A George Washington University researcher is launching a five-year study to broaden the understanding of the molecular factors that allow cocaine to influence the spread of HIV. This research could assist in developing therapeutic strategies for coacine users, both those infected and not infected with the virus.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded more than $2.3 million to a research team led by Mudit Tyagi, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at George Washington's School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Tyagi's research already has shown that cocaine can enhance the replication and transcription of HIV.
“In order to determine just how cocaine is able to affect the spread of HIV, the research team will study cell lines and primary cell samples from HIV patients who are and are not using the drug,” a news release from the university states.
The research seeks to identify cocaine-stimulated pathways in order to develop biomarkers for cocaine use that are more effective than conventional drug testing.