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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.

News & Announcements

2018-2019 News

  • 11/01/2019 - Save the Date: NIH Rehabilitation Research Conference

    NCMRR-NIH-planNIH’s next Rehabilitation Research Conference, October 15–16, 2020, in Bethesda, Maryland. Learn more about the past meeting,
    Rehabilitation Research at NIH: Moving the Field Forward.
  • 09/26/2019 - Discover Exercise: MoTrPAC

    woman working out with trainer

    The Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium, also known as the MoTrPAC research study, is one of the largest efforts to study physical activity involving universities, medical centers, researchers, and most importantly participants from all over the country. This research program is the largest target National Institutes of Health (NIH) investment aimed at understanding how physical activity improves health and prevents disease.

    We are looking for volunteers who:

    • Are 18 years of age or older
    • Exercise 1 time a week or less
    • Have no history of diabetes or heart disease
    • Would like to have an opportunity to exercise with a personal trainer for 12 weeks and have study-relatedhealth exams at UTMB.
    • Visit motrpac.org/join
    Read more about MoTrPAC.
  • 05/03/2019 - Moody Prize Awarded at GBIC

    photo of groupCongratulations to Tessa Hart, PhD, FACRM, recipient of the 2019 Robert L. Moody Prize, presented at the annual Galveston Brain Injury Conference. The award is sponsored by CeRPAN and the Transitional Learning Center (TLC) of Galveston, in recognition of significant contributions in brain injury rehabilitation and research.

    Read more about this year's Moody Prize honoree.
  • 05/01/2019 - Translational Sports Medicine Cover Image

    image of cover photo microscopic muscleA microscopic image of muscle by PhD Student Camille Brightwell and colleagues was selected as cover image for the journal Translational Sports Medicine, April 2019. The cover image is based on the Original Article Moderate‐intensity aerobic exercise improves skeletal muscle quality in older adults by Camille R. Brightwell et al., DOI: 10.1002/tsm2.70.

  • 02/07/2019 - Improving Muscle in Older Adults

    photo Ms. BrightwellDoctoral Student Camille Brightwell is the first author on a new publication, "Moderate Intensity Aerobic Exercise Improves Skeletal Muscle Quality in Older Adults," in Translational Sports Medicine. Additional co-authors include M.M. Markofski, T. Moro, C.S. Fry, C. Porter, E. Volpi, and B.B. Rasmussen.

    Camille was a trainee in the Pre and Postdoctoral TrainingT32 - Health of Older Minorities program at the Sealy Center on Aging. She is also a member of the Muscle Biology Laboratory affiliated with the Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition.
  • 01/30/2019 - Protein and Inactivity

    photo of groupGALVESTON, Texas – A new research study suggests that improving the quality of protein people eat while on bed rest could actually help protect muscle mass and burn fat.

    “When a person is restricted to bed rest, even for a few days, they typically lose muscle and gain fat,” said Dr. Douglas Paddon-Jones, a professor at UTMB and senior author of the study. “Simply eating more food and protein may help protect muscle, but will likely increase body fat. Conversely, eating less food may help avoid fat gain, but will accelerate muscle loss. In this study, we were interested in finding a pragmatic, practical approach to help deal with this issue.” Read more at the UTMB Newsroom.

    Read the article in the Journals of Gerontology, Improving Dietary Protein Quality Reduces the Negative Effects of Physical Inactivity on Body Composition and Muscle Function by Emily J Arentson-Lantz, PhD, Elfego Galvan, RD, PhD, Jennifer Ellison, PT, PhD, Adam Wacher, MD, and Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD.
  • 01/24/2019 - Dr. Volpi on Protein and Older Adults

    Elena Volpi, MD, PhD

    For older adults, a protein-rich diet is important for health
    There is a growing consensus that as people age they need to eat more protein-rich foods, particularly when dealing with a chronic or acute illness, or facing a hospitalization. During these stressful times, aging bodies process protein less efficiently and need more of it to maintain muscle mass. UTMB’s Elena Volpi said it is not just the total amount of protein one eats, but also how much they eat at a given meal.

    “If I eat too little protein during a meal, I may not adequately stimulate the uptake of amino acids into skeletal muscle. If I eat too much, say from a large T-bone steak, I won’t be able to store it all away,” Volpi said.

    This news is covered in The Chicago Tribune, Gay San DiegoPittsburgh Post-GazetteThe Philadelphia InquirerSalon and Navigating Aging.

  • 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!

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