Investigators in the Division of Research have a long history in the study of emerging and chronic infections, such as seminal work in human papillomaviruses (HPV) and their link to cervical cancer, the treatment, care, and outcomes for patients with HIV/AIDS, chronic hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.
Specific research topics have included the relationship between chronic infection and a range of cancers; the evaluation of disparities in infectious disease incidence and outcomes by race/ethnicity, age, and other factors; and the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse and dependence in infected populations. The section also has broad research experience with other infections, such as influenza virus complications, hospital-borne infections and herpes zoster. In addition, it advances scientific understanding of vaccines in all levels of development through the Vaccine Study Center.
HIV is now a highly treatable condition with life expectancy in the United States approaching that of the general population. Researchers continue to focus on HIV prevention, linkage and retention in care, tolerability of antiretroviral therapy, and outcomes, including the emerging risk of age-related comorbidities such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. In addition, mortality risk has been examined in HIV-infected patients with co-occurring substance abuse diagnoses and/or psychiatric disease diagnoses, as well as the cost of caring for these highly vulnerable patients.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are primary causes of acute and chronic liver disease in the U.S. The emergence of highly effective and costly HCV therapies has revolutionized the field. Our researchers are beginning to investigate the short- and long-term outcomes of the new HCV treatments.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection and responsible for cervical and other cancers. There have been significant advances in the field, including the introduction of the HPV vaccine and use of HPV testing for cervical cancer screening. Researchers continue to focus on cervical cancer prevention, as well as the epidemiology of other HPV-related cancers, including anal and oropharyngeal cancers.
The Vaccine Study Center (VSC) helps ensure that the nation's vaccines are safe and effective by conducting research to advance scientific understanding of vaccines at all levels of development. The VSC studies vaccines that the pharmaceutical industry is seeking to license; partners with government agencies to monitor vaccines after they have been licensed; and examines the epidemiological factors important to developing and distributing new vaccines.