Working to advance treatment for HIV/AIDS and related illnesses

What is the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit?

The Ohio State AIDS Clinical Trials Unit is one of 34 sites nationwide that conduct federally sponsored research studies for the treatment of HIV and AIDS, and related illnesses. The unit is staffed by an expert, multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals.

At the ACTU, volunteers may participate in studies that contribute to improving treatment outcomes and managing drug resistance, preventing and treating co-infections and contribute to our increasing knowledge of treatment as prevention.

AIDS Education and Training Centers

Ohio State’s ACTU is part of the AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETC) national network of centers conducting multidisciplinary education and training programs for healthcare providers treating individuals with HIV/AIDS. AETC services help improve the quality of life for individuals with HIV/AIDS.

Community Advisory Board – A Voice for Our Volunteers

As part of the federally funded AIDS Clinical Trials Group, Ohio State’s ACTU has a Community Advisory Board. This board provides advocacy and partnerships for affected communities, especially clinical trial participants. We encourage participants to ask questions about the research process and share their ideas and concerns.

If you are interested in participating in research at Ohio State’s AIDS Clinical Trials Unit, call 614-293-8112 and speak with our screening nurse. All information is strictly confidential.

Types of studies


At the ACTU, volunteers may participate in a wide variety of studies that contribute to improving treatment for HIV, including new therapies and managing drug resistance, preventing and treating co-infections and contribute to our increasing knowledge of treatment as prevention.

Find active studies

Our Leaders

Our leaders

SusanKoletar

Susan L. Koletar, MD, FACP, FIDSA

Director, Division of Infectious Diseases

Principal Investigator, AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (ACTU)
Pomerene Professor, Infectious Diseases
Professor, Internal Medicine

View my bio

View research bio

para michael

Michael F. Para, MD

Co-Principal Investigator, AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (ACTU)

Professor Emeritus, Infectious Diseases
Professor Emeritus, Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics
Physician-FGP, Infectious Diseases

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View research bio

maher updated

William E. Maher, MD

Associate Professor, Internal Medicine

Retiree-Faculty Emeritus, Infectious Diseases
Physician, FGP-Infectious Diseases

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View research bio

wininger leader

David A. Wininger, MD

Associate Professor, Internal Medicine

Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Associate Professor-Clinical, Infectious Diseases
Physician, FGP-Infectious Diseases

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View research bio

JulieMangino

Julie E. Mangino, MD

Medical Director, Department of Clinical Epidemiology

Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

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View research bio

MarkLustberg

Mark E. Lustberg, MD, PhD

Program Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship

Assistant Professor,  Department of Internal Medicine

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JoseBazan

Jose A. Bazan, DO

Associate Director, Fellowship Program

Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Medical Director, Sexual Health Clinic – Columbus Public Health (CPH)

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ACTU Staff

ACTU Staff

Kathy Watson, RN

Kathy graduated from OSU 30 years ago and has been working at the Infectious Disease Clinic for 20 years. She is the Research Nurse Manager at the ACTU.

Kathy.Watson@osumc.edu

Jan Clark, PharmD

Jan is a specialty practice pharmacist who joined our staff in 1992. Jan provides the medications for our HIV drug studies. She is available to counsel both clinic and research patients regarding medication regimens, side effects, access to medications, and adherence issues. Jan also works with the clinical staff regarding drug interactions, dosing guidelines for patients with compromised kidney or liver functions, and treatment for co-morbid conditions such as hepatitis C. Jan is also available to help with IRB submissions and regulatory issues. 

Jan.Clark@osumc.edu

Shirley Ventresca

Shirley is the Data Manager for the ACTU.  Originally from Buffalo, NY, she moved to Columbus in 2000 and has been with OSU Infectious Diseases ever since.  She is married and has a son and daughter.

Shirley.Ventresca@osumc.edu

Ben Smith

Benjamin Smith is the Chart Room Manager for the ACTU. Ben joined the OSU Infectious Diseases Department in June 2011 and grew up in Detroit, Michigan.  Ben graduated from Wright State Univ. with a B.S. in Elementary Education.  However, he has decided to begin a new path in life and will enroll in a nursing program in May 2013.  Ben is married to Jamie and he and his wife own a hair salon in Clintonville.  Ben enjoys competitive bodybuilding and is an avid dog lover.

Benjamin.Smith@osumc.edu

Leah Kofmehl

Leah graduated from Penn State University and has been working in infectious disease research since 2013. She previously worked at the University of Pittsburgh, before joining OSU in 2015.

Leah.Kofmehl@osumc.edu

Brian Greenfelder

Brian is the Virology Laboratory Supervisor.  Brian is a graduate of Capital University who joined our laboratory in 2001.

Brian.Greenfelder@osumc.edu

Nassima Saidi, BS

Nassima is a Lead Virology Lab Technologist within the department of Infectious Diseases. She has been with the division for three-and-a-half years. She graduated from the Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the park and being around loved ones.

Nassima.Saidi@osumc.edu

Nkafu Etchi

Nkafu graduated from OSU with a BS in biology and psychology.  He joined the ACTU lab in May 2017 as a Lab Technologist.

Nkafu.Etchi@osumc.edu
ACTU/AETC Staff

ACTU/AETC Staff

Jane Russell, RN, BSN, ACRN

Jane has worked in Infectious Diseases for approximately 20 years, first as a research nurse and then with the AIDS Education and Training Center. Her free time activities include travel, reading and spending time with friends and family.

Jane.Russell@osumc.edu

David Andrist

David began working at the ACTG as the Outreach Coordinator in 2012.  He is also the program coordinator for the OSU Local Partner of the Midwest AIDS Education and Training Center (MATEC) and  the community educator for the OSU HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN). David has been working in HIV care and prevention since 1994.

David.Andrist@osumc.edu

Isaac Navar

Isaac began working at the OSU ACTU in 2000 as an undergraduate student. Upon graduation, he remained with the division and now serves a dual role with the ACTU and AETC. Isaac is part of the data management department in the ACTG and helps the AETC as an office production assistant.

Isaac.Navaar@osumc.edu

Research Nurses

Heather Harber, RN

Heather has been a nurse for 24 years. She has been a research nurse for the ACTU since 2007. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 daughters.

Heather.Harber@osumc.edu

Mark Hite, RN

Mark has been a nurse since 1998. After working in the Transplant Unit at OSU Medical Center, he joined the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit as a Research Nurse in 2001. Mark works with people who have volunteered to participate in studies to help find the best treatments for HIV.

Mark.Hite@osumc.edu

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