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The Crosstalk Program at NYU

This study utilizes a Clinical Core to recruit a study population consisting of 85 HIV+, HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy) naïve subjects who will subsequently begin therapy. Samples from this population are examined through four interrelated research projects located at NYU College of Dentistry, NYU School of Medicine, Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and Rockefeller University. Our overall goal is to define the interactions between cytokines, host defense molecules, and bacteria in HIV infection and subsequent antiretroviral therapy.

We hypothesize that the ability of the host defense system to control HIV and/or bacterial pathogens will be compromised in untreated HIV/AIDS, but return toward control levels under the influence of antiretroviral therapy.

This work will identify and characterize specific proteins associated with HIV infection and are modified during HAART with a focus on a comparison of the oral cavity with the remainder of the gastrointestinal tract and will map changes in the proteome, cytokine profile, and innate immune system.

This program is also designed to identify potential associations of oral microbes with oral health assessment, and identify characteristic changes in the microbial population of the mouth and gut.

Specific differences between oral and GI tissues that account for their unique patterns of opportunistic infections will potentially aid understanding how the oral cavity resists HIV infection and promises to lead to novel approaches to preventing HIV transmission at other mucosal sites. Ultimately we hope to better understand the differential susceptibility of oral tissues compared to rectal mucosa to HIV infection, and the changes that occur as HIV+ individuals undergo HAART.

Please see the Research page for descriptions of the research projects.

This research project is supported by the National Instutute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Grant U19 DE018385
Program Officer: Dr. Isaac R. Rodriguez-Chavez.