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May 06, 2017

Drs. Herold and Einstein have been working closely with Marla Keller, M.D., associate professor of medicine and of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health, another prominent investigator in this study and microbicide clinical trials expert.

Robert Burk, M.D., vice chair for translational research and professor of pediatrics, and professor of microbiology & immunology, of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health, and of epidemiology & population health, will also play a prominent role in the study.

Dr. Burk, an expert on detecting and characterizing HPV in clinical samples, will use sophisticated tests to detect whether women acquire new HPV infections during the course of the study. In addition, his lab will test samples taken from participants at different times after Carraguard- or the placebo gel is applied. By combining the samples with HPV, his lab will determine if the drug in the sample was able to inactivate HPV in an assay developed by John Schiller, Ph.D., a collaborator at the NCI.

"This trial will build on laboratory studies that showed that carrageenan is effective at reducing HPV infection in model systems," said Dr. Burk. "If this trial is successful, it could lead to an effective combination microbicide that would protect against HPV and other sexually transmitted infections."

The trial will be based at Einstein and involve multiple investigators from four different departments including medicine, obstetrics & gynecology and women's health, epidemiology & population health, and pediatrics. Other Einstein researchers include Howard Strickler, M.D.; Bruce Rapkin, Ph.D.; and Xiaonan (Nan) Xue, Ph.D.

Montefiore Medical Center, The University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Einstein, will also be a partner in the trial, along with the Population Council, based in Manhattan.

Source: Albert Einstein College of Medicine