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MoTrPAC Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium

University of Texas Adult Clinical Center (UTACC)

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) have created the University of Texas Adult Clinical Center (UTACC) for the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC).

The primary aim of MoTrPAC is to 'extensively catalogue the biological molecules affected by physical activity in people, identify some of the key molecules that underlie the systemic effects of physical activity, and characterize the function of these key molecules. This molecular map will help us understand how physical activity translates into better health'. The consortium is composed of 6 adult clinical sites, 1 pediatric clinical center, 1 consortium coordinating center, 1 bioinformatics center, 3 preclinical animal study sites , and 7 chemical analysis sites.

UTACC is one of the Adult Clinical Sites and will be responsible for: 1) conducting exercise training trials in 450 participants in both acute and chronic exercise training studies; 2) perform physiological assessments; 3) collect biospecimens (muscle, adipose, and blood) before and after acute and chronic exercise training; and 4) analyzing and interpreting outcome data and dissemination of findings to the scientific community.

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More information about participating in the exercise training trial will be posted soon.

2016-2017 News

The Exercise Antidote UTMB Collaborates with Institutions Across the U.S. to Study How Physical Activity Benefits the Body

photo of people exercising

UTMB recently receives a $6.6 million grant to participate in a national project, the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC), which aims to better understand how physical activity improves health. Research will be conducted at 23 collaborating institutions, with an overall goal of recruiting approximately 3,000 participants in the clinical trial. MoTrPAC is the first study of its kind, says Dr. Rasmussen: "It's never been examined on such a large scope."

Read the full article: The Exercise Antidote article published in the UTMB Academic Enterprise magazine.

photo of people in labThe Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition hosted visitors from the University of Texas, San Antonio on May 15th, 2017.

Principal Investigator and CeRPAN Associate Director, Blake Rasmussen, PhD, gave a presentation about the University of Texas Adult Clinical Center (UTACC) for the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC) and visitors toured the lab facilities in the School of Health Professions at UTMB. Download agenda and view photos of the event.

Principal Investigator
Blake B. Rasmussen, PhD

Recruitment and Retention Core Co-Leader
Elena Volpi, MD, PhD

Clinical Research Core Co-Leader
Doug Paddon-Jones, PhD

Biorepository Core Co-Leader
Christopher S. Fry, PhD

Biostatistics Core Co-Leader
Heidi Spratt, PhD



Principal Investigator
Nicolas Musi, MD

Recruitment and Retention Core Co-Leader
Sara Espinoza, MD, MSc

Clinical Research Core Co-Leader
Donovan Fogt, PhD

Biospecimen Management Core Co-Leader
Robin Leach, PhD

Biostatistics and Data Management Core Co-Leader
Jonathan Gelfond, MD, PhD

Darpan Patel, PhD

Douglas Cromack, MD, PhD


map of MoTrPAC sites

Adult Clinical Centers:

  1. UTACC (University of Texas Medical Branch and UTHSCSA). PIs:  Blake Rasmussen & Nick Musi
  2. University of Alabama-Birmingham, Translational Research Institute for Diabetes and Metabolism, Ball State University. PIs: Marcas Bamman, Bret Goodpaster, Scott Trappe
  3. University of Colorado, Denver: PI: Wendy Kohrt
  4. Duke University. PI: Bill Kraus
  5. LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center. PIs: Eric Ravussin, Tuomo Rankinen
  6. University of Pittsburgh. PI: John Jakicic

Pediatric Clinical Center:

University of California, Irvine. PIs: Dan Cooper, Shlomit Radom-Aizik.

Consortium Coordinating Center:

University of Florida, University of Vermont, Wake Forest University.  PIs: Marco Pahor, Michael Miller, Jack Rejeski, Russell Tracy

Bioinformatics Center:

Stanford University. PI: Euan Ashley

Preclinical Animal Study Sites:

  1. University of California, Davis. PIs: Sue Bodine, Keith Baar
  2. Joslin Diabetes Center. PI: Laurie Goodyear
  3. University of Florida. PI: Karyn Esser

Chemical Analysis Sites:

  1. Broad Institute, Duke University. PIs: Robert Gerszten, Steven Carr, Clary Clish, Chris Newgard
  2. Emory University. PI: Dean Jones
  3. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. PIs: Stuart Sealfon, Martin Walsh
  4. Mayo Clinic, Rochester. PIs: Sree Nair, Ian Lanza
  5. University of Michigan. PIs: Charles Burant, Jun Li
  6. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. PI: Joshua Adkins
  7. Stanford University. PIs: Michael Snyder, Stephen Montgomery.