Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research Joins NYU College of Global Public Health to Strengthen Opioid-Focused Research Collaborations Across NYU

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The opioid crisis—which continues to ravage the United States, with more than 115 people dying from overdoses each day—is a central focus for researchers studying drug use. A cross-college collaboration at New York University, spearheaded by the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR), is working to address the epidemic through interdisciplinary research.

In an effort to further research on the opioid crisis, CDUHR, an NIH-funded research center studying drug using populations and related HIV and hepatitis C transmission, joins the NYU College of Global Public Health on October 1, 2018.

Founded in 1998, CDUHR was the first center for the socio-behavioral study of substance use and HIV in the United States and has been continuously funded by the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the NIH. Earlier this year, NIDA awarded CDUHR a five-year, nearly $7.5 million grant to continue the center’s research.

CDUHR became part of the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing in 2009. Joining the College of Global Public Health this fall increases opportunities for collaboration between CDUHR researchers and faculty at the NYU College of Global Public Health, NYU Silver School of Social Work, NYU Meyers, and other NYU schools and colleges.

“CDUHR’s important research on drug use and infectious diseases and its mission to end HIV/AIDS align with NYU College of Global Public Health’s vision for healthier populations,” said Cheryl Healton, dean of the NYU College of Global Public Health.

“As an interdisciplinary research center with expertise spanning public health, epidemiology, psychology, nursing, social work, sociology, medicine, and other disciplines, CDUHR is uniquely poised to study the opioid crisis and its implications for the transmission of HIV and hepatitis C,” said Sherry Deren and Holly Hagan, co-directors of CDUHR. Both Deren and Hagan have been engaged in research on high-risk drug use and HIV since early in the epidemic, and Hagan currently serves as chair for the Executive Steering Committee for the NIH/CDC Rural Opioid Initiative.

“Since its formation more than 20 years ago, CDUHR has remained committed to seeking evidence-based solutions to end infectious disease transmission among people who use drugs, and we look forward to continuing to do so as part of the NYU College of Global Public Health,” Deren and Hagan continued.

CDUHR researchers come from four affiliated institutions: NYU, Mount Sinai Health System, NDRI, and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Within NYU, CDUHR researchers have appointments across multiple organizations, including the College of Global Public Health, NYU Meyers, NYU Silver, NYU College of Dentistry, and NYU Langone Health.

CDUHR’s 90+ affiliated researchers and 60+ funded research projects focus on ending HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C among people who use drugs. In recent years, a critical barrier to end the transmission of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C is the opioid crisis, which has given rise to a new generation of heroin users and injectors. Numerous ongoing studies at CDUHR focus on gaining a deeper understanding of opioid misuse, preventing drug users from transitioning to injecting drugs, and comparing treatments for opioid addiction.

In addition, several leading researchers already involved with CDUHR have recently joined the NYU College of Global Public Health as full-time faculty, including Don Des Jarlais. Des Jarlais, who serves as the associate director for CDUHR’s infectious disease epidemiology and theory core, is the principal investigator of the longest continuously funded study on HIV/AIDS in people who use drugs, a study that was instrumental in tracking the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York City in the 1980s.

CDUHR also conducts research internationally, including in Eastern Europe and Asia, adding to the College of Global Public Health’s robust international work spanning 28 countries.

About CDUHR
The mission of the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) is to end the HIV and HCV epidemics in drug using populations and their communities by conducting transdisciplinary research and disseminating its findings to inform programmatic, policy, and grass roots initiatives at the local, state, national, and global levels. CDUHR is a Core Center of Excellence funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Grant #P30 DA011041). It is the first center for the socio-behavioral study of substance use and HIV in the United States and as of October 2018, is located at the NYU College of Global Public Health. For more information, visit www.cduhr.org.

About NYU College of Global Public Health
At the NYU College of Global Public Health (NYU GPH), we are preparing the next generation of public health pioneers with the critical thinking skills, acumen, and entrepreneurial approaches necessary to reinvent the public health paradigm. Devoted to employing a nontraditional, inter-disciplinary model, NYU GPH aims to improve health worldwide through a unique blend of global public health studies, research and practice. The College is located in the heart of New York City and extends to NYU's global network on six continents. Innovation is at the core of our ambitious approach, thinking and teaching. For more, visit: http://publichealth.nyu.edu/