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The Pepper Center
301 University Blvd.
Galveston, TX
p 409.266.9699
f 409.772.8931


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About Us

The goal of the OAIC program is to increase scientific knowledge that will lead to better ways to maintain or restore independence to older persons. UTMB has one of fourteen Pepper Centers located throughout the United States and funded by the National Institute on Aging. Click below to visit the National Pepper Center Website.

US Pepper Centers

The OAIC theme is Translating Biological Mechanisms of Muscle Growth and Loss to Improve Function and Recovery from Illness in Older Adults. OAICs provide support for research to develop and test clinical interventions, and for core laboratories in the basic sciences. OAICs also train individuals in research approaches to develop and test methods of maintaining and increasing independence, and to enhance expertise in aging research by providing training in the relevant fundamental scientific disciplines.

We seek to identify predictors of physical function and recovery from illness in hospitalized geriatric patients; identify potential treatments to improve function and accelerate recovery; determine the efficacy of the identified treatments in clinical trials in geriatric patients; and increase the number of junior and senior investigators involved in geriatric research.

Services Available to other OAICs:

Upon review and approval from our Scientific Review Committee, we will provide data collected through our Resource Cores. Coordinators in the Clinical Research Resource Core collect the following information:

  • Health screenings
  • Quality-of-life interviews
  • Physical exams
  • Functional status assessments
  • Medical chart review
  • Performance-based assessments
  • Maintains a volunteer registry database for future studies (participants 55+)
  • Established a blood and muscle tissue repository


Collaborations with Investigators from other OAICs:

  • Drs. Volpi and Sharma collaborate with all OAICs (trans-OAIC NIA-PCORI clinical trial on fall prevention; PIs: Bhasin, Gill and Reuben)
  • Drs. Volpi and Rasmussen collaborate with Dr. Chris Newgard, Duke University
  • Drs. Volpi and Sidossis collaborate with Dr. Elisabet Børsheim, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Dr. Ottenbacher collaborates with Drs. Krista Vandenborne and William Mann at University of Florida
  • Dr. Paddon-Jones collaborates with Dr. Thomas Lang at UCSF
  • Dr. Riall collaborates with Dr. Christopher Wolfgang at Johns Hopkins University
  • Dr. Sidossis collaborates with Dr. Shingo Kajimura at UCSF
  • Dr. Wong collaborates with Dr. Anne Pebley at UCLA

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Research Volunteer Registry