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Project MATBio

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opiate addiction, combined with needle and syringe exchange programs (NESP) have substantially reduced the risk of HIV transmission in people who inject drugs (PWIDs). MAT reduces mortality among HIV-positive PWIDs (which is otherwise 3-fold higher than in PWIDs who are HIV-negative) and is predominantly available in the form of opioid agonist treatment with methadone or buprenorphine, with emerging use of opioid antagonist treatments (e.g. extended-release naltrexone). However, there are no recommendations currently available to guide the selection of MAT agent. This study is prospectively looking to understand changes in blood cell function, gene expression, metabolism and alterations in immune function associated with medication assisted therapy (MAT) (e.g. methadone or Suboxone) to better inform treatment choice.

Enrollment; Persons need to be enrolled into the study before starting methadone or Suboxone and can be HIV-negative or HIV-positive and taking medications for HIV. The study lasts for 6 months. If interested in participating, please call Luis (860-305-3289) or Bre (203-231-2454)

Funding Provided by: 
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Project Period: 
2016 - 2021

  • Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)

    Dr. Shaw is a graduate of Harvard College who completed his M.D. training at Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in the laboratory of Philip Leder. After completing his clinical training in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Fred Alt. Dr. Shaw joined the faculty at Yale in 2001, and is currently Professor of Medicine in the Section of Infectious Diseases. His research focuses on the immunology of aging, and his laboratory has interests in age-associated alterations in innate immune function and vaccine response in humans, as well as circadian regulation of immune response and mechanisms of inflammatory dysregulation in medication-associated treatment of opioid use disorder.  He was a Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Physician Research Fellow, Brookdale National Fellow, and T. Franklin Williams Scholar, and he is a Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America and member of the Interurban Clinical Club.
  • Professor of Medicine (AIDS) and Associate Clinical Professor of Nursing; Director, Infectious Disease Outpatient Clinic, Veterans Administration Healthcare Services, Newington

    Sandra Springer, MD is a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases at the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Springer is Board-Certified in Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Addiction Medicine. She is also an attending physician at the Veterans Administration Connecticut Healthcare System (VACHS) and the Director of the Infectious Disease Clinic at the Newington site of the VACHS. She is an appointed member of the International Antiviral Society–USA (IAS–USA) Antiretroviral Guidelines Panel as well as a Core Faculty member and has been appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Framework for the Consideration of Chronic Conditions in Women. She mentors students across disciplines including public health, medicine, and the social sciences. Her research centers on the integration of substance use and infectious diseases with a focus on opioid use treatment and the treatment and prevention of HIV infection in people with carceral experience. In 2022, she was awarded the NIDA Avant Garde award for her innovative proposal to bring mobile health care for substance use and infectious diseases to where people live, through a mobile pharmacy and clinic. She is the director of her clinical research lab InSTRIDE (Integrating Substance use Treatment Research with Infectious Disease for Everyone) which encompasses a multidisciplinary team including research staff, clinicians, community health workers, and patient navigators as well as a mobile health unit and a mobile pharmacy and clinic.
  • Research Assistant 3 HSS

    A. Luis Ojeda is currently a Research Assistant II, he has over 12 years’ experience as a Research Assistant. During his past twelve years, he has worked with people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). He has also worked with the homeless and those suffering from substance use disorders. Mr. A. L. Ojeda was born in Puerto Rico and was raised in the Tri-State area. Born of Hispanic parents, he is fluent in Spanish, which allows him to speak fluently with the Spanish speaking population in New Haven county and other areas of the state. Interesting facts about Luis is that he likes the outdoors, and as result he enjoys fishing, hiking, kayaking, and skiing.