Collaborating Consortium of Cohorts Producing NIDA Opportunities (C3PNO) Meeting

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NIDA Neurosciences Building Suite 3103, 6001 Executive Blvd., Rockville, MD


United States

Meeting Summary


NIDA AIDS Research Program

  • Redonna Chandler
  • Vasundhara Varthakavi

Federal Agency Representatives

  • Sean Altekruse (NHLBI)
  • Rick Berzon (NIMHD)
  • Kendall Bryant (NIAAA)
  • David Burns (NIAID)
  • Carolyn Deal (NIAID)
  • Senad Handanagic (CDC)
  • Rohan Hazra (NICHD)
  • Robin Heubner (NIAID)
  • Richard Jenkins (NIDA)
  • Sonia Lee (NICHD)
  • Raul Mandler (NIDA)
  • John Satterlee (NIDA)
  • David Stoff (NIMH)
  • Natalie Tomitch (OAR)
  • Carlie Williams (NIAID)
  • Shimian Zou (NHLBI)

C3PNO Coordinating Center

  • Pamina Gorbach
  • Soyeon Kim
  • Amy Ragsdale
  • Benjamin Schalet
  • Suzanne Siminski

C3PNO External Scientific Advisory Board

  • Kenneth Mayer
  • David Vlahov
  • Daniel Werb

Cohort Representatives

  • Marianna Baum (MASH)
  • Jennifer Fulcher (mSTUDY)
  • Michele Kipke (HYM)
  • Katrina Kubicek (HYM)
  • Shenghan Lai (Heart Study)
  • Shruti Mehta (ALIVE)
  • M-J Milloy (ACCESS/V-DUS)
  • Richard Moore (JHHCC)
  • Bran Mustanski (RADAR)
  • Michael Newcomb (RADAR)
  • Steven Shoptaw (mSTUDY)

Invited Scientists

  • Keri Althoff
  • Chris Beyrer
  • Rosemarie Booze
  • Ellen Chadwick
  • Heidi Crane
  • Howard Fox
  • Norman Haughey
  • Kathryn Lancaster Phyllis Tien

Leed Management Consulting, Inc. & Synergy Enterprises, Inc.

  • Aaron Neumann
  • Sean Randol
  • Meredith Vining
  • Lori Whitten

Meeting Overview

The purpose of the second annual meeting of the Collaborating Consortium of Cohorts Producing NIDA Opportunities (C3PNO) was to obtain recommendations for moving the NIDA-funded HIV and substance use cohorts forward to serve as a national resource for investigators conducting a broad range of research.  Scientific experts in HIV and/or substance use research, leaders of other HIV research consortia, and investigators who might benefit from the use of C3PNO resources were invited to participate in this one-day meeting.  The meeting included brief descriptions of each cohort, data collected, and recent key findings.  Following an orientation to the cohorts, four discussion panels provided comments on topics including: basic science and clinical research opportunities, behavioral and contextual factors in cohort science, reflections from outside consortia principal investigators (PI), and NIH representatives’ reflections on collaborations. 

As background, C3PNO is a collaboration between NIDA; nine NIDA-funded longitudinal HIV and substance use cohorts; the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); and Frontier Science.  C3PNO’s charge is to stimulate the use of the NIDA longitudinal cohorts’ data and address high-priority research on HIV/AIDS in the context of substance misuse. C3PNO takes a team science approach that promotes excellence in data science, is guided by Internal and External Scientific Advisory Boards (ISAB and ESAB, respectively), and works in partnership with NIDA. C3PNO is taking a data linking approach to combine data and advance collaborations.  Each C3PNO cohort study has unique foci and involves diverse participants. The Consortium cohorts are at the cutting edge of the overdose and fentanyl epidemics and are able to track trends and trajectories—particularly among youth and individuals who are HIV-positive. Among cohort participants, 2,085 have ever overdosed on fentanyl, and 723 tested positive for this drug at recent visits. C3PNO can make unique contributions because cohorts follow special populations—half of the participants are HIV-positive, and individuals who are transgender or homeless are represented, as well.

Participating Cohorts

  • ACCESS: AIDS Care Cohort to Evaluate Exposure to Survival Services
  • ALIVE: The AIDS Linked to the Intravenous Experience Study
  • Heart Study: The Hopkins Heart Study: Effects of HIV, Cocaine, and Prolonged ART Use on Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease
  • HYM: The Young Men of Color Who Have Sex with Men Cohort Study
  • JHHCC: Johns Hopkins HIV Clinical Cohort
  • MASH: The Miami Adult Studies on HIV  
  • mSTUDY: MSM and Substances Cohort at UCLA Linking Infections Noting Effects
  • RADAR: Multilevel Influences on HIV and Substance Use in a YMSM Cohort
  • V-DUS: Vancouver Drug Users Study: Evaluating the Natural History of Injection Drug Use

Summary of Recommendations

  • Develop a “unified scientific agenda” to help guide Consortium activities
  • Move toward developing and incorporating common data elements around substance use and SUD.
  • Cohort investigators share combined substance use expertise with outside investigators to enhance cross-study analyses and optimize data collection practices in non-substance use focused projects.
  • Work towards linking cohort data with other known data and specimen banks.
  • Consortium should focus on data harmonization activities for multiple data domains with specific emphasis on data related to drug use and HIV.
  • The C3PNO platform is situated to accelerate science by making pilot data available to outside researchers
  • Implement wide data sharing across other NIDA and NIH-funded HIV cohorts.
  • A streamlined concept review system and clear authorship rules are critical.   
  • Participate in relevant HIV and substance use conferences and disseminate details about the Consortium to advertise the cohorts’ combined power and extensive data.
  • Engage HIV modeling experts.
  • Consider selective standardization of measures and standard operating procedures across the sites.  Examples include: opioid use, cognitive function, PBMC collection.
  • Participate in quarterly conference calls with NIDA AIDS program leadership to discuss progress, updates and new research opportunities.   

Select Research Opportunities Discussed

  • Analyses of HIV-positive participants churning in and out of care to assess ARV resistance.
  • Pharmacovigilance studies on the long-term toxicity related to substances of abuse.
  • Intersecting patterns of virologic suppression and patterns of risk behavior
  • Sustained substance use cessation resiliency.
  • Pseudo-sentinel data collection on opioid transitions and overdose.
  • Viral suppression and transmission dynamics
  • Treatment and prevention cascades—particularly constructing these across the cohorts and conducting a meta-analysis to determine differences across groups
  • Viral suppression and transmission dynamics including examining the influence of PrEP adherence and behavioral risk factors.

C3PNO offers collaborators a number of scientific opportunities, including highly detailed behavioral, biomarker, and clinical data with linked biorepositories on large numbers of participants. The tools are specifically designed to stimulate use of the data by outside investigators by providing an interactive virtual repository, and cohorts follow substance users to study both HIV acquisition and HIV progression. Cohorts capture data from HIV-positive individuals who are in and out of care—many of whom live on the street. C3PNO is uniquely positioned to link with virtual repositories supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Division of AIDS networks (AIDS Clinical Trials Group [ACTG]; the International Maternal, Pediatric, Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Group [IMPAACT]; and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network [HVTN]) and the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS).