Skip to main content

Center Overview

UNC CFAR is to provide infrastructure to support investigation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic using clinical research, behavioral research, research into HIV biology and pathogenesis at the molecular level, and educational outreach.

Who We Are

The UNC CFAR is a consortium of three complementary institutions: The University of North Carolina at Chapel HillResearch Triangle Institute, and FHI 360, with each institution adding significantly to the breadth of the research effort. UNC-Chapel Hill is a major research university with an undergraduate and graduate campus, and five Health Affairs Schools: Medicine, Public Health, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Nursing. These schools balance clinical, teaching, and research missions. RTI is focused on both contract and grant-funded research, largely domestic but expanding into international work. FHI 360 has almost an exclusively international contract and research portfolio, along with an international service mission largely supported by USAID and charitable foundations. The complementary strengths of these institutions make our CFAR unique and extend the reach of our activities.

What We Do

The UNC CFAR provides incentive for cross fertilization within one of the largest groups of scientists in the country, one that covers the entire spectrum of HIV/AIDS-related research. The current UNC CFAR membership includes over 200 active researchers and over three times that many researchers receive news of CFAR events, programs and HIV/AIDS-related funding opportunities.

The choice of a consortium between UNC-Chapel Hill, RTI and FHI 360 was made to bring together reinforcing research interests and to enhance the research potential at each institution. UNC-Chapel Hill starts with a breadth of excellence in critical areas of HIV/AIDS and related research: prevention, detection, and treatment. RTI brings significant strengths in behavioral studies and in pharmacology. These strengths are integrated into the CFAR structure to allow synergistic interactions between the behavioral and pharmacology scientists at UNC-Chapel Hill and RTI. Access to a comprehensive specimen repository through the Clinical Core opens new avenues of research for RTI scientists. Similarly, the link to FHI 360 provides interactions at an international level dealing with issues of HIV prevention. These complement similar international efforts led by UNC-Chapel Hill researchers. Collectively, the members of the UNC CFAR embrace the breadth of social, medical, and biological issues presented by the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The UNC CFAR is designed to provide infrastructure to support four powerful approaches to understanding and combating the global HIV/AIDS epidemic: clinical research, behavioral research, research into mechanisms at the molecular level, and educational outreach. Infrastructure for these four approaches provides needed support for our research community as we pursue the fundamental issues of HIV/AIDS research and education.

UNC CFAR Highlights

The UNC CFAR is located in the Southeastern U.S.

which is the epicenter of the domestic HIV and STD epidemic. Many UNC CFAR resources are focused here with investigators and ongoing research efforts contributing to HIV prevention and treatment in this unique part of the U.S.

The UNC CFAR has a history of very successful collaboration

in health sciences fostered by the geography of the campus and our culture. Our truly multidisciplinary structure integrates and spans traditional basic science, translational and behavioral research, through substantial work in public health.

The UNC CFAR inspires new science

with investigators making drug and vaccine discoveries, developing new methods for detection of acute HIV infection, helping to define new methods of treatment and care, and making important observations about social forces affecting the spread of HIV.

The UNC CFAR embraces and integrates prevention and care

as well as HIV and STD research leading to important discoveries and interventions.

The UNC CFAR works hard on translational research

from the laboratory to the community, with important discoveries advancing to the level of clinical trials. Our experimental public health interventions, especially in the area of acute infection, have become state and national policy.

The UNC CFAR strongly supports international research

and has used resources to develop and amplify HIV research in resource-constrained countries and regions important to the global pandemic.

The UNC CFAR supports research addressing NIH Institute agendas:

National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID)
Vaccine development, transmission and prevention research, clinical research, basic research in cellular immunology, protease inhibitor resistance, gene regulation of CMV, drug development and classical STD research.

National Cancer Institute (NCI)
The study of herpesviruses important in AIDS-related malignancies (lymphoma and KS) including gene therapy approaches and drug development.

National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
The study of adolescent health, intravaginal microbicides, symptom management and parental caregiving in HIV-infected African-American mothers, AIDS control and prevention, pediatric clinical trials.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases, the translation of basic discoveries into clinical practice.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
The study of effects of opioids on the immune system, HIV risk behaviors and psychiatric disorder in women, drug development for opiate withdrawal, and outreach study to impact risk reduction in IDU populations.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
The study of neuropsychiatric and pyschoimmune relationships in HIV, neruoimaging in HIV, HIV neurologic disease in women and studies of AIDS dementia.

National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Genetic, biological, clinical, behavioral, social, and economic research on aging, extramural programs for research and training at universities, hospitals, medical centers, and other public and private organizations nationwide.

National Institute on Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
The study of diabetes, digestive, and kidney diseases, clinical research on the diseases of internal medicine and related subspecialty fields.

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Scientific research to improve minority health and eliminate health disparities, training of a diverse workforce, infrastructure development, public education and information dissemination programs.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Scientific research to improve oral, dental, and craniofacial health through research, research training, and the dissemination of health information.

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Clinical and basic research and research training on health and illness, research that spans and integrates the behavioral and biological sciences, and that develops the scientific basis for clinical practice. NINR’s scientific programs encompass the following topics: symptom science, wellness, self-management of chronic conditions, end-of-life and palliative care, innovative technologies, and training nurse scientists.

Office of AIDS Research (OAR)
Advancing research to end the HIV pandemic and improve health outcomes for people with HIV. Ensuring that NIH HIV/AIDS research funding is  directed at the highest priority research areas and to facilitate maximal return on the investment.

Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Supporting and facilitating global health research conducted by U.S. and international investigators, building partnerships between health research institutions in the United States and abroad, and training the next generation of scientists to address global health needs.