URBAN ARCH Annual Meeting Recap

The 8th URBAN ARCH Annual Meeting was held on April 9-10, 2019 on the Boston University Medical Campus. This meeting brought together approximately 70 investigators, staff, Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) members, and other collaborators both in the U.S. and abroad to discuss the progress and future direction of the URBAN ARCH Consortium, including trainee engagement and external collaborations.

Jeffrey Samet providing URBAN ARCH study updates

The meeting began on Tuesday with our annual trainee networking breakfast sponsored by the Providence/Boston Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) where junior investigators met and discussed their research ambitions with senior URBAN ARCH investigators including: Shirish Barve, University of Louisville; Kendall Bryant, NIAAA; Matthew Freiberg, Vanderbilt University; Judith Hahn, UCSF; Evgeny Krupitsky, Pavlov State Medical University; Benjamin Linas, Boston Medical Center; Richard Saitz, Boston University School of Public Health; Jeffrey Samet, Boston Medical Center; and Michael Stein, Boston University School of Public Health. Judith Hahn also led the annual specific aims critique sessions with URBAN ARCH junior investigators.

Boston ARCH Research Assistants, Jasmin Choi and Alexandra Chretien, presenting on alcohol measurement methods

The day also featured a joint URBAN ARCH–Providence/Boston CFAR presentation titled Assessing Alcohol Use in Research Populations: Participant Self-Report, Biomarkers and Wearables. Richard Saitz (Boston ARCH PI, BUSPH), Jasmin Choi and Alexandra Chretien (Boston ARCH Research Assistants) led a presentation on various types of Alcohol Measurements including AUDIT-C, breathalyzers, Lifetime Drinking History, and Timeline Follow Back. Judith Hahn (Uganda Cohort PI; UCSF) addressed PEth and other new developments in alcohol biomarkers, while Tyler Wray (Brown University) discussed an online version of Timeline Follow Back and Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) for alcohol use. Kendall Bryant (Director, HIV/AIDS Research, NIAAA) concluded the session with a discussion on the future of alcohol assessment in research studies with a presentation of Wearable Alcohol Biosensors.

Kendall Bryant, Karsten Lunze, and Bulat Idrisov (left to right)

On Wednesday morning, the meeting began with a welcome and overview of all URBAN ARCH studies by Jeffrey Samet, PI of the consortium. Following this presentation, each cohort led a breakout session to engage with members of the SAP, junior investigators, and other attendees of the Annual Meeting to brainstorm current and future ideas for further research in the realm of HIV and alcohol. The breakout sessions allowed for the cohorts to engage new researchers, to discuss new analyses with existing cohort data, and hold a preliminary discussion on the next round of grant renewals for URBAN ARCH. The annual meeting concluded with a “Hot Topics” discussion on the direction of HIV/alcohol research featuring an introduction by Kendall Bryant. This lively discussion was facilitated by SAP member Ken Freedberg and touched on topics including: an aging research population and research implications, the role of PrEP, and international challenges in the implementation of HIV/alcohol research studies.

The URBAN ARCH Annual Meeting once again provided important face-to-face time for the multi-institutional investigators and staff to collaborate as a consortium. We would like to thank everyone who attended and, if you were unable to join us, we hope to see you at next year’s meeting! We look forward to planning new and creative ways to engage potential collaborators at our next Annual Meeting. You can access our Annual Meeting photos, presentations, and agenda by clicking here.


Looking Ahead to URBAN ARCH at RSA 2019

Research Society on Alcoholism Scientific Meeting 2019

The Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) Scientific Meeting will take place on June 22-26, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. URBAN ARCH investigators will be attending this meeting to present on projects with alcohol-related outcomes in populations with HIV. Richard Saitz and the Boston ARCH cohort is organizing a symposium with other URBAN ARCH investigators titled HIV, alcohol and comorbidity: From the microbiome and immunity to clinical outcomes.

Sunday, June 23 | 4:50-6:50PM | Poster Session | Exhibit Hall – A04a

Metagenomic Analyses Reveal a Significant Enrichment of “Pro-Inflammatory” Enterobacteriaceae Associated with Very Heavy Alcohol Use and HIV Infection – Barve.

Monday, June 24 | 1:20-2:50PM | Great Lakes B

URBAN ARCH Symposium – HIV, alcohol and comorbidity: From the microbiome and immunity to clinical outcomes

Title: Introduction

Presenter: Matthew Freiberg, Vanderbilt University                                                                                                               1:20-1:25PM

Title: Metagenomic Anaylyses of the Gut-Microbial Dysbiosis Among HIV-Positive Heavy Drinkers

Presenter: Shirish Barve, University of Louisville                                                                                                                    1:25-1:43PM

Title: Association of Alcohol and Immunity (T-Cell Subtypes B-Cells and Monocytes) Among HIV Infected and Uninfected People

Presenter: Kaku So-Armah, Boston University School of Medicine                                                                                       1:43-2:01PM

Title: Prevalence of Elevated Transaminases and its Relationship with Drinking and BMI in People Living with HIV on Anti-Retroviral Therapy in Uganda

Presenter: Judith Hahn, University of California San Francisco                                                                                             2:01-2:19PM

Title: Falls in People Living with HIV Infection and Alcohol and Other Drug Use

Presenter: Richard Saitz, Boston University School of Public Health                                                                                     2:19-2:37PM

Title: Discussant/Questions Moderator

Presenter: Kendall Bryant, National Institute of Health                                                                                                           2:37-2:50PM