July 27, 2012
Innovative research will study how to prevent transmission among the newly infected
New York University College of Nursing (NYUCN) Center for Drug Use and HIV Research's (CDUHR) Dr. Samuel Friedman, Director of CDUHR’s Theoretical Synthesis Core, received a prestigious National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Avant-Garde Award for 2012. The award, now in its fifth year, is given to individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose high-impact research that opens new avenues for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS among drug abusers.
Dr. Friedman, who has been a Core Director in CDUHR since its inception, and is located at National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI) in New York City, received the five-year $2.5M award to support research on "Preventing HIV Transmission by Recently-Infected Drug Users."
Dr. Friedman’s research team plans to identify people newly infected with HIV and link them to care, since the first few months of infection represent a period of high infectivity and risk behavior. Novel interventions that include community alerts and education within affected drug using and other social networks and venues, and efforts to prevent stigmatization of the newly-infected, will be developed and tested to prevent further spread within the community.
“Unlike many other HIV prevention and treatment methods, this technique will follow the virus to where it is likely to be transmitted,” said Friedman. “We will start with drug users, but the network and community aspects of the project mean that we will also prevent transmissions among other high-risk persons if the infection chains lead us to them.”
"We are excited about Dr. Friedman's new award," said NYUCN's Dr.Sherry Deren, Director and Senior Research Scientist, Center for Drug Use and HIV Research. "He has played an important role in the growth and development of our Center, and this innovative socio- behavioral research has the potential for high impact on reducing HIV transmission in many areas of the world,” she said.
The two other recipients of the 2012 Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS Research were David Smith, M.D., University of California, San Diego School of Medicine for his project: “Molecular epidemiology for HIV prevention for drug users and other risk groups;” and Jeremy Luban, M.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, for his project: “Human genes that influence HIV-1 replication, pathogenesis, and immunity in intravenous drug users.”
For information about NIDA’s AIDS Research Program, including the Avant-Garde Award Program for HIV/AIDS Research and the International AIDS Society-NIDA Joint Fellowship Program, go to www.drugabuse.gov/AIDS.
Smith, Friedman and Luban are funded under grant numbers DA034978, DA034989, and DA034990.
About NYUCN’s Center for Drug Use and HIV Research: CDUHR, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is the first center for the socio-behavioral study of drug use and HIV in the United States. The Center is dedicated to increasing the understanding of the drug use-HIV/AIDS epidemic, particularly among high-risk individuals. The Center's theme is "An Interdisciplinary Approach to HIV and Other Infectious Diseases." The Center facilitates the development of timely new research efforts and disseminates information to researchers and service providers. It provides a research infrastructure to assist affiliated faculty, investigators and staff conducting HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases research among drug users at the New York University, the National Development and Research Institutes (NDRI), Beth Israel Medical Center's Chemical Dependency Institute and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
About NYU College of Nursing:www.nyu.edu/nursing. NYUCN is a global leader in nursing education, research, and practice. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Master of Arts and Post-Master’s Certificate Programs; a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Research Theory and Development. For more information, visit
The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at www.drugabuse.gov, which is now compatible with your smartphone, iPad or tablet.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov. NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health
Type: Press Release
Press Contact: Christopher James | (212) 998-6876