Dr. Sylvia Fitting, an associate professor of Behavioral and Integrative Neuroscience, is the recipient of a 2023 R21 grant (R21DA057871) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
In the context of HIV infection, cannabis use is an important topic and is the most commonly used drug among HIV-infected individuals. Cannabis use is known to alleviate common symptoms and complications in PWH on cART but its effect on neurocognition is not clear. With the use of in vivo calcium imaging the goal of the proposed study is to determine cannabis-induced changes on neuronal activity in a neuroHIV mouse model during performance of a behavioral appetitive learning task and its relation to the endocannabinoid system. This work will advance the understanding about how alterations in neuronal activity, inflammation, and changes in the endocannabinoid system contribute to HAND-related symptoms and may lead to new cannabinoid therapeutic strategies for recovery.
Dr. Fitting was awarded $427,625 over five years (including indirect cost) for her project, “In vivo calcium imaging during appetitive learning in HIV Tg26 mice exposed to cannabis.”