HIV and Hepatitis C
Boston Medical Center provides unique opportunities to investigate the epidemiology, outcomes, immunology, and virology of both HIV and HCV infections. We serve one of the largest populations of HIV-infected patients in Massachusetts, with over 1,800 patients enrolled in our outpatient practice, and over 5,000 HCV-infected patients engaged with care at BMC. Further, our faculty manages mature, well-characterized cohorts in Brazil, Uganda, India, and Eastern Europe, with special focus on HIV-TB co-infection, illicit substance use, and alcoholism. Infectious Diseases fellows interested in building a career as an HIV and/or HCV clinician-scientist will benefit from the breadth and depth of our experience.
HCV/HIV resources available through BMC fellowship
- Established cohorts in India, Eastern Europe, and South Africa with explicit focus on substance use disorder and alcohol use and their contributions to co-infection like HCV
- Providence Boston Center for AIDS Research
- NIDA Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use Disorder, HIV, and HCV (CHERISH) cherishresearh.org
- NIDA Data2Action Modeling and Economic Resource Center
- Access to large databases such as MarketScan, Trinetix, OCHIN, and the Massachusetts Public Health Data Repository (MA PHD) with experienced investigators who routinely use those data
- Clinical Data Warehouse that contains EHR-based data from Boston Medical Center, the largest safety net hospital in New England
- Develop expert clinicians who are prepared to become leaders in HIV and HCV care in the U.S. and in resource limited settings.
- Train world-class clinician scientists who graduate our program in outstanding position to become independent investigators in an academic setting.
- Complete a 2-year continuity outpatient practice experience focused on HIV and HCV
- Present at least one poster at an academic conference such as the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, the International AIDS Society, or the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases “Liver meeting.”
- Publish at least one first-authored publication in a peer-reviewed journal
- Complete the one-page specific aims for an NIH career development award (K award)
The focus of the HIV/HCV concentration is primarily clinical training in the first year, combined with planning for increasing research emphasis in years 2 and 3. Year two of the fellowship is largely dedicated to scientific investigation, with ongoing continuity care experience in our outpatient clinic. Those who elect to pursue a career as a grant-funded HIV and/or HCV investigator will work closely with mentors to secure funding for a third and possibly fourth year of research training, during which time they will develop advanced skills and prepare an NIH career development award. Boston University has a diverse faculty that conducts nationally and internationally recognized research in HIV/HCV. Fellows can choose to pursue laboratory based research or clinical epidemiological investigations in HIV/HCV. Fellows are encouraged to also explore potential research opportunities outside the Division of Infectious Diseases, such as the Boston University, Department of Microbiology or Boston University School of Public Health.
During the first year, fellows interested in the HIV/HCV track will rotate through the infectious disease consult and inpatient services similar to the other trainees in the program. Elective time in the first year will be dedicated to planning to apply for funding in the second year of fellowship. During this time, fellows will be expected to meet regularly with the identified mentor. This time will be dedicated to gaining a greater understanding of the research of interest and starting to accumulate preliminary data for future grant applications.
During the second year, trainees’ primary responsibility will be working on their research project and applying for independent funding; they will continue with one outpatient clinic session and complete remaining inpatient consult service duties. Fellows may elect to do additional clinical activities relevant to this track – for example, participate in relevant ambulatory electives in HIV and HCV care, or obtain training in Addiction Medicine.
Currently we have multiple training grant opportunities in both the basic and clinical sciences, as well as a track record of working with trainees to obtain research funding.
If funding is secured (I.e. via T32 training grant) fellows can devote their third, and possibly fourth, year of their fellowship for their research efforts. The primary goal of the third year is to complete and publish ongoing work such that the fellow is in an outstanding position to apply for an NIH career development award, or similar foundation funding.
Combined Infectious Disease and Addiction Medicine Fellowship
The Section of Infectious Disease and the Grayken Center collaborate to offer a three-year combined fellowship in Infectious Disease and Addiction Medicine. The first year of fellowship will be primarily focused on clinical infectious disease, the second year focused on clinical addiction medicine, and the third year will be focused on mentored research training that combines both disciplines. For more information about the Addiction Medicine program, please see the program’s website. We will arrange for interested applicants to interview with Addiction Medicine faculty at the time of your visit to our program. Applicants accepted into the combined Infectious Disease-Addiction Medicine training will also be asked to consider applying to the NIDA-funded Fellow Immersion Training program in Addiction Medicine. This 4-day immersion program is designed for incoming subspecialty fellows with an interest in addiction science.
Mentored postdoctoral research training programs (T32 training grants)
The Boston University Clinical HIV/AIDS Research Training (BU-CHART) Program at Boston Medical Center is a two-year mentored postdoctoral research training program designed for physicians and other health scientists to enable them to conduct high -quality, ethical HIV/AIDS research focused on disadvantaged populations. This structured program includes didactic lectures in HIV/AIDS, classroom work and a mentored thesis leading to the MSc or PhD degree in Epidemiology, ethics coursework and mentoring and a series of Clinical Research seminars as part of the Boston University CREST Program. The candidate’s research will focus on one of four specific subject areas where BU has particular strengths: Opportunistic Diseases, Adherence and Natural History, Substance Use and Transmission.
The Integrated Care for Addiction, HIV and HCV Research and Education (ICAHRE) is a two-year mentored Postdoctoral research training program designed to provide rigorous interdisciplinary pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training in health services research related to addiction and HIV or addiction and HIV/HCV co-infection; mentor trainees to conduct studies that involve the development, testing and implementation of strategies to improve HIV testing, linkage, and adherence to care, and use integrated approaches to service delivery related to substance use and co-occurring HIV and HCV; and prepare trainees to disseminate research findings and translate them into practice and policy.
Cohorts and datasets with which fellows can develop projects
The Boston Cohort is a prospective observational investigation of the effects of alcohol on people with HIV infection who may be affected by multiple substances of abuse (i.e. other drugs). The Cohort also serves as a platform for intervention trials. In its initial implementation, the project is designed to answer the research question: is unhealthy alcohol use associated with osteopenia in HIV-infected adults
The Russian Cohort aims to assess the longitudinal association between alcohol consumption and biomarkers of microbial translocation (sCD14) and inflammation/altered coagulation (D-dimer) in a cohort of HIV-infected drinkers in St. Petersburg, Russia.
India and Brazil Tuberculosis cohorts
Please see our description of the Global Health and Tuberculosis concentration for more information.
Boston Medical Center Virtual HCV Cohort
The BMC virtual HCV cohort s an EMR-based prospective cohort of all patients with reactive HCV Ab at Boston Medical Center. Data elements include clinical visits, laboratory tests, and pharmacy data. The data set is well suited for analyses of HCV care delivery in the “real-world,” as well as comparative effectiveness research.
AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG)
The ACTG is a large, international clinical trials network dedicated to investigation of HIV therapeutics. The ACTG maintains a registry of all data elements collected as part of clinical trials, as well as banked plasma and PBMCs for some protocols. The ACTG is committed to working with new investigators, and welcomes proposals for novel analyses using ACTG registries. Our faculty have experience working with ACTG data, and can help fellows navigate the proposal process.
The ID-CRU provides the resources and personnel support to conduct HIV and ID clinical research and trials in the Center for Infectious Diseases. We work with multidisciplinary collaborators to oversee the conduct of federally and industry-sponsored infectious disease and HIV research at Boston Medical Center.
Project Trust provides addiction treatment resources, harm reduction education and supplies, and navigation to an array of medical services including primary care and urgent care services. The clinical services are targeted towards injection drug users and transactional sex workers. The on-site Nurse Practitioner helps clients with a range of services including wound treatment and birth control. Project Trust also provides referrals for detox centers to connect clients to Methadone, Suboxone, and Vivitrol treatment.
Boston University has a diverse faculty that conducts nationally and internationally recognized research in HIV/HCV. Fellows can choose to pursue laboratory based research or clinical epidemiological investigations in HIV/HCV. Fellows are encouraged to also explore potential research opportunities outside the Division of Infectious Diseases, such as the Boston University, Department of Microbiology or Boston University School of Public Health.
Faculty with clinical epidemiological based interests
Benjamin Linas, MD, MPH – Associate Professor of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases
Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health
(HCV diagnosis, care cascade and treatment cost effectiveness)
Archana Asundi, MD – Assistant Professor of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases
Director of the Infectious Disease Clinical Research Unit (ID-CRU)
(HIV and Aging, comorbidities of HIV, clinical translational research)
Rachel Epstein, MD, MScE – Assistant Professor of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases
Med-Peds faculty specific advisor lead, Boston University School of Medicine
(care cascade outcome achievement, HIV prevention and medication adherence, cost-effectiveness of HCV and OUD screening/treatment)
Mari-Lynn Drainoni, PhD – Research Professor of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases
Co-Director of the Evans Center for Implementation and Improvement Sciences at Boston University
(Qualitative approaches to investigating HIV and HCV outcomes)
Alex Walley, MD, MSc: – Associate Professor of Medicine, General Internal Medicine,
Director of the Boston University Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program and the Inpatient Addiction Medicine Consult Service, Boston Medical Center
(Substance abuse treatment in HIV and HCV-infected patients)
Simeon Kimmel, MD, MA – Assistant Professor of Medicine, General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases
Medical Director, Project TRUST
(retention in treatment with medications for OUD, and related infections, integration of addiction and harm reduction services within ID care)
Faculty with laboratory based research
Andrew Henderson, PhD – Professor of Professor Medicine and Virology, Immunology & Microbiology, Section of Infectious Diseases,
Assistant Dean Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences
(HIV latency and persistence)
Manish Sagar, MD – Professor of Professor Medicine and Virology, Immunology & Microbiology, Section of Infectious Diseases
Deborah Anderson, PhD – Professor of Professor Medicine and Virology, Immunology & Microbiology, Section of Infectious Diseases
(HIV secretion in the genital tract)
Suryaram Gummuluru, PhD – Associate Professor, Boston University School of Medicine,
Department of Microbiology (HIV and dendritic cell biology)
Gregory Viglianti, PhD – Associate Professor, Boston University School of Medicine,
Department of Microbiology
Assistant Dean, Graduate Medical Sciences
(HIV and macrophage biology)