SD CFAR News and Announcements


San Diego Center for AIDS Research Launches Molecular and Cellular Immunology Core

August 1, 2023; La Jolla, CA: The San Diego Center for AIDS Research (SD CFAR) is pleased to announce the launch of the Molecular and Cellular Immunology Core (MCI) as an expansion of its robust laboratory, clinical, biostatistical, and sociobehavioral science cores. 

The launch of the MCI Core follows an 18-month strategic planning process with the goal of improving access, gaining efficiency, and offering services that analyze different aspects of cellular and host responses at a single-cell level within one comprehensive Core. This new Core combines resources and key services offered by the former SD CFAR Flow Cytometry and Genomics and Sequencing Cores with added capabilities from infrastructure at Scripps Research allowing the Center to streamline services and offer upgraded equipment and functionality to users. 

The MCI Core is co-directed by Drs. Dennis Burton (Scripps Research) and David Looney (UC San Diego) with Dr. Celsa Spina (UC San Diego) as Emeritus Co-Director. Dr. Nadejda Beliakova-Bethell (UC San Diego) and Dr. Bryan Briney (Scripps Research) are Associate Directors, and Dr. Jennifer Dan (La Jolla Institute for Immunology and UC San Diego) serves as the Leadership Trainee.

The MCI Core is organized into three units: Flow Cytometry, Genomics, and Single-Cell -Omics. Each unit is led by accomplished experts who have well-established track records and are highly experienced in experimental design, data collation, formatting and pre-processing, and quality assurance. The Flow Cytometry Unit is led by Dr. Beliakova-Bethell, Genomics by Dr. Looney, and Single-Cell -Omics by Dr. Briney.

Flow Cytometry services include cell phenotyping, cell sorting, and single cell deposition. The Genomics Unit services include targeted gene expression quantification and sample and library preparation for scRNA-Seq and ATAC-Seq. New single-cell -omics services include single cell functional profiling and transcriptomics, proteomics via feature barcoding, and adaptive immune receptor repertoires.

The MCI Core has laboratory locations at UC San Diego (Stein), the VA San Diego Healthcare System, and Scripps Research. The Core is located in a biological safety level (BSL) 2+ facility, allowing processing of biohazardous HIV-infected samples in sorting and live cell preparation for the –omics studies. Furthermore, the MCI Core provides computational expertise with data processing for generated data, quality assurance and training of emerging HIV investigators.

Click here to read the full bulletin or visit the MCI Core website for additional information.



Sonia Jain Named Interim Associate Dean of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health

La Jolla, CA:  On June 1, 2021, Sonia Jain, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics at UC San Diego, and Co-Director of the Biostatistics and Modeling Core of the San Diego Center for AIDS Research (SD CFAR), was appointed Interim Associate Dean of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the UC San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science (HWSPH).

“Equity, justice and inclusion are foundational for our School,” says Cheryl Anderson, PhD, MPH, MS, Professor of Epidemiology, HWSPH Founding Dean, and 2020 recipient of UC San Diego’s Inclusive Excellence Award. “Over the last year, with racial and ethnic tension rising across the nation, we learned it was not enough to provide anti-racism training for our team members. We needed to inculcate an awareness of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion across all education levels, work experience, and degree programs. The appointment of Dr. Jain as Interim Associate Dean will ensure these essential values are communicated with rigor, honesty, and kindness.”

Click here to read the full bulletin



San Diego Center for AIDS Research Launches Health Equity Sociobehavioral Science Core

Building upon its thriving suite of laboratory, clinical, and biostatistical services, the NIH-funded San Diego Center for AIDS Research (SD CFAR) is pleased to announce the launch of the Health Equity Sociobehavioral Science Core. The launch follows a 10-month strategic planning process co-led by Dr. Jamila K. Stockman, Associate Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego and Vice Chief of Global Public Health in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health, and Dr. Eileen Pitpitan, Associate Professor, San Diego State University School of Social Work. The purpose of the Core is to provide sociobehavioral scientific methods to researchers studying the health equity needs of key populations living with or at-risk for HIV in Southern California. 

The Health Equity Sociobehavioral Science Core both rebrands the Disparities Core and enhances the original Core’s strengths by adding expertise in qualitative and mixed methods research, intervention development, recruitment of hard-to-reach and underserved populations, psychosocial statistical methods, and co-occurring conditions, such as homelessness and substance use. Core members are available to assist researchers in studies involving sexual, gender, racial, and ethnic minorities; women, adolescents and young adults; people in sex work; and other at-risk populations.

See news bulletin for more information




Funding for Fellows: Next Generation Grants

SD CFAR’s Next Generation grants are designed for postdoctoral fellows supported by T32, D43, and R25 awards. These grants provide critical funds to help fellows collect and analyze data in support of their CDA applications. Up to $10,000 in direct costs may be requested for a one-year Next Generation grant. View all of the details and download an application form here.



Notice of Intent to Publish - COVID-19 Testing in Vulnerable and Underserved Populations

NIH issued a Notice of Intent to Publish (NOITP) four Funding Opportunity Announcements as part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics for Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) initiative, a $500 million initiative to reduce COVID-19 associated morbidity and mortality disparities for vulnerable and underserved populations that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

The NOITP is here:

The FOAs, in which NIAID will be participating, will include three Notices of Special Interest to solicit community-engaged research to understand COVID-19 disparities and increase access to and effectiveness of diagnostic testing interventions among underserved and vulnerable populations and to understand the social, ethical, and behavioral implications of testing in these populations. An RFA to support a Coordination and Data Collection Center (CDCC) will also be announced.

In particular, CFAR investigators may be interested in the following NOSI:

To solicit emergency competitive revision applications to existing awards for large consortia, multi-site trials, centers and other current networks that have adequate capacity, infrastructure, and established community-engaged relationships to support large-scale testing interventions or have the capacity to ramp up quickly to reach underserved or vulnerable populations.

The FOAs are expected to be published in early June. Applications will be accepted through August 2020 for FY20 funding.



NIAID's Strategies for an HIV Cure 2020" (November 16 - 17, 2020)

NIAID's “Strategies for an HIV Cure 2020” (November 16-17) 

We would like to announce that the NIAID ‘Strategies for an HIV Cure 2020’ meeting will be held virtually on Nov. 16-17th, 2020. The goal of this meeting is to review research progress by grantees funded through the NIH Martin Delaney Collaboratories for HIV Cure Research program and NIAID’s Understanding HIV Rebound P01 grant program. Information about the meeting, as well as registration information, can be found on the meeting website: Strategies for an HIV Cure 2020 Website. The meeting is free and open to the public. 



NIAID's San Diego Center for AIDS Research Welcomes San Diego State University

After an eight-month strategic planning process led by Dr. Eileen Pitpitan, the San Diego Center for AIDS Research (SD CFAR) welcomed San Diego State University (SDSU) as a new member institution in June 2020. SDSU serves as the academic home to many behavioral, prevention and intervention scientists who conduct high-priority, innovative HIV research. Their HIV-related scientific inquiries address such topics as disparities in the HIV prevention and care continuum, substance use and other co-occurring conditions, and community- based participatory research. SD CFAR has strong track record of synergizing high-impact, multidisciplinary HIV/AIDS research that emphasizes the Center’s four priority research areas: optimizing HIV care, relieving health disparities, finding a cure, and developing vaccines. SDSU will engage in these activities in support of the overall mission of SD CFAR, including fostering new collaborations between individual researchers and SD CFAR service cores; expanding the use of SD CFAR service cores and resources; promoting funding collaborations and publishing opportunities; and facilitating the professional development of junior faculty and trainees. SDSU faculty will also serve as key members of the SD CFAR EHE Scientific Working Group.



NIAID's San Diego Center for AIDS Research Welcomes San Diego State UniversityHIV & Aging in the Era of ART and COVID-19 Inter-CFAR Virtual Meeting (February 8 - 9, 2021)

The Miami CFAR invites you to the HIV & Aging in the era of ART and COVID19 Inter-CFAR Virtual Meeting. Three sessions will be held over two days with a keynote presentation by Steven Deeks, MD, University of California San Francisco. The Miami CFAR would like to invite early stage investigators and post-doctoral fellows to submit an abstract for consideration of presentation. Submit entries to by 5:00 pm, December 31, 2020. Notifications of abstract dispositions will be made by January 15, 2021. See flyer for more details.


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