« Back

November 13, 2018

2018 CCTS Clinical Scholar Graduate Yehuda Cohen Awarded K23 Grant
By Michelle Romanick

Yehuda Cohen, recent graduate of the Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science Master’s degree in Clinical and Translational Science was selected to receive a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23). The K23 award provides support program is to support the career development of individuals with a clinical doctoral degree who have the potential to develop into productive, clinical investigators and who have made a commitment to focus their research endeavors on patient-oriented research.

Dr. Cohen’s project entitled, ‘Exploring the Dynamics and Composition of The Latent HIV Reservoir by Analyzing the Diversity of the Replication-Competent Reservoir.’ This five-year project is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was awarded in July 2018. Dr. Cohen’s mentor is Dr. Michel Nussenzweig, Zanvil A. Cohn and Ralph M. Steinman Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology.

Dr. Cohen’s research focuses on understanding the hidden “reservoir” of HIV in patients, since eradicating this source of virus is key to curing the disease. He has made major advances in improving the assay used to detect the viruses in the reservoir and has shown that the reservoir contains a greater diversity of viral subtypes than previously appreciated.

His grant award summary is ‘Despite tremendous advances in the treatment of HIV, approximately 6000 new infections occur each day, and new prophylactic or curative strategies are needed to halt the epidemic. The greatest barrier to achieving a cure for HIV infection is the presence of a reservoir of latently infected cells that reactivate upon the cessation of antiretroviral therapy. We propose to implement a novel assay to increase our understanding of the composition, location, and dynamics of this reservoir in order to better design and test curative strategies.’

Dr. Cohen’s will use the award to continue his research at Rockefeller University with a future plan to transition to a faculty position at one of New York City’s academic medical centers.