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Development Core

Objectives and Goals

  • Promote innovative hypothesis driven, high-risk, high-impact NeuroAids research with aims relevant to the mission of NIMH
  • Promote new kinds of cross-disciplinary collaborations
  • Encourage the participation of new and established investigators
  • Generate data and publications for use in applying for NIH and other peer funding

The Developmental Core has been largely successful in accomplishing these aims:

  • Out of 18 pilot grants funded, 83% went to new investigators,
  • 5/13 awardees have received subsequent NIH or other grants based on their pilot data,
  • 9 abstracts and 5 publications were published with 22 citations thus far

Several of the funded pilot projects have been collaborations between investigators with expertise in distinct areas of neuroscience and in a few cases, interdisciplinary in nature. In one collaboration, pilot data generated helped to further the aims of the Therapeutic Core and led to preliminary data for other program project grants (Shin/Steiner).

The pilot program supported studies in a variety of areas in the NeuroAIDS field including molecular and cellular neuroscience, clinical, neuroimaging and animal studies thereby taking advantage of the expertise of the faculty at Johns Hopkins. One pilot project is focused on examining the relationship between aging and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder using neuroimaging (Mohamed), while another aims to understand the activation of brain endothelium in HAND (Stins), both timely and emerging areas of investigation in NeuroAIDS.

Through the suggestions and assistance of members of the JHU NIMH Center, pilot awardees used the valuable resources of the MACS, and SHCS cohorts (Viscidi). The pilot grants allowed the pursuit of novel directions with a focus on the most at-risk populations under guided academic mentoring that might not otherwise have been accomplished due to lack of funds (Gamaldo). We expect that the full impact of the Development Core on the research capacity of JHU will be realized as more recently funded projects come to fruition and mature projects continue to grow.

Faculty Members

Ahmet Hoke, MD, PhD
Amanda Brown, PhD


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