Yale Single Cell Opioid Responses in the Context of HIV (Y-SCORCH) Program: CNS Data Generation
HIV infection and opioid use disorder independently and synergistically lead to central nervous system dysfunction in tens of millions of people globally. However, the cellular circuits altered by HIV opioid use disorder - and their combination - remain elusive. Furthermore, the exact identities of cell types within the brain that can harbor HIV infection remain incomplete and controversial.
To address this key, vexing question of HIV location within the brain and the effects of HIV and opioid use disorder on the brain, we have created Yale SCORCH, a data generation center that will generate comprehensive tissue characterization at the single-cell level to identify novel rare cell types, enriched or depleted cellular population, and cellular circuits tied to pathogenesis. Y-SCORCH assembles a team of investigators at Yale with leading expertise in neuroHIV, neurogenomics, HIV biology, neuroscience of addiction, single-cell analytics and consortium science across six academic departments, creating a novel center aimed at revealing new information about the brain effects of HIV and opioids, and developing new tools that can be applied to understanding the effects of infectious pathogens on resident brain cells, neuroinflammation, and their relation to clinical disease.