Dr. Charles C.J. Carpenter, passed away on March 19 after a brief illness, he was 89 years old. Dr. Carpenter was the founding Director of the Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) from 1998 until he retired in 2015. During his directorship of the CFAR, funding from NIH for HIV/AIDS related research grew from $7 million to $32.6 million which is attributed to his outstanding leadership and mentorship. Dr. Carpenter made significant contributions to our understanding and treatment of HIV/AIDS, both in our local Rhode Island community and internationally. His belief that it was important to expand research collaborations with our international partners was the driving force in the initiation of our CFAR International Developmental Grant Program in 2011. One of the first and few CFARs to provide funding directly to researchers employed by international institutions, we have funded 27 international investigators in 12 different countries (India, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Zambia, Uganda, South Africa, Uganda, Russian, and Ukraine).
Under his leadership, our CFAR focused on marginalized populations particularly in women, incarcerated populations, youth, and substance users. This has defined the special focus of our CFAR which we continue to this day. He was a visionary and a great world leader in the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Many of the successful researchers in our CFAR owe their careers to his leadership and mentorship. Our CFAR will always be defined by his vision and his care and dedication for persons living with HIV/AIDS and persons at risk for HIV.