Giving jaws to SHARC

Giving jaws to SHARC

UF receives $2.5 million to support studies of HIV and alcohol use

By Jill Pease

UF has received a $2.5 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to support studies on HIV infection and high-risk alcohol consumption.

The new funding will allow the Southern HIV Alcohol Research Consortium, nicknamed SHARC, to establish an administrative and research support arm to expand research sites across Florida, facilitate new research studies, provide research training support and create partnerships with Florida county health departments and HIV clinics.

“The ultimate goal of our work is to implement research findings in clinical and public health settings, help people reduce high-risk alcohol consumption and improve health outcomes in persons with HIV infection,” said consortium administrative director Robert Cook, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of epidemiology and medicine at the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine. “This will help us directly address a major public health issue in Florida by maximizing research productivity, enhancing collaborations and supporting new researchers.”

Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., are ranked first and second, respectively, in the U.S. in terms of HIV infection rates per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During the past 10 years, the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Florida has increased the most among residents age 50 and older.

Other UF consortium members include Babette Brumback, Ph.D., an associate professor of biostatistics; Jeffrey Harman, Ph.D., an associate professor and the Louis C. and Jane Gapenski Term Professor of Health Services Administration; and Catherine Price, Ph.D., an assistant professor of clinical and health psychology.