$3.7 million grant awarded to UAB to study antiviral therapies and accelerated aging

A new grant will look at the effects of aging caused by antiviral therapies in individuals with HIV.

Austad release2People living with HIV are fortunate that effective therapies are now available that dramatically reduce mortality for those infected with that virus. Despite the effects of antiviral therapy on longevity, people living with HIV are showing signs of accelerated aging.

University of Alabama at Birmingham College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology Chair Steve Austad, Ph.D., received a National Institutes of Health five-year grant for $3.7 million to study the intersection of HIV and aging.

People with HIV using antiviral therapy are experiencing earlier onset of age-related diseases including heart disease, cancer and dementia. The grant — through a collaboration of multiple institutions led by UAB, the University of Washington and Wake Forest University — is designed to provide interdisciplinary training to researchers and clinicians in both HIV and aging biology. Investigators will use the knowledge gained from research working at the junction of aging and HIV biology to improve clinical treatment and care of people living with HIV.

Click here to learn more about Austad's 35 years of aging research.

Further, the grant will provide pilot grant support for projects involving molecular links between HIV infection and aging. Researchers will collaborate with the UAB Center for AIDS Research and the McKnight Brain Institute.