Principal Investigators Dr. Serena Spudich, MD, MA (Neurology), Dr. Mark Gerstein, PhD (Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry), and Dr. Yuval Kluger, PhD (Pathology) were recently awarded a $15 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to establish a Data Center to coordinate, analyze, and make accessible single-cell and other molecular data sets generated by Single-Cell Opioid Responses in the Context of HIV (SCORCH) and other NIDA-funded HIV and substance use disorder projects. The grant will commence on August 1st, 2020 with a project period of five years. This prestigious award is for a multi-disciplinary proposal and will involve Principal Investigators and key personnel: Drs. Ya-Chi Ho, MD, PhD, MMS (Microbial Pathogenesis), Anita Huttner, MD (Pathology), Nenad Sestan, MD, PhD (Neuroscience), and Le Zhang, PhD (Neurology). According to the project narrative:
Opioid use disorder (OUD) and HIV infection can affect cognition and behavior both independently and in combination, but knowledge is limited regarding how brain cells and circuits are altered in association with these conditions. Furthermore, HIV can persist in the brain long term, though the precise cellular locations of HIV infection and whether this infection is worsened by coexistent OUD and HIV are also unknown. The work proposed in this application will help determine which cells and which areas of the brain are involved in these conditions separately and together, thus improving our understanding of the brain effects of OUD and HIV.