The National Institutes of Health has again recognized researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine with a major award, which continue bolsters IU’s prominent position as one of only six sexually transmitted disease research centers in the United States.
The NIH awarded $7 million to establish the Midwest Sexually Transmitted Infections and Topical Microbicides Cooperative Research Center. The IU-based center focuses on research in both adults and adolescents, and includes researchers at IU and Northwestern University through a consortium agreement.. The overarching theme of the center is to study the epidemiology, acquisition, prevention and pathogenesis of sexually transmitted infections in young women. Specific projects include:
• studies of sexual behaviors among adolescents that influence the transmission of infections and adolescents’ acceptance of topical microbicides that could prevent STIs
• research on the bacteria and viruses responsible for the genital ulcer diseases herpes and chancroid to determine how they cause ulcers and on interactions between these agents of STI and the human immunodeficiency virus
• research on how human papilloma virus causes cervical cancer
The grant also helps fund the center’s administrative, biostatistics, clinical and laboratory cores. The newly formed center represents the collaborative strength of infectious diseases, adolescent medicine, biostatistics and microbiology and immunology.
The center director is Stanley Spinola, M.D., director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and David H. Jacobs Professor of Infectious Diseases,; and Donald Orr, M.D., director of the Divission of Adolescent Medicine and professor of pediatrics, is co-director.