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A major grant from The Swedish Research Council to Senior Researcher Ujjwal Neogi

Congratulations Ujjwal Neogi awarded with more than 24.9MSEK for five years to a project titled “A clinical trans-omics multidisciplinary study to understand the role of antiretroviral therapy in premature aging of the immune system in HIV-infection.”

Congratulations on your grant. Could you please explain what your research is about?

Sweden is among the countries that reach world health organization’s 90-90-90 goal with effective retention in care and treatment success. Although mortality is prevented and/or delayed because of effective cART, HIV-1-infected patients need to take medication life-long. The cART has also shifted the spectrum of morbidity towards non-infectious complications such as cardiovascular and neurocognitive diseases that appear at an earlier age in PLHIV than in HIV-uninfected individuals. This multi-disciplinary research aims to understand the mechanism of immune-aging and inflamm-aging in people living with HIV (PLHIV) using an unbiased, comprehensive high-throughput molecular data-first approach integrating the data generated from the multi-omics platforms (epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and microbiome) with clinical information and functional studies with conventional immunological assays.

How does the network contribute to improving health for HIV-infected patients?

In this application, we will apply newer statistical methods, advanced technologies with high-throughput multi-omics and conventional immunological assays. The findings will also be validated prospectively in a larger clinical cohort and bio-banked material to identify a frame of reference for what might be required in clinical intervention strategies to delay the premature aging in PLHIV. Therefore, the study will generate immense knowledge that can be translated into the future clinical intervention study to improve the quality of life in PLHIV. Also, our research will result in new therapeutic targets and potential in new diagnostic assays for HIV-aging related research and a more detailed characterization of the patient’s HIV-specific immune system. Any new biomarkers will add significance to the monitoring of treated HIV-1 patients, allowing more individualized care.

The study will be conducted in collaboration with Anders Sönnerborg (Laboratory Medicine, KI), Piotr Nowak (Medicine Huddinge, KI), Erin Gabriel (Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, KI), Akos Vegvari (Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, KI), Aman Russom (KTH Royal Institute of Technology) and Ulf Landegren (Uppsala University).