NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute on Drug Abuse will give up to $5 million in grants to support research into how epigenomics factors into HIV infection and pathogenesis in combination with substance abuse.
The aim of the program is to support innovative hypothesis-driven or hypothesis-generating research into how epigenomic processes and non-coding RNAs are involved in HIV/AIDS.
The research may include studies of epigenetic regulation of HIV infection, epigenetic processes associated with disease progression in individuals with a history of substance abuse, and the effects of epigenomics changes associated with drug abuse on HIV/AIDS.
The funding would cover studies that use samples from drug abusing populations or relevant in vivo or in vitro models, as well as new collaborations to foster sharing expertise between the fields of HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, and epigenomics.
These grants could fund a wide range of studies that explore how epigenomics relates to drug abuse and HIV/AIDS, such as investigation of epigenomics changes caused by environmental exposures that impact HIV or AIDS; identification of epigenomics changes to the host or viral genome that impact HIV gene expression, HIV replication, and copy number of integrated proviruses; epigenetic processes that affect the host immune response to infection, as well as the effects of drugs of abuse; and epigenetic processes that influence high risk sexual behavior, thereby impacting vulnerability for HIV, among others.