Grand Rounds

Dr. Craig R. Cohen | "Role of the genital microbiota and mucosal immunity on HIV transmission in women"

When Dec 11, 2013
from 01:30 PM to 02:30 PM
Where Clinic Auditorium
Contact Name Abby Roberts Fisher
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Craig Cohen, MD, MPH

Professor In-Residence, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences
Founding Director, Family AIDS Care and Education Services (FACES)
International Director, UCSF-Gladstone Institute Center for AIDS Research 
Director, UCSF Reproductive Infectious Disease Fellowship and UCGHI GloCal Health Fellowship



Craig Cohen, MD, MPH, is a Professor In-Residence in the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Co-Director of the UC Global Health Institute(UCGHI) Center of Expertise in Women’s Health & Empowerment, International Director for the UCSF-Gladstone Institute Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and an Attending Physician at San Francisco General Hospital.  He conducts medical research in three major areas: i) HIV and sexually transmitted infection prevention, ii) HIV/AIDS care and support and iii) integration of HIV and reproductive health services in developing countries.

In 1994, Dr. Cohen and his colleague Dr. Elizabeth Bukusi at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) established the Research Care and Treatment Program (RCTP) a collaboration with projects in Nyanza Province and Nairobi, Kenya.  In addition to conducting research, the goal of the program is to enhance local capacity to conduct biomedical research through training and infrastructure development. RCTP employs over 700 full-time staff in Kenya including epidemiologists, physicians, nurse-counselors, laboratory technologists, field workers, data managers, biostatisticians and administrative staff.

Dr. Cohen has been the Founding Director of the Family AIDS Care and Education Services (FACES) since its creation in 2004.  FACES is a CDC PEPFAR-funded HIV/AIDS care and treatment program in Western Kenya and Nairobi, that supports the Kenyan Ministry of Health at 140 facilities, and has enrolled over 130,000 patients into the HIV care program.  As part of FACES, Dr. Cohen has also developed the Student Training Elective Program (STEP), which allows medical and other professional students and residents to do clinical and research electives at FACES-supported sites.

Additionally, Dr. Cohen directs the UCSF Reproductive Infectious Disease (RID) Fellowship, which aims to provide Ob/Gyn and post-doctoral trainees with the tools and experience necessary to develop into independent investigators and launch productive careers in the field of RID.  In addition, he directs the UCGHI GloCal Health Fellowship, a program that provides support to post-doctoral fellows and doctoral students from throughout the UC system, as well as the 27 affiliated international institutions located on five continents. Overall, Dr. Cohen has directly mentored more than 70 predoctoral students, residents and post-doctoral fellows, most of who have conducted research in Kenya.

Areas of Interest:

  • Etiology and treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease and bacterial vaginosis
  • Prevention of sexually transmitted infections, bacterial vaginosis and HIV
  • Microbicides, probiotics and multipurpose technologies
  • Improvement of care to HIV infected persons living in resource poor settings
  • Integration of reproductive health and HIV services
  • Research training and infrastructure development in developing countries

Ongoing Research Projects:

Title: MucoCept - Exploratory Clinical Studies in Human Subjects Involving the Use of Genetically Engineered GusA-Expressing Lactobacillus

Key Funder(s): Osel, Inc.Major Project 

Goal: This set of studies will explore the safety and colonization rate of a genetically engineered Lactobacillus strain administered vaginally as a single or three doses to healthy women.  This will prepare for future expanded studies on the safety and efficacy of a live microbicide MucoCept delivering antiretroviral agents to the vaginal flora for prevention of HIV acquisition.

Principal Investigator: Craig Cohen 

Title: Pilot agricultural intervention for food security and HIV health outcomes in Kenya   

Key Funder: NIMH 

Major Project Goal: This study investigates whether a combination intervention including agricultural training, irrigation and microfinance will improve the health of people infected by HIV including their families. 

Principal Investigator: Craig Cohen and Sheri Weiser 

Title: Integration of Family Planning Services into HIV Care and Treatment in Nyanza Province, Kenya Key 

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Major Project Goal: This study seeks to determine whether integrating family planning services into HIV care and treatment programs affects contraceptive uptake, contraceptive continuation, and unintended pregnancy rates. 

Principal Investigator: Craig Cohen

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