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The Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition (CeRPAN) supports research in the School of Health Professions at UTMB.

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The Center is committed to creating relationships among basic and clinical scientists to translate and apply research findings for the benefit of persons with disability or chronic disease and their families. CeRPAN was originally established in 2001 as the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences to provide an infrastructure for research in disability, recovery, and rehabilitation at UTMB. The mission and focus of the Center were expanded in 2013 to integrate research involving physical activity, exercise, function and nutrition to provide new opportunities for education and scientific training.

Read about Research at CeRPAN or browse Mission, History and Facts & Figures.

2018-2019 News

  • 01/17/2019 - New Publication from Ted Graber, PhD, et al

    photoNew publication, "Skeletal Muscle Specific Knockout of DEP Domain-Containing 5 Increases mTORC1 Signaling, Muscle Cell Hypertrophy, and Mitochondrial Respiration" by Ted G. Graber, Christopher S. Fry, Camille R. Brightwell, Tatiana Moro, Rosario Maroto, Nisha Bhattari, Craig Porter, Maki Wakamiya and Blake B. Rasmussen.

    “In this study, we knocked out the gene for DEPDC5, which is a subunit of the GATOR1 protein complex (a negative regulator of mTORC1—the master regulator of protein synthesis), in adult skeletal muscle in mice. GATOR1 shuts off protein synthesis in the cell when there are insufficient amino acids present. When we depleted DEPDC5, we determined a constitutive activation of mTORC1 leading to muscle hypertrophy increased mitochondrial respiration without functional improvements. Thus, we uncovered a role for DEPDC5/GATOR1 in the regulation of mitochondrial respiration, hinting that amino acid sensing apparatus in the cell may be more involved in metabolic programming than previously thought.”

    Dr. Graber is a member of the Muscle Biology Laboratory team in CeRPAN and a postdoctoral trainee in the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences at UTMB.
  • 01/07/2019 - Dr. Downer Receives New Grant on Cognition

    Brian Downer, PhD

    Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences Brian Downer, PhD is the recipient of a K01 Grant, "Improvement in Patients’ Cognition and Relationship with SNF Quality Measures." from the National Institute on Aging of the NIH. Dr. Downer is a Core Research Investigator at CeRPAN, the Pepper Center and the Sealy Center on Aging. Congratulations, Dr. Downer!

  • Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC) at UTMB

    MoTrPAC logoGALVESTON, Texas – ­The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has received a $6.6 million grant to take part in a national project that will analyze what molecular changes occur in people as a result of physical activity. The research could lead to people engaging in more targeted and optimized types of physical activity. UTMB will be a part of the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium and Blake Rasmussen, professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, will be the principal investigator.

    Read More: NIH awards aim to understand molecular changes during physical activity and Working Out the Molecules. This news also reported in Public Now, Genome Web, Targeted News Service and Galveston.com.

    Learn more about MoTrPAC at UTMB.


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301 University Boulevard Galveston, TX 77555-1137
Phone: (409) 747-1637
Fax: (409) 747-1638
Email: rehab.info@utmb.edu