Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC)
1999 - 2004
The mission of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) OAIC is to:
- Develop and test interventions aimed at preventing disability in older Americans
- Link basic mechanistic research in the cell biology and physiology of muscle function to clinical interventions to improve muscle function
- Train new investigators and future faculty leaders in aging research
- Recruit established investigators from different disciplines into aging research
- Disseminate information to investigators, practitioners and the public relevant to the goal of preserving independence in older Americans.
The major scientific focus of the UTMB OAIC is muscle function in older men and women. Muscle function will be studied from several perspectives:
- The cell biology of aging muscle, changes in nuclear and mitochondrial gene function that contribute to decreases in muscle function with age
- Physiology of aging muscle, examining the synthesis and degradation of specific muscle proteins and its relationship to availability of precursor amino acids.
These will take place in the context of:
- Nutritional clinical trials
- Hormonal interventions
- Exercise interventions
By focusing on cellular mechanisms, we will be able to develop and optimize interventions to improve muscle function using relatively small numbers of subjects. Once optimized, they can be tested in larger trials with functional status as the major outcome. The research development and training of the UTMB OAIC will emphasize:
- Research on muscle function by junior investigators established investigators.
- Training geriatricians, as well as clinicians in specialties such as surgery, cardiology and anesthesiology in aging research
- Continue to recruit established investigators from those areas into the study of aging
- Examine differences in muscle function among special groups, such as minorities