Resources Offered

Scientific, intellectual, and coordinating resources provided by the HNRP

The HNRP accomplishes its mission through the collaborative efforts of investigators and staff from multiple departments at the University of California, San Diego who are expert in various scientific and operational aspects of NeuroAIDS research. Areas of scientific expertise are broad and include Neuropsychology, Infectious Disease, Neurology, Imaging, Virology, Pathology, Opthamology, Genetics, and Psychiatry. The HNRP team has over 20 years of experience operationalizing scientific aims through data and information management, research participant management, biological specimen management, training and quality assurance, study coordination, statistical support and administrative coordination. These resources exist across programs and are described individually below.

Data Management and Information Systems Resources

The Data Management and Information Systems (DMIS) Unit provides HNRP investigators and staff with a state-of-the-art web-based data management and reporting systems, and both the hardware and software for collaborative research and communication.

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Participant Accrual and Retention Resources

The Participant Accrual and Retention (PAR) Resource Group provides consultation and technical support to Investigators who are seeking relevant, hard-to-reach and/or well-characterized research subjects.  The resource group assists Investigators in rapidly and efficiently initiating studies and in successfully meeting subject recruitment goals. The group provides consultation and study design to enhance efficient resource utilization. Through technical support, the group works to ensure the overall quality of the participant’s research experience and provides Investigators with a mechanism to provide feedback regarding study findings to participants and to the local communities.  Finally, the resource group works with Investigators to monitor human subjects regulatory requirements and ensure compliance.

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Neuromedical Resources

The Neuromedical Resource Group (NMRG) serves as a resource to HNRP’s associated studies and collaborating investigators.  It provides comprehensive clinical and laboratory evaluations as well as scientific consultation, training, and community education in NeuroAIDS. The HNRP’s collaborating investigators find data coordinated through the NMRG (e.g. antiretroviral (ARV) treatment information, HIV disease staging information) to be essential for their data analyses and publications.  By assisting investigators in widely diverging disciplines at all levels of project development, the NMRG encourages the application of multiple scientific perspectives and stimulates interdisciplinary collaboration, coordination and dissemination of results.

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Neurobehavioral Resources

The Neurobehavioral Group provides all HNRP-affiliated studies detailed characterizations of each cohorts’ neuropsychological, psychiatric and everyday functioning status by administering a comprehensive battery of well-validated, standardized measures of neurocognitive functioning, psychiatric, mood and substance use disorders as well as assessments of everyday functioning (e.g., successfully managing medication regimens and finances).  The Neurobehavioral Group provides demographically adjusted individual, cognitive domain specific and global summary scores for all HNRP investigators. Current and lifetime histories of substance use and mood diagnoses are provided as well.  The Neurobehavioral Group also offers training, consultation, certification and career mentoring opportunities to a host of investigators and trainees associated with local, national and international NeuroAIDS studies.  Of note, the Neurobehavioral Group continues to focus its efforts on innovative studies examining the presumed interaction between aging and HIV infection, cognitive abnormalities in early and acute HIV infection, and the effects of antiretroviral treatment on HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND). Ultimately, the Neurobehavioral Group illuminates the public health relevance of the HNRP both by making available critical information on the neurocognitive, psychiatric, substance use and everyday functioning characteristics of those living with HIV, and by training and mentoring the next generation of NeuroAIDS investigators in the analysis and interpretation of neurobehavioral data.

Neuroimaging Resources

The Neuroimaging Resource Group provides consultation and technical guidance to individuals interested in developing pilot studies, working towards new initiatives, and modifying and managing existing neuroimaging studies. Domain expertise spans sMRI, MRS, CSI, DTI, SWI, ASL, fMRI, and PET imaging through Core personnel and the Neuroimaging Interest Group, which includes numerous highly integrated communities. For high-risk individual cases, the NI Core provides morphometric, CSI, DTI, and SWI, and, on a subset, PET PIB imaging. These volumes and derived data are available for cross-core studies; for interested individuals to further pilot hypotheses; and for multi-modal data integration, methods development and validation.

Neurovirology Resources

Neurovirology Resources are coordinated by the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center.

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Neurobiology Resources

Neurobiology Resources are coordinated by the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center.

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Non-Human Animal Models Resources

Non-Human Animal Models Resources are coordinated by the Translational Methamphetamine Research Center.

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Statistics Resources

The Statistics Resource Group (SRG) provides statistical assistance to researchers, trainees, faculty, and staff participating in HNRP-related research. Members of the group collaborate with investigators on study projects at all stages of the research process, including hypothesis-generation, grant-writing, sample size justifications, and development of data analysis plans. Statisticians not only analyze data with known methods but also develop, program, and implement novel statistical procedures. The Statistics Group continues involvement in a study throughout the publication and presentation of findings and is dedicated to collaborative partnerships with and education of involved investigators, trainees, and staff.

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Physical Resources

The HNRP is primarily located at the UCSD Medical Center – Hillcrest Campus, 220 Dickinson Street, San Diego, California 92103, where it shares space in a 36,000 square foot 3-story building with the UCSD Antiviral Research Center (AVRC). Programs located within the building include most of the major clinically oriented HIV research programs at UCSD, such as the HNRC, TMARC, CNTN, CHARTER, the Acute/Early HIV Infection (AEHIV) Clinical Studies Unit, as well as AVRC-associated projects including the adult AIDS Clinical Trial Group, the California Collaborative Treatment Group, and several other programs.

The HNRP occupy approximately 18,000 square feet of space in this building, which includes a reception area, staff offices, six neurobehavioral examination rooms, five neuromedical examination rooms, a blood draw room, screening room, and specimen processing laboratory. This area has three conference rooms with state of the art audio-visual and videoconferencing capabilities. In addition, there is a server room, secure file room, and common area with photocopier, fax machine, and staff mailboxes. The HNRP facility supports most research activities, and also provides a modest amount of flexible space for trainees, junior scientists, and space to conduct pilot studies using human subjects.

Please note that some of our resources are housed outside of the central HNRP facility. These include the Neuroimaging Resources, the Neurobiology Resources, and Neurovirology Resources. These resource groups require specialized laboratory facilities and are co-located with existing complementary laboratories at the UCSD School of Medicine, La Jolla campus as well as the UCSD Clinical Teaching Facility, UCSD Medical Center - Hillcrest Campus.

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