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News Archive

2016-2017 News

2016-2017 News

02/01/2016 - IOM Committee

Congratulations to Dr. Ottenbacher on Appointment to IOM Committee Ken Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR, Director of the Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, has been appointed to an Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee that will produce a report titled, "Use of Assistive Devices in Eliminating or Reducing the Effects of Impairments." The report is commissioned by the Social Security Administration and is scheduled for publication by the National Academies Press in late 2017.

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02/01/2016 - Long-term Health Outcomes in Mexican American Older Adults

Dr. Ottenbacher speaking to studentsGrant# R01 MD-010355, Title: Long-term Health Outcomes in Mexican American Older Adults, Role: Principal Investigator, Source: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, Period: 2016-2020. The research involves the Hispanic EPESE and Medicare claims data and is focused on frailty and health related outcomes in older Mexican Americans. These outcomes will be tracked over 20 years of Hispanic EPESE data collection. Linking the Hispanic EPESE data to the Medicare claims files will allow us to examine outcomes, service delivery, and healthcare cost in this important underserved population.

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02/03/2016 - Dr. Paddon-Jones on Athletes & Nutrition

Nutrition and Athletes: How to Prepare for Competition

Dr. Doug Paddon-Jones, Director of the Physical Activity and Functional Recovery Translational Research Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch, describes the best strategy for optimizing athletic performance through nutrition.

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03/01/2016 - Videos now available: Lefeber Winter Series on Aging

Lefeber21st2016Lefeber Winter Series on Aging
The UTMB Sealy Center on Aging, a partner of CeRPAN presented the 21st Annual Lefeber Winter Series on Aging, January 26 - March 1, 2016. Leading experts on various aspects of aging lecture each Tuesday evening for six weeks. Watch videos of the latest Winter Series. 


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03/08/2016 - Drs. Volpi & Protas Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Sports Medicine

Photos of Dr. Volpi and Dr. ProtasThe Texas American College of Sports Medicine honored CeRPAN Core faculty members, Dean of School of Health Professions Elizabeth Protas and Sealy Center on Aging Director Dr. Elena Volpi during the group's annual meeting. Dr. Volpi received the group's Honor Award for her "outstanding contributions to exercise and sports medicine." Dr. Protas received the group's Service Award for "significant service" and for serving as the group's president and executive director.

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03/28/2016 - NIH Precision Medicine Initiative

Dr. Rebecca WongDr. Rebeca Wong has been asked to serve on a review panel for Precision Medicine Initiative at the National Institutes of Health. From the NIH website: "Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person... The PMI Cohort Program will seek to extend precision medicine to all diseases by building a national research cohort of one million or more U.S. participants"

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04/04/2016 - Vernon R. Young International Award

micah-drummond-award-400Dr. Micah Drummond Awarded the Vernon R. Young International Award

Dr. Micah Drummond, PhD, former UTMB postdoc fellow and faculty member received the Vernon R. Young International Award for Amino Acid Research on April 3, 2016 at the Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, California. The award is given for a single outstanding piece of research or for a series of papers in a related area on amino acid metabolism. Dr. Drummond has been committed to aging and protein metabolism research since 2006 beginning as a postdoc fellow at UTMB under the mentorship of Drs. Blake Rasmussen and Elena Volpi. Currently, Dr. Drummond is an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah. Read full details about the award.

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04/14/2016 - Dr. Baillargeon on Testosterone

Jacques Baillargeon, PhDTestosterone therapy decreases hospital readmissions in older men with low testosterone

A new large-scale population based study from UTMB's Jacques Baillargeon (CeRPAN core faculty member) finds that older men using testosterone therapy were less likely to have complications that require them to go back to the hospital within a month of being discharged than men not using this therapy. This research news also reported in the Houston Chronicle, Texas Medical Center News, Healthcare Business & Technology, Health Canal, Medical News Today, Science Daily, Science Codex and Medical Xpress.

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04/16/2016 - Dr. Ottenbacher on Hip Replacements

Ken Ottenbacher, PhD, OTRDr. Ottenbacher Quoted: Medicare wants to slash complications in hip and knee replacements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has launched a program to improve care coordination in hip and knee replacements for 55 million Medicare beneficiaries. Hospitals participating in the program will receive payments from Medicare retroactively for an entire episode of care, a period lasting up to 90 days after a hospital discharge. UTMB's Kenneth J. Ottenbacher (CeRPAN Director) says it a pretty dramatic step for CMS. This news also reported at MSN Money and Morningstar.

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05/12/2016 - Dr. Lyons on Activity Trackers and Diabetes

Liz Lyons, PhD, MPHDefining the best activity tracker for consumers with Diabetes

CeRPAN faculty Dr. Elizabeth Lyons, along with other research experts, explores various types of commercial activity trackers that promote social interactivity and help log specific movement and activities without breaking the bank. "When shopping for a tracker, consider the lower-end version of whichever brand you prefer—and buy two! That way you can give one to a friend for some built-in motivation," recommends Dr. Lyons.

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05/12/2016 - Dr. Paddon-Jones on Protein

photo of Dr. Paddon-JonesAre People Eating Enough Protein?

Dr. Doug Paddon-Jones, Director of the Physical Activity and Functional Recovery Translational Research Laboratory was quoted in Time Magazine's "You Asked" column where he answered the question, "What Happens If I Don't Eat Enough Protein?" Dr. Paddon-Jones compared the human body lacking enough protein to a termite-infested house. "Like that termite-ridden house that looks fine on the outside, your protein-deprived body will have grown weaker over a period of many years," Paddon-Jones says. "If the house is solidly built, it could take a long time for the termite damage to cause problems." Read full article on website.

This news also reported in Yahoo! Finance.

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09/01/2016 - Dr. Smith Receives President Cabinet Award

2016-presidents-cab-award-winnersTheresa Smith, PhD, OTR Awarded President's Cabinet Award Grant

President's Cabinet Awards are given annually for projects that promote outreach, education and improved patient care in our community. Congratulations to CeRPAN Core Investigator Dr. Theresa Smith and co-PI Karen Ratcliff of the School of Health Professions on their project, "Cognitive Rehabilitation for Cancer Survivors". Read more at the President's Cabinet website.

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09/01/2016 - NIH Research Plan on Rehabilitation

Research Plan on RehabilitationThis comprehensive plan outlines six priority areas, including investigating new approaches to assistive technology in the home, expanding resources to recruit scientists and innovators to the field and analyzing the biology, chemistry and genetic components of recovery to better understand why some people are better able to recover after injury, while others require more rigorous rehabilitation. Read More: NIH Research Plan on Rehabilitation: Moving the Field Forward

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09/07/2016 - Dr. Ottenbacher appointed to NIH Board

Dr. Ottenbacher giving lectureDivision Director Kenneth Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR has been appointed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to serve a 5-year term as a member of the National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research.

Comprised of 18 members, the Board advises the NIH Director and the Director of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research on matters and policies relating to the Center's medical rehabilitation research and training programs. The Board reviews and assesses federal recommendations for the coordination of such research conducted and supported by the NIH and other agencies of the Federal Government.

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11/04/2016 - Dr. Ottenbacher Receives ACRM Gold Key Award

Rehabilitation Sciences faculty attend ACRMThe American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) Annual Meeting was held Oct 30-Nov 4, 2016.
Congratulations to Dr. Ottenbacher, recipient of the Gold Key Award, presented at the Henry B. Betts Awards Gala during the conference.

This award was established in 1932 as a certificate of merit for members of the medical and allied professions who have rendered extraordinary service to the cause of rehabilitation. Candidates are nominated by members of the ACRM Board of Governors and the recipient chosen by a Nominating Committee vote. It is the highest honor given by ACRM.

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11/14/2016 - Symposium Hosted by CeRPAN & Department of Nutrition/Metabolism

Optimizing Protein invitationUTMB hosted a symposium entitled, "Optimizing Protein Through the Healthspan," featuring national nutrition experts, supported by CeRPAN and the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism.

Topics included:

  • Translating Research into Practice for Infants and Children presented by Keli Hawthorne, MS, RD, Director of Clinical Research, Dept. of Pediatrics, Dell Medical School
  • Protein, Particularly at Breakfast, on Appetite, Satiety, and Weight Management presented by Heather Leidy, PhD, Purdue University
  • Protein, Muscle Inactivity: Protecting Muscle Health During Aging presented by Doug Paddon-Jones, PhD, UTMB
  • Dietary Protein in Weight Loss presented by Stuart Phillips, PhD, McMaster University
  • Practical Advice for Performance presented by Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD Sports Dietitian Atlanta Hawks
    Physician's Perspective in Aging presented by Elena Volpi, MD, PhD, UTMB

Continuing education credits were offered to medical professionals. Questions? Please contact Colleen Casey, 409-772-2578,

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11/16/2016 - UTMB study demonstrates blend of proteins may help overcome age related muscle loss

Blake Rasmussen, PhDA study conducted in men ages 55-75 years at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has shown that the consumption of lean, high-quality proteins like soy can help prevent sarcopenia - an age-related decline in strength and muscle mass. It is a condition that baby boomers face that was unknown to their parent’s generation.

“Our data provide additional support for the use of targeted nutritional interventions to overcome a critical condition of aging, anabolic resistance, to counteract sarcopenia,” said lead researcher Blake Rasmussen, PhD, chair, Department of Nutrition and Metabolism at UTMB.

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12/14/2016 - Molecular Transducer & Physical Activity Grant

Blake Rasmussen, PhDGALVESTON, 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

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