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National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium

NAMHC Concept Clearance


Kathy L. Kopnisky, Ph.D.
Chief, HIV Therapeutics & Psychiatric Pathogenesis Program
Center for Mental Health Research on AIDS (CMHRA)
Division of AIDS and Health and Behavior Research


The Center for Mental Health Research on AIDS has designed this initiative to solicit two application types: (1) competing continuation applications to support the clinical assessments and banking of tissues and fluids at the National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium (NNTC) sites; and (2) new applications to support a single associated database center referred to as the National Coordination Office (NCO). The initiative represents a reorganization of the existing multi-site brain bank structures that will incorporate a cohort-based scientific agenda into the ongoing functions of the consortium. Only a resource like the NNTC can furnish researchers with such well-characterized brains and fluids from HIV+ populations as the disease evolves. The NNTC may provide unforeseen epidemiology-related information that is increasingly valuable as diagnosable end-stage patients are surviving and living longer lives.

The NNTC is a brain and fluid collection bank and a research resource for the scientific community, first established in 1998 as a repository primarily for brain tissue and fluids from highly characterized HIV+ individuals. The NNTC includes information from over 2000 individuals, including approximately 641 brains, thousands of plasma and cerebrospinal fluid samples, and additional organs and nerves of interest, with citations in over 200 scientific publications to date. This initiative will foster multi-site development in the following areas: (1) recruitment, assessment, and maintenance of tissue donors; (2) development of an internal scientific agenda that capitalizes on the accumulated data and site-specific capacity and expertise; and (3) development of an external scientific agenda for the research community at large.

NCO functions will include administrative support, management of the NNTC Website, scripts necessary for site data uploads, aggregation of the common data set uploaded monthly from each NNTC site, and development of descriptive statistics on the cohort.

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