a team of researchers helping to establish and lead the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (TC CFAR ), a newly funded five-year $6.5 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health.

Joining SSA faculty in the TC CFAR are faculty, researchers, and staff from the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the Chicago Department of Public Health, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, the Alliance of Chicago Community Health Systems, and the Center on Halsted. Dr. Richard D’Aquila, professor of infectious diseases at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is director of TC CFAR.

Together, the TC CFAR cores and workgroups will focus on supporting and generating research and on developing community relationships that will help to bring an end to the HIV epidemic in Chicago, with a particular focus on ending HIV among young men who have sex with men (MSM), the only demographic group to experience an increase in new HIV diagnoses.

"The CFAR will provide training, infrastructure, and support to conduct cutting-edge research on how to capitalize on recent advances in behavioral, biomedical, and structural approaches to ending HIV," said Bouris, who is co-director of the Behavioral, Social, and Implementation Sciences Core of the TC CFAR.

Other University faculty members involved in the center are Dr. David Pitrak, professor of medicine; Yoav Gilad, professor of human genetics; and Dr. John Schneider, associate professor of medicine and public health sciences.