Core Clinical

Core C redThe Clinical Core has been a cornerstone of the UAB CFAR for over two decades. Iterative expansion of the depth and breadth of core services have been implemented to meet changing investigator needs, to address new knowledge gaps and accompanying shifts in the scientific agenda, and to study the evolving HIV epidemic. Building upon a long-standing history of successful service provision resulting in high impact scientific discovery, the importance and future direction of the Clinical Core is as dynamic as it has ever been. Clinical and behavioral scientists need novel data elements that are not historically captured and housed in the expansive clinical database maintained by the Core. There is also an emerging need for research coordination and health informatics services to implement prospective research studies that are in keeping with the US National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Basic and translational scientists increasingly require biological specimens that are not routinely captured and banked, often from unique patient phenotypes, requiring targeted identification and sample collection. Accordingly, the Clinical Core is rapidly adapting and instituting innovative and expanded services in response to user needs and to support the overarching UAB CFAR scientific mission and pillars of prevention, drug discovery, pathogenesis, and the natural history of HIV in the modern treatment era.


Patient Samples and Data Services

The Clinical Core maintains and provides patient samples from a comprehensive and efficient Specimen Repository obtained from well-characterized patients for collaborative investigations involving multiple research disciplines. Contact the Clinical Core to have samples processed or obtain samples for research purposes. The Core also provides samples to other CFARs and outside investigators to aid scientific research.

 Types of specimens available include:ClinicalForm

  • Fresh blood
  • Plasma
  • Serum
  • Peripheral blood mononuclear cells
  • Mucosal secretions
  • Mucosal biopsies
  • Lymph node biopsies
  • Skin biopsies

The Core also provides plasmaphoresis and leukophoresis to CFAR members and network organizations in order to provide a greater volume of samples from a few patients with unique characteristics (e.g., long term nonprogressors).

The Clinical Core also provides a Computerized Database and Informatics Service to store and access complex, interactive data to assist with study design and to conduct appropriate data analysis. For more information, visit the UAB 1917 Clinic Cohort website.

  • The Core works with young and established UAB investigators as well as outside researchers to provide data queries and identification of potential research subjects who meet clinical or scientific criteria for retrospective or prospective translational research studies.
  • The Clinical Core will collaborate with other CFARs and institutions in the form of computerized informatics and biostatistics expertise to assist with launching their own databases. 



Clinical Research Training Services are provided at all levels (from students to research staff representing a variety of disciplines to seasoned faculty updating their skills).

  • Provide training for a variety of domestic health care workers and students with potential HIV research career interests.
  • Collaborate with the Biostatistical Core to provide research methods, database, and statistical training of local and international investigators.
  • Coordinate with the Developmental Core to match trainees or new researchers to appropriate mentors and projects.
  • Collaborate with the International Core to provide leadership and expertise to build research capacity in international sites, including the long-distance exchange of information as well as on-site research training and advice.


Howe CJ, Cole SR, Napravnik S, Kaufman JS, Adimora AA, Elston B, Eron JJ Jr, Mugavero MJ. The role of at-risk alcohol/drug use and treatment in appointment attendance and virologic suppression among HIV(+) African Americans. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2014;30(3):233-40. Epub 2014/01/20. PMID: 24325326.

Bess KD, Adams J, Watt MH, O'donnell JK, Gaynes BN, Thielman NM, Heine A, Zinski A, Raper JL, Pence BW. Providers' attitudes towards treating depression and self-reported depression treatment practices in HIV outpatient care. AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2013;27(3):171-80. Epub 2013/02/28. PMID: 23442030; PMCID: PMC3595951.

Dombrowski JC, Kitahata MM, Van Rompaey SE, Crane HM, Mugavero MJ, Eron JJ, Boswell SL, Rodriguez B, Mathews WC, Martin JN, Moore RD, Golden MR. High Levels of Antiretroviral Use and Viral Suppression among Persons in HIV Care in the United States, 2010. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2013. Epub 2013/04/11. PMID: 23572013.

Kozak M, Zinski A, Leeper C, Willig JH, Mugavero MJ. Late diagnosis, delayed presentation and late presentation in HIV: proposed definitions, methodological considerations and health implications. Antivir Ther. 2013;18(1):17-23. Epub 2013/01/24. PMID: 23341432.

4) Merlin JS, Zinski A, Norton WE, Ritchie CS, Saag MS, Mugavero MJ, Treisman G, Hooten WM. A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Chronic Pain in Patients with HIV. Pain Pract. 2013. Epub 2013/04/05. PMID: 23551857.

Perry BA, Westfall AO, Molony E, Tucker R, Ritchie C, Saag MS, Mugavero MJ, Merlin JS. Characteristics of an Ambulatory Palliative Care Clinic for HIV-Infected Patients. J Palliat Med. 2013. Epub 2013/03/13. PMID: 23477304.

Willig JH, Westfall AO, Mugavero M, Nevin CR, Correll T, Duggal A, Guyer W, Saag MS, Juday T. Effect of persistency of first-line HIV antiretroviral therapy on clinical outcomes. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2013;29(4):698-703. Epub 2012/11/16. PMID: 23151191; PMCID: PMC3607971.

Yanik EL, Napravnik S, Ryscavage P, Eron JJ, Koletar SL, Moore RD, Zinski A, Cole SR, Hunt P, Crane HM, Kahn J, Mathews WC, Mayer KH, Taiwo BO, On Behalf of the Center for Aids Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems Cohort S. Hematologic, Hepatic, Renal, and Lipid Laboratory Monitoring After Initiation of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy in the United States, 2000-2010. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2013;63(2):216-20. Epub 2013/03/01. PMID: 23446495; PMCID: PMC3654034.

Liao HX, Lynch R, Zhou T, Gao F, Alam SM, Boyd SD, Fire AZ, Roskin KM, Schramm CA, Zhang Z, Zhu J, Shapiro L, Program NCS, Mullikin JC, Gnanakaran S, Hraber P, Wiehe K, Kelsoe G, Yang G, Xia SM, Montefiori DC, Parks R, Lloyd KE, Scearce RM, Soderberg KA, Cohen M, Kamanga G, Louder MK, Tran LM, Chen Y, Cai F, Chen S, Moquin S, Du X, Joyce MG, Srivatsan S, Zhang B, Zheng A, Shaw GM, Hahn BH, Kepler TB, Korber BT, Kwong PD, Mascola JR, Haynes BF. Co-evolution of a broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibody and founder virus. Nature. 2013;496(7446):469-76. Epub 2013/04/05. PMID: 23552890; PMCID: PMC3637846.

Kraemer RR, La Hoz RM, Willig JH. Some Like It Hot: Erythema Ab Igne due to Cannabinoid Hyperemesis. J Gen Intern Med. 2013. Epub 2013/04/25. PMID: 23613265.

Bachmann LH, Grimley DM, Gao H, Aban I, Chen H, Raper JL, Saag MS, Rhodes SD, Hook EW, 3rd. Impact of a computer-assisted, provider-delivered intervention on sexual risk behaviors in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) in a primary care setting. AIDS Educ Prev. 2013;25(2):87-101. Epub 2013/03/22. PMID: 23514077.

Contact Information

                                              Pictured: Drs. Turner Overton, Greer Burkholder and Michael Mugavero

Michael Mugavero, MD, MHSC
Email: mmugavero@uab.edu 

Greer A. Burkholder, MD, MSPH (Database and Informatics)
Email: gburkhol@uab.edu

Sonya L. Heath, MD (Specimen Repository)
Email: heaths@uab.edu

E. Turner Overton, MD (Education and Training)
Email: toverton@uab.edu 

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Community Care Building (CCB)
908 20th Street South
Birmingham AL 35294-2050