• Tina Brenneman

    January 1, 1970 pendari Leadership

    [Spotlight originally posted August, 2011]

    Tina Brenneman joined SSS as the ACTG Operations Center Director on June 20, 2011.

    Tina has over 20 years of experience in management of federally funded clinical trials and epidemiologic studies.  She played key roles at the George Washington University Biostatistics Center Coordinating Centers for the Diabetes Complications and Control Trial (DCCT) and as a Research Scientist for the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), as the National Project Coordinator and Coordinating Center Manager. These programs were both funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders (NIDDK). The DCCT developed standards of care for insulin-dependent diabetes, and the DPP successfully prevented diabetes in high-risk persons using both lifestyle and drug treatment approaches.

    At Westat in Rockville, Maryland, Tina was a Senior Project Director and Manager of Development for the National Children’s Study Coordinating Center, and she worked with several large development teams.  She also served as the Project Director for private industry clinical trials in infectious disease.

    Tina grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland and returned there after college.  She attended Webster College/University in St. Louis where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology/Sociology and pursued graduate studies at George Washington University.

    Tina happily pursues volunteer work at Great and Small (http://www.greatandsmallride.org), a non-profit community-based program that provides therapeutic horseback riding lessons to persons with a wide range of physical, emotional, and cognitive disabilities. She also assists with rescued horses, where she applies her expertise in training to recondition and retrain rescue horses, including thoroughbreds retired from the track and school horses.

    Tina is excited about her new position and looks forward to meeting and working with everyone throughout the DAIDS-sponsored HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks.

  • Dr. Ian Sanne

    January 1, 1970 pendari Leadership

    [Spotlight originally posted June, 2011]

    Prof. Ian Sanne is an associate professor of internal medicine and infectious diseases at the University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Health Sciences, and Adjunct Professor, Boston University School of International Development and Health. He is the founder and Division Head of the Clinical HIV Research Unit (1997), which is active in the development, of transformative clinical research into new diagnostic tests for, and the treatment of HIV, tuberculosis and infectious diseases. Prof. Sanne is also the founding Division Head of the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Unit (2002), a collaborative effort with Boston University’s School of International Health. He is the Principal Investigator of a Clinical Trials Unit that addresses adult treatment, pediatric treatment, preventing mother-to-child transmission, HIV prevention, and microbicide research. Additionally Prof. Sanne is the founding and Managing Director of Right to Care (RTC-2002), a not-for profit company that has implemented USAID/PEPFAR funding in support of the national antiretroviral therapy rollout program for HIV/AIDS treatment. Since 2001, RTC has supported over 135,000 patients on antiretroviral therapy, 150,000 patients in care and support, conducted 250,000 Voluntary Counseling and Testing sessions a year, and trained over 5000 health care workers. RTC focuses on providing access to care through high quality, innovative treatment solutions in both the public and private sectors. A for-profit subsidiary Right to Care Health Services (2008) was formed to address HIV- and TB-related activities in the private sector. Prof. Sanne has 50 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of HIV/TB and Health Economics Research.

  • Dr. Robert W. Coombs

    January 1, 1970 pendari Leadership

    [Spotlight originally posted December, 2010]

    Dr. Bob Coombs, MD, PhD, FRCPC, is proud to work with some of the best immunologists, pharmacologists, virologists, laboratory technologists and other clinical trials support staff in the country.  Bob is Professor of Laboratory Medicine & Medicine at the University of Washington (UW) and an Attending Physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. He is Director of the UW Clinical Retrovirology Laboratory – which also serves as the ACTG Virology Specialty Laboratory (VSL) & Retrovirology Laboratory Core for the UW-CFAR – Medical Director of the UW Medicine Roosevelt Virology/AIDS Clinic and Vice-Chair for Research, Department of Laboratory Medicine.

    Bob’s main research interest includes the role of urogenital HIV-shedding in the sexual transmission of HIV-1 and the laboratory monitoring of HIV-1 for support of our ACTG clinical trials. He has had a leadership role in the development of HIV-1 virology laboratories and quality assurance programs for HIV-1 clinical trails sponsored by the NIH/DAIDS since 1988.

    Finally, Bob enjoys scuba diving, photography and nourishing his Canadian roots in a wilderness cottage near Ladysmith, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, eh?

  • Dr. Judith S. Currier

    January 1, 1970 pendari Leadership

    [Spotlight originally posted October, 2010]

    Dr. Currier is Professor of Medicine, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases and Co-Director of the Center for AIDS Research and Education Center (CARE) at the University of California Los Angeles at UCLA. She is Vice Chair of the NIH sponsored AIDS Clinical Trials Group and is currently the Principal Investigator of the UCLA AIDS Prevention and Treatment Clinical Trials Unit. The unit includes four sites in Los Angeles and is involved in community based prevention, HIV vaccine research and therapeutic clinical trials. Her areas of expertise include evaluating new antiretroviral therapies and treatment for complications associated with HIV infection. She has also led several efforts to expand the study of sex differences in treatment outcomes and to enhance research on women with HIV.

  • Dr. Daniel R. Kuritzkes

    January 1, 1970 pendari Leadership

    [Spotlight originally posted August, 2010]

    Dr. Kuritzkes, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of AIDS Research, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, was elected by the ACTG Voting Members in December 2009 to lead the ACTG Network as Network Chair/PI and to chair the Executive Committee. He is Director of AIDS Research/Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an ACTG Clinical Trials Unit PI.

    Dr. Kuritzkes has published numerous articles on HIV antiretroviral therapy and has chaired several multicenter studies of HIV therapy. He also has published extensively on the problem of drug resistance in HIV infection and serves on the IAS-USA panel that developed guidelines for drug resistance testing. He has served on numerous NIH committees and chaired the HIV Disease Research Agenda Committee of the Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group. Dr Kuritzkes is a member of the editorial boards of several journals and serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

  • US Honors Women's Role in Research

    January 1, 1970 pendari Leadership

    The AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Network would like to acknowledge all of the women and girls who are infected or affected by HIV every day, but especially March 10, National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the United States. The ACTG is committed to including women in its clinical trials at every point in the process from development to enrollment to reporting results that include sex comparisons. We appreciate your courage and commitment to continuing this important research so that we can further understand how HIV/AIDS uniquely impacts women and girls.

    Susan E. Cohn, MD, MPH, Investigator at the ACTG’s Northwestern University Clinical Research Site, and Co-Chair of the ACTG Women’s Health Inter-Network Scientific Committee (WHISC), and Cindy Firnhaber, MD, Technical Director of the ACTG’s Clinical HIV Research Unit in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Co-Vice-Chair of the ACTG WHISC.

  • A Call for Applications

    January 1, 1970 pendari Leadership

    In 1996, Kim Smith, MD, MPH, became one of the first two recipients of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group’s (ACTG’s) Minority HIV Investigator Mentoring Program (MHIMP). Now 17 years later, Smith, as Chair of the Network’s Underrepresented Populations Committee (UPC), will help choose the next pair of MHIMP recipients.

    “The ACTG is a place where you can come and do multi-center work on a wide range of HIV research topics that impact minorities including women, Latinos and people of color,” says Smith, the Clinical Research Site (CRS) Leader at Rush University Medical Center. “My time in the program introduced me to every aspect of a clinical trial. I am still conducting studies with the ACTG at Rush and my colleague who was in the program with me is also still in HIV research.”

    The MHIMP program allows a site within the ACTG Network to offer a mentorship to a junior minority investigator with an interest in studying virology, immunology, pharmacology or another aspect of HIV/AIDS research. The award is granted to two participants through the UPC every year. When accepting the award, the recipient agrees to serve on the UPC as well as an ACTG scientific committee or working group.

    The deadline for applications was Friday, March 29, 2013.

    Candice McNeil, MD, MPH, is halfway through her MHIMP award at the ACTG’s Stanford CRS.  She completed graduate training in Epidemiology at University of Miami, where she received an Award of Academic Merit. McNeil earned her medical degree at Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed a primary care residency in Medicine and Pediatrics in the Yale New Haven Health System. She joined Stanford in 2008 for Infectious Diseases fellowship training, where her research interests include infectious diseases in women, genitourinary human papillomavirus infections and screening for cervical and anal carcinoma in high-risk and HIV infected persons.

    “In this difficult funding environment, having support from the MHIMP that allows you to pursue your research interests is priceless,” says McNeil. “The mentorship connections are so helpful as well. Where else can you have access to so many experts to bounce ideas off of?”

    McNeil is also grateful that the award has given her protected time to focus on research work and develop new projects within the ACTG. This is a sentiment past MHIMP participant Jose Castillo-Mancilla, MD, echoes.

    “People you would be embarrassed to even approach before, I can now email with a new idea,” says Castillo-Mancilla, an investigator at the ACTG’s site at the University of Colorado Hospital CRS.

    Originally from Mexico, Castillo-Mancilla knew he wanted to continue further training in the United States. Unfortunately, because of visa limitations, he was not able to get the research opportunities that he wanted right away. Later, he found it difficult to continue down the path he wanted due to a limited background in research.

    Luckily, his colleague and later his MHIMP mentor, Thomas Campbell, MD, CRS Leader at the University of Colorado Hospital, recommended that Castillo-Mancilla apply for the MHIMP award.

    “The award provided the catalyst for Jose to get involved with ACTG research and develop other research ideas,” says Campbell. “Without this, it would have been much harder.”

    “If I had not been awarded the program, none of this would have happened,” adds Castillo-Mancilla. “It validated my efforts to have the ACTG behind me. It allowed me to open up to a world where a lot of doors had been closed in the past.”