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News The Pepper Center at UTMB

Recent news published around the web about the work being done by Pepper Center Investigators.


2018 News

Pepper Team Leadership Training Program

By SCoA | October 9, 2018

On October 4th-5th, the UTMB Pepper Center and The Institute for Translational Sciences (ITS) held a two-day Team Leadership Training Program at the Tremont Hotel in Galveston.

Kevin Wooten, PhD and Eugene Frazier, MSW, CEAP, PCC, MCC, SCC, CPLC who developed the content specifically for team science leadership, spent two full days with the trainees. The leadership training program was interactive and the 27 attendees were engaged in the lecture and activities.

The UTMB Pepper center provided 25 scholarships based on merit including hotel accommodations for Wednesday and Thursday. Breakfast and lunch provided free of charge for all attendees.

NIA P30 Grant Awarded to Dr. Kyriakos Markides

By SCoA | September 28, 2018

Kyriakos Markides, PhD receives P30 Grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to establish a Texas Resource Center on Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) in collaboration with UT Austin. It will provide an infrastructure that facilitates the development of research on aging in minority populations and developing researchers from underrepresented minorities.

Drs. Yong-Fang Kuo, Kristen Peek, Rebeca Wong and others are also involved.

Dr. Markides is a Professor and Director, Annie and John Gnitzinger Professor of Aging for Preventive Medicine and Community Health (PMCH), and Editor for the Journal of Aging and Health.

The Rise and Fall of T

By SCoA | September 27, 2018

photo of man with vial of medication

The Texas Health Journal’s September edition focused on big data research projects. Included in the issue was the work of UTMB’s Jacques Baillargeon and his team to determine why there has been a decrease in men receiving testosterone therapy. Baillargeon encourages new graduate students and postdocs to be careful when using large databases. “Most of these big data sources were not designed for research, but for billing. If something is not a billable claim or related to billing in some meaningful way, it may not be accurately and consistently recorded,” said Baillargeon.

Dr. Baillargeon is a fellow in the Sealy Center on Aging and a core investigator at the UTMB Pepper Center.

NIA P30 Grant Awarded to Dr. Kyriakos Markides

By SCoA | September 28, 2018

Kyriakos Markides, PhD receives P30 Grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to establish a Texas Resource Center on Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) in collaboration with UT Austin. It will provide an infrastructure that facilitates the development of research on aging in minority populations and developing researchers from underrepresented minorities.

Drs. Yong-Fang Kuo, Kristen Peek, Rebeca Wong and others are also involved.

Dr. Markides is a Professor and Director, Annie and John Gnitzinger Professor of Aging for Preventive Medicine and Community Health (PMCH), and Editor for the Journal of Aging and Health.

New Muscle Study Grant from NIA

By SCoA | September 19, 2018

photo of Dr Fry

SCoA Fellow and co-leader of the Pepper Center Metabolism and Biology Resource Core 2, Chris Fry, PhD is the UTMB Site PI on a new grant from the National Institute on Aging that will study age-related muscle degeneration. The one-year study, “Dose-ranging safety and efficacy studies to advance novel mechanism-of-action drug candidates to reverse age-related muscle degeneration,” is a partnership with Ridgeline Therapeutics.

Low-dose aspirin found to have no effect on healthy life span in seniors

By UTMB Newsroom | September 17, 2018

photo of Dr Volpi

GALVESTON, Texas – The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston participated in an international study finding that low-dose aspirin therapy in older healthy adults without previous cardiovascular events did not prolong healthy independent living.

UTMB’s Sealy Center on Aging was one of 34 clinical sites in the United States taking part in the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly trial.

“This is a critically important study because many older adults who never had a heart attack or a stroke are taking aspirin,” says Dr. Elena Volpi, principal investigator of the UTMB clinical site. “In this study aspirin did not protect from developing dementia or physical disability, but it increased the risk of death.”

This is also posted at TMC News.

Congratulations to Pepper Pilot Awardees

By SCoA | Sept 11, 2018

The Pilot/Exploratory Studies Core (PESC) is to stimulate new research addressing the issues of functional loss and gain and promoting functional recovery from serious illness in the elderly. The PESC funds one- or two-year pilot grants with budgets up to $50,000 per year and also small exploratory projects with seed money budgets of up to $10,000. This year's Pepper Pilot Awardees are:

Sorry, but that protein shake probably isn’t going to get you jacked

By Men’s Health | Aug 16, 2018

Ingesting large amounts of protein does not always translate to a size gain, it turns out there is a limit to how much protein your body can absorb in one sitting. “Skeletal muscle protein synthesis is maximized by 25 to 35 grams of high-quality protein during a meal,” said UTMB’s Doug Paddon-Jones. The full article can be read at Men's Health.

Dr. Paddon-Jones is the director for UTMB's CeRPAN Physical Activity and Functional Recovery Translational Research Laboratory.

Pepper Investigator's Lecture Video Now Available

By SCoA | Aug 1, 2018

video screenshot

This month's Pepper Investigator's Lecture "Sleep Assessment and Intervention in Hospital and Community-Based Settings," was presented by, Sara Nowakowski, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology on Aug 1, 2018 at UTMB.

FASEB Science Research Conference

By SCoA | July 18, 2018

Blake Rasmussen, PhD has received an NIH R13 grant from the NIDDK to support a FASEB Science Research conference next month. The conference is titled “Nutrient Sensing and Metabolic Signaling” and will be held August 5-10, 2018 at Snowmass Village, Colorado. Dr. Rasmussen is the organizer of the conference which includes 35 invited speakers from around the world and 8 invited speakers from students, postdocs and junior faculty that submitted abstracts to the conference. The funds are used to support speaker travel and registration reimbursements. In addition to NIH support, Dr. Rasmussen has obtained support from several pharmaceutical companies and professional journals including: Cambridge Isotope Laboratories, Navitor Pharmaceuticals, AMGEN, Novo Nordisk, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Ajinomoto, Public Library of Science (PLOS) Journals, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Science Signaling.

Dr. Lyons awarded $391,014 by the National Cancer Institute for a study to increase physical activity in breast cancer survivors

By SCoA | June 18, 2018

Dr. Lyons awarded $391,014 by the National Cancer Institute for a study to increase physical activity in breast cancer survivors

Elizabeth J. Lyons, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, The University of Texas Medical Branch, has been awarded $391,014 by the National Cancer Institute for her study entitled “Narrative visualization for breast cancer survivors' physical activity.” The study seeks to determine if breast cancer survivors will exercise more if they engage in narrative visualization, a process of adding photo - graphs, drawings and text to a data chart to make the information more meaningful. This addition may help increase the long-term willingness of such survivors to continue exercise and therefore reap the associated benefits. Dr. Lyons is a previous Pilot Project PI and RL5 Scholar at the UTMB Pepper Center. She is a fellow at the Sealy Center on Aging and a member of the core faculty at the Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition.

Pepper Investigator's Lecture Video Now Available

By SCoA | May 2, 2018

video screenshot

This month's Pepper Investigator's Lecture "Sixteen Suggestions to Improve Skills in Scientific Writing," was presented by, James S. Goodwin, MD, George and Cynthia Mitchell Distinguished Chair of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatrics on May 2, 2018 at UTMB.

Research Investigators Attend Annual Pepper OAIC Meeting

By SCoA | May 1, 2018

photo group

Researchers from the Sealy Center on Aging and the UTMB Pepper OAIC attended the Annual Pepper Meeting on April 30 & May 1, 2018.

Dr. Volpi presented, "How to Grow in Leadership Roles," with David Reuben, MD from UCLA. Blake Rasmussen, PhD, gave a report on the second year of MoTrPAC.

Best Poster Award Annual Pepper OAIC Meeting

By SCoA | May 1, 2018

photo of man in front of research poster

Researchers from the Sealy Center on Aging and the UTMB Pepper OAIC attended the Annual Pepper Meeting on April 30 & May 1, 2018.

Investigators participated in a poster session where Rafael Samper-Ternent, MD, PhD and co-authors received a Best Poster award for their work, "Enhancing Wellbeing of Older Hispanics with Dementia and their Caregivers: The Role of Functional and Cognitive Decline."

Diabetic Volunteers Aged 60-85 for Study

By SCoA | April 25, 2018

photo of clip board, document, stethescope, diabetes meter and hearts

Nutrition, Exercise and Muscle Growth in Diabetes DIABETIC VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Ages 60-85

Researchers from the Sealy Center on Aging at UTMB need volunteers for a new study on exercise, nutrition and muscle growth.

To participate in this trial, you must be between the ages of 60 and 85 and not suffer from a serious medical condition except Type II Diabetes. We are recruiting for Type II Diabetes. You will be compensated for time and travel. You shall receive regular medical exams and tests. You will be given a copy of your test results. Dr. Elena Volpi is the Principal Investigator of this study. Contact Paula Skinkis: 409-772-1907 pskinkis@utmb.edu

National Institutes of Health / NIAMS Award

By SCoA | March 23, 2018

photo of Dr. Fry

Christopher Fry, PhD receives an NIH / NIAMS R01 award. Dr. Fry is a former Pepper Research Education Component (REC) Scholar and current co-leader for the Metabolism and Biology Resource Core. The award of $2,186,072 is for 5 years, March 26, 2018 through February 28, 2023. The goal of the grant is to determine the efficacy of myostatin blockade in a mouse model of ACL injury to improve muscle mass, strength and morphology. Additionally, the goal is to determine the contribution of myostatin activation in patients following an ACL injury and reconstruction to underlying muscle cellular deficits that contribute to protracted muscle weakness.

Dr. Pappadis Named Elite Reviewer at Archives of P M & R

By SCoA | January 18, 2018

photo of Dr. Pappadis

Rehabilitation Sciences Assistant Professor Monique Pappadis, MEd, PhD has been named an Elite Reviewer for Archives of PM&R Journal for 2017.

Elite status designation reflects the number, timeliness, and quality of reviews for the Archives in 2017 as judged by the editors. Selection reflects critical thinking and effective participation in the process of peer review. After examining the performance of reviewers, approximately 3 percent of reviewers (97 people out of 2,985 reviewers who submitted 1,730 reviews in 2017) were judged to be deserving of this recognition.


Patients more likely to die under care from 1st-year hospitalists

By HealthExec | January 02, 2018

photo of Dr. Goodwin

An extra year of experience for a physician can make an impact on patient mortality in a hospital, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine that found 30-day and hospital mortality rates were higher for hospitalists in the first year of practice than their second.

The study, led by James Goodwin, MD of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, looked at more at Medicare data from between Jan. 2007 and Dec. 2013 for more than 3,800 first-year hospitalists. Only physicians who continued to practice as hospitalists four or more years after their initial year of experience were included. Read full article at HealthExec.com.





2017 News

UTMB Pepper Center Co-Leader Receives Award for New Study

Sealy Center on Aging | 12/20/17

photo of Dr. Watowich and Dr. Fry

Congratulations to Pepper Center MB-RC2 Co-Leader Chris Fry, PhD, recipient of a new Sanofi Innovation Award, “Therapeutic development of novel orally-bioavailable small molecules to treat muscular dystrophies and sarcopenia.” Dr. Fry will serve as Co-PI with Stanley Watowich, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.

UTMB to study new approach for hip fracture recovery

Texas Medical Center News | 11/2/17

photo of Dr. Volpi

A multimillion dollar grant could help researchers develop a novel therapeutic for elderly women recovering from hip fractures. UTMB’s Elena Volpi is one of seven principal investigators and part of a consortium of seven universities that received $15.6 million from the National Institute on Aging for the research project. Story also found at Press Release Point and Publicnow.

Can you eat too much protein?

Men's Health | 11/1/17

photo of Dr. Paddon-Jones

While protein is important to build and maintain muscle, can you eat too much protein? This article cites research conducted by UTMB’s Doug Paddon-Jones that found that people who ate 12 ounces of beef, did not experience any greater benefits than those who ate four ounces of beef. This story can also be found at NewsDog and Pulse.

Is it bad to exercise on an empty stomach?

TIME | 10/19/17

photo of Dr. Paddon-Jones

In this fitness column, the issue of working out on an empty stomach is addressed. “You might feel tired or edgy and you won’t be able to work out as intensely as you would have if you had eaten something,” said UTMB’s Douglas Paddon-Jones. Story also published in True Viral News.

2017 SCoA Volunteer Luncheon

Sealy Center on Aging | 10/10/17

photo of volunteer luncheon

The 2017 Annual SCoA Volunteer Luncheon was held at Fisherman's Wharf. SCoA and Pepper investigators explain the clinical trial results to the volunteers and their guests. Top-left photo: Attendees mingle and take their seat for the luncheon. Bottom-left photo: Ms. Rose Daniels speaks about the help she received from SCoA through the clinical trials. (l to r) Dr. Elena Volpi, Ms. Rose Daniels and Dr. Brian Downer. Right photo: Ms. Sherry Keel wins the door prize. (l to r) Ms. Sherry Keel and Dr. Elena Volpi.

Pepper Scholar Receives R15 Grant from the NIH

Sealy Center on Aging | 10/10/17

photo of Kyle Timmerman, PhD

Kyle Timmerman, PhD, received an NIH grant from the Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15) program, “Influence of Aerobic Training and Weight Loss on Skeletal Muscle Inflammatory Markers and Muscle Protein Balance in Older Adults.” Dr. Timmerman is an associate professor at Miami University and a previous Pepper Center Scholar.

2017 Pilot Projects
UTMB Pepper Center has funded the following pilot projects:

Sealy Center on Aging | 09/15/17

photo of people exercising with text: Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center 2017 Pilot Project Awardees
  • Rachel Deer, PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences: Validating a Screening Tool for Sarcopenia Using a Model for BIA Analysis
  • Ted Graber, PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences: Aging Skeletal Muscle and Sarcopenia in the Murine Model
  • Mansoo Ko, PhD, Physical Therapy: Initiating Gait with the Non-Paretic Limb Affects Walking Performance in People with Hemiparesis
  • Cynthia Li, PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences: Functional Trajectory and Successful Community Discharge in Older Adults

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

UTMB Academic Enterprise Magazine | PDF | Summer 2017

photo of people exercising

What happens to your body when you work out? UTMB and other institutions around the country are joining forces to find out. UTMB recently received 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.


Dr. Rasmussen and Paddon-Jones on Combating Aging and Muscle Loss

Foods for the muscle bound - Prepared Foods | 07/20/17

microscopic image

As people age, muscle mass decreases, a process termed sarcopenia. This can make life more difficult and can increase one's risk of falling a major cause of disability. Several things contribute to sarcopenia but inadequate protein or calorie intake is a major factor. UTMB's Blake Rasmussen and Doug Paddon-Jones are contributors discussing the importance of nutrition and the need for more research.

Dr. Fry Receives New Investigator Award from the American Physiological Society

Sealy Center on Aging | 04/24/17

photo of Chris Fry

Chris Fry, PhD, Assistant Professor in Nutrition & Metabolism received, "The American Physiological Society Environmental and Exercise Physiology New Investigator Award" during the Experimental Biology Meeting April 22-26, 2017.

Dr. Downer Receives Best Poster Award at the National Pepper Meeting

Sealy Center on Aging | 03/24/17

photo of Brian Downer

Brian Downer, PhD, Assistant Professor in Rehab Sciences received the Best Poster Award at the 2017 National Pepper Older American Independence Center Meeting for his work titled, "Cohort Differences in Pre-Frailty and Frailty for Mexican Americans Aged 77 and Older". Co-Authors were Rafael Samper-Ternent, Bret Howrey, Soham Al Snih, Kyriakos Markides, and Ken Ottenbacher.

Is Testosterone-Replacement Therapy Good or Bad?

Men's Fitness | 03/03/17

Testosterone is important to male health but most normal, healthy 30 to 40 year old men don't need testosterone-replacement therapy. "If you go in and say, 'Well, you know, in the past 10 years I've gotten more tired, I'm having trouble keeping weight off...' that's simply not enough-it's a natural phenomenon!" UTMB's Jacques Baillargeon told Men's Fitness magazine.


Muscle mass declines with age. Here's what you can do

LA Times | 02/23/17

Older adults exercising

A small amount of muscle loss is nearly inevitable with age. While the rate varies quite a bit, studies suggest the average person loses about 1% of muscle every year after about age 50, says Dr. Elena Volpi, director of the Sealy Center on Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

The 22nd Annual Lefeber Winter Series on Aging Tuesday Evenings January 31 through February 28

Click for more info: UTMB's Sealy Center on Aging presents the 22nd Lefeber Winter Series on Aging.

The Lefeber Winter Series on Aging, now in its 22nd year, features nationally recognized gerontology research educators, basic scientists, clinicians and social scientists. Each speaker presents a lecture on an important aspect of aging research and consults with students, faculty and staff on research topics, grant applications and articles being written for publication. Videos Now Available

6 'Facts' About Protein You Should Stop Believing

Women's Health Magazine | 02/13/17

The average American eats twice the daily amount of recommended protein, UTMB's Douglas Paddon-Jones tells Women's Health Magazine. If you are eating an omnivorous diet then "protein inadequacy is really not an issue," Paddon-Jones said.

Here's How You Can Slay Your Workout Hunger

Men's Health | 02/07/17

UTMB's Doug Paddon-Jones is quoted in this article on what to eat after working out. "Twenty-five to 35 grams of high-quality protein per meal seems to maximize the building and repairing of muscle," says Paddon-Jones.

Functional food and supplement manufacturers urged to get creative with whey protein offerings

Dairy Reporter | 01/13/17

UTMB's Doug Paddon-Jones spoke about the benefits protein may provide in dealing with Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle tissue due to aging. "Awareness is still growing for the general population, who are currently learning the benefits [of whey protein] for older demographics as well as for weight management and satiety," said Paddon-Jones according to Dairy Reporter.com.

Getting fit after 55 is easier than you think

Galv Daily News  1/15/17

Staying fit after 55 comes with many benefits. UTMB’s Jim Goodwin said one of the best reasons to exercise is that people feel better when they do. “For the last million years as we’ve been evolving, the species has been very active and stayed very active until recently,” Goodwin told The Daily News.

The secret to weight loss is no secret

Galv Daily News  1/2/17

A new year means many people will be hitting the gym looking to trim a few pounds. UTMB's Jean Gutierrez and Elizabeth Lyons were quoted in a story on exercise and weight loss in The Daily News. "Very small changes can have a very large impact on your health," Lyons said according to The Daily News.


2016 News

A smorgasbord of eating plans: What you should know about the latest diets

December 31, 2016

Galv Daily News  12/31/16

UTMB's Elizabeth Lyons was quoted in a Daily News story exploring different types of eating plans. "A plant-based diet on the whole is recognized as the best way to fuel the human body," Lyons told The Daily News.

New Grant Awarded to UTMB and UTHSC San Antonio

December 14, 2016

Dr. Blake Rasmussen

GALVESTON, 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.

This news also reported in Public Now, Genome Web, Targeted News Service and Galveston.com.

Professorships Awarded

November, 2016

Dr. Paddon-JonesDr. Sheffield-Moore

Congratulations to Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD for appointment to the Sheridan Lorenz Distinguished Professorship in Aging and Health. Dr. Paddon-Jones has been a UTMB faculty member since 2003. His research activities focus on the regulation of muscle metabolism, mass, and function in healthy and at-risk populations.

Congratulations to Melinda Sheffield-Moore, PhD for appointment to the Grace Bucksch Gnitzinger Distinguished Professorship in Aging. Dr. Sheffield-Moore joined UTMB's faculty in 2000. Her clinical research program is focused on investigating the systemic and skeletal-muscle specific endocrine and metabolic dysfunction that accompanies cancer, aging, spaceflight, and traumatic brain injury.


Deer gives lecture for American College of Sports Medicine webinar

September 21, 2016

Dr. Rachel Deer

Rachel Deer, SCOA Postdoctoral Fellow and associate scholar of the UTMB Pepper Center, recently gave a webinar lecture titled, "Challenges in Providing Protein to Support Nutrition and Health Needs in Older Adults" to over 1000 participants on Sept 21, 2016. It was co-sponsored by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Soyfoods Association of North America. The webinar focused on the unique challenge that older adults face in meeting their proper protein requirements to maintain muscle mass and independence.

Volpi, UTMB Receive $2.7 Million Grant to Study Muscle Loss In People Living with Type 2 Diabetes

September 20, 2016

Dr. Elena Volpi

Life Science Daily reports a new study led by UTMB's Elena Volpi will focus on how diabetes and bed rest inactivity change the way amino acids are used to build muscle and how exercise training can mitigate those changes in people living with Type 2 diabetes. "Loss of strength and muscle is an important problem of aging that decreases physical functioning and independence," said Volpi. A $2.7 million grant from the National Institute on Aging is funding the study. This news also reported in TMC News.

The Big Protein Mistake You're Probably Making

September 15, 2016

Protein is part of a healthy diet, but most people are taking in much more than recommended according to a UTMB study conducted by Douglas Paddon-Jones and colleagues. "We're not pythons," says Paddon-Jones. "We can't eat an entire chicken and use its protein for the rest of the week." The study reported in Women's Health recommends a protein intake spread evenly throughout the day. This news also reported in The Herald.

Dr. Goodwin Comments on Presidential Nominee's Health

September 11, 2016

UTMB's James Goodwin spoke to the Washington Post for a story about Hillary Clinton's health. "It's usually not indicative of broader health issues," Goodwin told the Post concerning the presidential nominee's episode over the weekend.

Dr. Paddon-Jones: Protein Absorption by Muscles, Healthy Breakfast Ideas & More News on Protein

July 18-19, 25, 2016

Dr. Doug Paddon-Jones

Men's Health magazine spoke with Dr. Doug Paddon-Jones, Director of the Physical Activity and Functional Recovery Translational Research Laboratory and Senior Fellow of the Sealy Center on Aging, about the amount of protein your body is able to absorb. "Skeletal muscle protein synthesis is maximized by 25 to 35 grams of high-quality protein during a meal," Paddon-Jones told the magazine.

Dr. Paddon-Jones also commented in an article that looked into health breakfast ideas. Dr. Paddon-Jones told the website that people eat a lot of foods, such as breakfast cereal, bagels, breads, that are loaded with refined carbohydrates.

Time Magazine quoted Dr. Paddon-Jones in their "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."

More news on Protein from Dr. Paddon-Jones

Dr. Lyons Weighs in on Popular Apps

July 16, 2016

Dr. Liz Lyons

To say that Pokémon Go has been a hit would be an understatement. Players of the popular phone app can be seen walking around neighborhoods and parks searching for the little pocket monsters and the social and physical aspects of the game could be driving its popularity, said Dr. Elizabeth Lyons, Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism and Investigator for UTMB's Pepper Center. "It's a lot more social than a lot of other active games have been," Lyons told The Daily News.

Dr. Lyons also explored, along with other research experts, 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

Dr. Paddon-Jones Discusses Protein in TIME Magazine

June 29, 2016

Dr. Micah Drummond, PhDUTMB's Douglas Paddon-Jones spoke to TIME Magazine about the best ways to consume protein and how to properly plan your meals to get the most out of the protein you eat. "I'd like to see people eat more of it in the morning, and cut back at night when stuffing a whole bunch of energy into your meal isn't going to do you much good," Paddon-Jones says.

Time Magazine: What Happens If I Don't Eat Enough Protein?

June 22, 2016

While experts are still divided on how much protein is the optimal amount in a person's diet, all agree that eating protein is an important part of staying healthy. But it could take years before the ill effects of inadequate protein show up, said UTMB's Douglas Paddon-Jones. "You'll be faced with an injury or illness, and you'll find your immune system's ability to respond to these crises will be compromised," he told Time. This news also reported in Yahoo! Finance.

Dr. Lyons: 3 Tips for Raising Your Step Count

June 28, 2016

Dr. Liz Lyons

UTMB's Elizabeth Lyons is quoted in an article about increasing the number of steps a person takes in a day. "For a lot of people, getting 3,000 more steps than [they're] getting now is probably a good goal," Lyons told Diabetes Forecast.

Dr. Paddon-Jones Presents Webinar

April 28, 2016

Dr. Reistetter

Doug Paddon-Jones, PhD presented a webinar for 500 registrants for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NYSAND) titled, "Timing is Everything - Research Explores Protein's Role in Health and Disease".

Dr. Micah Drummond Awarded the Vernon R. Young International Award

April 4, 2016

Dr. Micah Drummond, PhDDr. Micah Drummond, PhD 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 more >>

Dr. Paddon-Jones gives Sci Cafe presentation on Muscle Health

February 25, 2016

Doug Paddon-Jones, Ph.D.

The Institute for Translational Sciences presented SCI Cafe: "Protecting Muscle Health: Nutrition & Exercise Strategies" on Thu., Feb. 25 , 2016 at the Mod Coffeehouse in downtown Galveston, with Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD, Professor, Department of Nutrition & Metabolism and Research Lab Director at CeRPAN and Co-Leader of the Clinical Research Resource Core at the Pepper Center, with Glenda E. Blaskey, MS, RD, CSSD, LD Research Dietitian Institute for Translational Sciences.

Congratulations Dr. Rachel Deer

January 2016

Dr. Rachel DeerCongratulations to Rachel Deer, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Sealy Center on Aging. She received NRSA funding for her study “Translating Muscle Anabolic Strategies into Interventions to Accelerate Recovery from Hospitalization in Geriatric Patients”. Dr. Deer was also awarded The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Austin Bloch Post-Doctoral Fellow Award at the 2015 GSA Annual Scientific Meeting for the poster: "Improvement in Timed Up and Go Speed in Acutely Ill Older Adults after 1-month of Post-Hospitalization Interventions."


2015 News

Dr. Blake Rasmussen Receives New Grant from NIH/NIA

photo Dr. Blake Rasmussen, Associate Director of the Center for Recovery, Physical Activity and Nutrition (CeRPAN) received funding for his grant on Nutrition Sensing & Signaling in Aging Muscle - 1R56AG051267-01.

"The grant has two parts. The first part will be a small clinical trial in which we will enroll 20 older adults into a 3 month weight training program to determine whether an improvement in muscle strength and function causes muscle to become more sensitive to nutrients such as amino acids. In the second part we will perform a small study in transgenic mice in an effort to identify how aging results in muscle becoming less sensitive to nutrients." ~ Dr. Rasmussen.

Dr. Craig Porter: New research on weightlifting

August 25, 2015

Resistance Exercise Training Alters Mitochondrial Function in Human Skeletal Muscle

UTMB Receives $3.4 Million to Continue Research on Maintaining Independence in Older Adults

June 5, 2015

Dr. Elena VolpiThe UTMB Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, directed by Elena Volpi, MD, PhD, has renewed its funding for the next five years through a $3.4 million grant from the National Institute on Aging. The grant enables the center to continue its mission to improve physical function and independence in older adults.

The UTMB Pepper Center, founded in 1999, nurtures scientific collaborations among translational research investigators by supporting research infrastructure, training and pilot studies. Dr. Volpi has been serving as the center's director and Principal Investigator since 2010. The focus of the UTMB Pepper Center for the next five years is to identify pathways of physical function loss and gain, and develop targeted interventions to improve functional recovery from illness in older adults.

ASPREE Presentation

May 28, 2015

A senior attends a presentation on the ASPREE Study at UTMB.

Dr. Elena Volpi presented about the ASPREE Study at UTMB to seniors at Open Gates on May 28, 2015. ASPREE (ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) is an international clinical trial to determine whether daily low dose aspirin improves quality of life for older people around the world. The randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression and some cancers is being undertaken in 19,000 participants in the US and Australia.

Read more: ASPREE | View pictures of the event

STRIDE Provider Training

May 6, 2015

Thomas W. Storer, Ph.D.

A two-hour training was provided on May 6th for area healthcare professionals involved in the current STRIDE study.

Learn More: STRIDE Study at UTMB

Wearable health tech gives people a chance to peek at others' health lives

Galveston Daily News

Feb. 3, 2015

Liz Lyons, PhD, MPHToday, wearable tech means more than just a pedometer that counts the number of steps a person takes in a day. The most important advancements, however, might not be in the things the tech tracks, but how it informs people. UTMB's Elizabeth Lyons led a study analyzing the differences between 13 lifestyle monitors and how effective they were in prompting physical activity in the people who use them. "They offer a lot more than a standard pedometer or things that people used to use," Lyons said. “They offer a lot more feedback and a lot richer feedback. Some of them have really robust friending systems and lots of social support, which we know is really important for keeping people active," Lyons said. That social support should be a factor in when choosing what devices to buy, Lyons said, especially for people seeking a device for general health improvement.

Study disputes previous theories on loss of muscle stem cells and aging

Medical Xpress

Jan. 7, 2015

Chris Fry, PhDSarcopenia affects millions of aging adults. Age-related loss of muscle mass and strength not only robs elderly people of the ability to perform even the most basic tasks of daily living, but also greatly increases their risk of suffering devastating injuries and even death from sudden falls and other accidents. Dr. Chris Fry (Pepper Center RCDC Scholar), UTMB assistant professor, is first author of the study. Fry says that "the loss of muscle mass and function seen in our study was unaffected by the depletion of stem cells in our model. Our results challenge years of correlative findings that emphasized the role of stem cells during aging and will hopefully spur scientists into pursuing new lines of research aimed at attenuating sarcopenia.”

Congratulations to Pepper Center RCDC Scholar Dr. Chris Fry on Acceptance to 2015 NIA Summer Training Program:

National Institutes for Aging Buck Institute 2015 Annual Summer Training Course in Aging.

Dr. Chris Fry was recently selected from a competitive pool of applicants for the National Institutes for Aging Buck Institute 2015 Annual Summer Training Course in Aging. The course is for junior faculty with an interest in aging research and exposes trainees to a variety of aging researchers and different aging models. The course also provides feedback on aging-related grant submission with mock study sections. Visit the NIA course website for more information.

Congratulations to RCDC Scholar Dr. Elizabeth Lyons on $712,000 American Cancer Society Grant Award:

Liz Lyons, PhD, MPHSelf-Monitoring Activity: A Randomized Trial of Game-Oriented Applications.

Though habitual physical activity has been associated with a decrease in the risk of multiple negative health outcomes, including breast cancer recurrence and mortality, most breast cancer survivors do not engage in sufficient exercise. In this project, Dr. Lyons and her team will study a novel intervention that uses narrative-based active video games to encourage uptake and maintenance of habitual physical activity among postmenopausal women breast cancer survivors. The results of Dr. Lyons’ innovative research could potentially be used on a widespread basis in clinical and community settings.

Assistant Professor in our Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, Dr. Lyons earned both her Master of Public Health and her Doctor of Philosophy in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She went on to complete predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center before joining UTMB in 2011. A member of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, the Obesity Society and the American Heart Association, she is on the Editorial Board for Games for Health Journal.



2014 News

1st of 6,000 patients begins $30 mil NIH national study on falls prevention at UTMB | Sealy Center on Aging | Dec. 16, 2014

STRIDE 1st patient assessedThe first patient in a thirty million dollar National Institutes of Health study on falls prevention was assess at UTMB on December 16, 2014. VIDEO: "The STRIDE Study: An Introduction" presented by Dr. Volpi

UTMB's Sealy Center on Aging redesignated a Collaborating Center | Galv News| Dec. 9, 2014

Rebeca Wong, PhDThe world experts on aging research at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have again received an international designation acknowledging their niche in an area that grows more complex every day as the elderly population explodes worldwide. UTMB's Sealy Center on Aging has been redesignated by the World Health Organization as a WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center in Aging and Health. WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centers assist the global organization to investigate public health issues from many angles, ranging from basic science and animal studies to clinical trials, public policy, training and dissemination. UTMB is one of only three institutions in the United States to receive this designation. UTMB's Sealy Center on Aging plays a role as an information resource and a center for innovative, multidisciplinary research on a tremendous range of different aging issues, from stroke and dementia to falls, hospital readmissions, exercise, nutrition, palliative care decision-making, physical therapy, chronic disease, poverty, pensions, and a wide array of other clinical and health-policy related issues. [Note: Paid subscription required. Contact UTMB Media Relations for details.]

Dr. Kenneth J. Ottenbacher awarded $600,000 grant from U.S. Department of Education | Office of the Provost | Nov. 21, 2014

Kenneth Ottenbacher, PhD, OTRThe U.S. Department of Education awarded Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR, a total of approximately $600,000 for his three-year grant entitled, "Readmission and Disability Outcomes Related to Post Acute Care." Unplanned hospital readmission among individuals in high-cost impairment groups who receive post-acute care services is a significant health care concern. Dr. Ottenbacher and his colleagues will examine hospital readmissions for individuals in high-volume, high-cost impairment groups receiving post-acute care services to determine what factors are associated with hospital readmissions from post-acute care settings and create and test predictive models to identify people at high risk for rehospitalization.

Congratulations to Blake Rasmussen on new grant award sponsored by Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Inc:

Blake Rasmussen, PhDEffect of Specific Amino Acids on Human Muscle Protein Synthesis

About Navitor Pharmaceuticals: Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines by targeting cellular nutrient signaling pathways. The company's proprietary drug discovery platform targets mTORC1, which responds to and integrates the cell's response to nutrient availability and plays a key role in protein synthesis and cellular growth. Navitor's therapeutics are designed to selectively modulate the cellular signals that are aberrant in disease processes caused by the dysregulation of mTORC1 activity to address a wide range of diseases, including metabolic, neurodegenerative, autoimmune and musculoskeletal diseases, as well as several rare disorders. For more information, please visit www.navitorpharma.com. Visit Dr. Rasmussen's bio.

Senior patients participate in UTMB study on reducing rehospitalization | Galv News | Nov. 18, 2014

Senior patients participate in UTMB study on reducing rehospitalizationUTMB is conducting a new clinical trial to study how to help elderly patients who have been hospitalized get better and stronger upon their return home. The elderly are more prone to being adversely affected by a stay in the hospital than younger patients. Whereas young patients tend to keep getting better after being released, the same is not true for most older patients. Being confined to a hospital bed can lead to a cascading onset of problems due to weakness. Loss of physical functions can result in secondary illness, injury and rehospitalization. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in October 2012, hospitals are now penalized by Medicare and Medicaid if they have too large a percentage of hospital readmissions within 30 days after initial discharge.

“We are trying to break the cycle of rehospitalization,” said Rachel Deer, the post-doctoral fellow running the clinical trial. “By using different intervention strategies we can help the elderly population recover from their hospital stay more quickly.”

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This was also covered by UTMB Impact Newsletter. Watch the UTMB Media Relations Video about this study.

Activity monitors are step in the right direction | Houston Chronicle| Nov. 7, 2014

Elizabeth Lyons, PhD, MPHResearchers from UTMB studied 13 of the most popular wearable lifestyle activity monitors to study the effectiveness of behavior change techniques. Elizabeth Lyons, PhD, MPH, senior author and assistant professor at UTMB's Institute for Translational Sciences, was the lead researcher on this study. "We tested all of the monitors available (late last year) that fit our criteria for a lifestyle-oriented monitor — that is, we did not include monitors intended to measure only individual bouts of activity," Lyons said. "They all had to measure activity across the entire day. We decided to study them because we are currently using one type, the Jawbone Up24, in a trial." Lifestyle monitors increase functionality of standard pedometers and offer much more feedback, according to Lyons. Measuring activity can be challenging without the assistance of some type of monitor. "I like to say that you can't fix what you don't know is broken, and a lot of people don't know just how broken their lifestyles are," Lyons said. "Just wearing a monitor for a few days can be really eye-opening."

Do wearable trackers measure up to comprehensive professional fitness plans? | Yahoo! News | Sept. 19, 2014

Many wearables lack one or more of the tools that healthcare professionals call upon to help individuals increase their physical activity levels or stick to a fitness regimen, according to a researchers at UTMB, who were impressed by the trackers' overall sophistication anyway. "Despite their rising popularity, little is known about how these monitors differ from one another, what options they provide in their applications and how these options may impact their effectiveness," says senior author Elizabeth Lyons, PhD, MPH. "The feedback provided by these devices can be as, if not more, comprehensive than that provided by health care professionals."

The news also appears on the Huffington Post, Science Daily, Red Orbit, Health Canal, the Times of India and Medical Xpress.

Congratulations to RCDC Scholar Dr. Elizabeth Lyons on recent K07 Grant Award:

Behavior Change Techniques Implemented in Electronic Lifestyle Activity Monitors: a Systematic Content Analysis

"The proposed research project includes qualitative and quantitative formative research leading to a randomized controlled feasibility trial of a video game-based physical activity intervention. Physical activity can reduce health risks and improve quality of life in breast cancer survivors, but activity levels in this population are low. Clinical interventions are successful in improving activity levels, but these programs are difficult to translate into sustainable home-based programs. Active video games may be able to apply effective strategies from these interventions in a home environment for a relatively low cost, increasing the public health impact of these programs." From the NIH website.

Congratulations to former RCDC Scholar Dr. Hans Dreyer on recent R01 Grant Award:

Hans Dreyer, PhD, PTMechanistic Approach to Preventing Atrophy and Restoring Function in Older Adults

"The rationale for the proposed research is that effective treatments to prevent muscle atrophy after increasingly common TKA surgery will result in short- and longer-term muscle cell adaptations that boost functional mobility and quality of life. Identifying the mechanisms up-regulated by EAA treatment that preserve muscle volume and mobility will have a major impact on rehabilitation science." From the NIH website.

UTMB researchers discover brown fat protects against diabetes and obesity | UTMB Impact Newsletter | Aug. 4, 2014

Labros Sidossis, PhDContinuing coverage: Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have shown for the first time that people with higher levels of brown fat, or brown adipose tissue, in their bodies have better blood sugar control, higher insulin sensitivity and a better metabolism for burning fat stores.

How brown fat benefits your health | CBS News | Aug. 4, 2014

Labros Sidossis, PhDContinuing coverage: While white fat is mainly used to store energy, brown fat keeps the body warm by burning calories once it is activated. Even better, brown fat seems to primarily "pick" those calories that come from fat and sugar, said Labros Sidossis, PhD, a professor of internal medicine in the division of geriatric medicine at UTMB. This in turn may be particularly helpful in fighting health issues such as diabetes and being overweight. "If you can activate it [brown fat], it can help you burn calories," Sidossis said.

What a perfect day of eating enough protein looks like | Prevention | August, 2014

Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD"Balancing out your protein intake optimizes muscle protein synthesis at more points throughout the day, not just at night," says lead study author Doug Paddon-Jones, PhD, a professor at UTMB. That can help you retain muscle you might otherwise forfeit to age, so spread the protein love around.

Healthy 'brown fat' may cut odds for diabetes | WebMD | July 24, 2014

Labros Sidossis, PhDContinuing coverage: People with higher levels of brown fat have a reduced risk for obesity and diabetes, a new study suggests. Unlike white fat, which lowers insulin sensitivity, researchers found that brown fat actually improves insulin sensitivity, blood sugar control and fat-burning metabolism. "This is good news for overweight and obese people," said Labros Sidossis, PhD, a professor of internal medicine in the division of geriatric medicine at UTMB. "This is great news for people with insulin resistance and diabetes, and suggests that brown fat may prove to be an important anti-diabetic tissue." The news continues to receive widespread coverage, appearing on MSN.com, CBS News, Everyday Health, Huffington Post, BioNews Texas and Men's Fitness.

Having the right kind of fat can protect against diabetes, study says | Time Magazine | July 23, 2014

In a report published in the journal Diabetes, scientists led by Labros Sidossis, PhD, professor of internal medicine at UTMB, found for the first time that adults who retained more amounts of brown fat were better able to keep blood sugar under control and burn off fat stores. Previous studies have linked brown fat to better weight control, but these results also hint that the tissue may be important for managing diabetes. "Our data suggest that brown fat may function as both anti-obesity and anti-diabetic tissue in humans," says Sidossis. "And that makes it a therapeutic target in the battle against obesity and chronic disease. Anything that helps in this area, we need to pursue and make sure that if there is potential there, we exploit it."

Senior patients at UTMB participate in study on reducing rehospitalization | UTMB Impact Newsletter | July 16, 2014

Senior patients at UTMB participate in study on reducing rehospitalizationMarie Butera sits down in a straight chair in the middle of her living room and holds a long red strip of elastic material stretched between her hands. She pulls her arms away from each other, then relaxes; pulls again, then relaxes. The two women sitting on the couch instruct her to place her foot on the exercise band. She pushes her foot away from her, struggling against the resistance of the elastic, then relaxes. She pushes again, knowing that every movement makes her stronger. Butera, 73, is not an avid senior who likes to work out but one of the first to participate in a new clinical trial at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

"We are trying to break the cycle of rehospitalization," said Rachel Deer, the post-doctoral fellow running the clinical trial. "By using different intervention strategies we can help the elderly population recover from their hospital stay more quickly."

Dr. Elena Volpi, MD, PhD, senior investigator of the study, directs UTMB's Sealy Center on Aging and the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. She says the goal of the trial is to help seniors recover their physical function after a serious illness and maintain their independence.

A Visit with Dr. Elena Volpi | Guidry News | July 15, 2014

A Visit with Dr. Elena Volpi by Jim and Lynda GuidryGuidry News Service recently visited with Dr. Elena Volpi, the interim director of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston's Sealy Center on Aging and the principal investigator for UTMB in a $30 million national study to prevent falls in older people. Listen (9:23) "This is a study that has been put together by the Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center consortium and has been funded by the National Institutes on Aging and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, which is a new institute created as a consequence of the Affordable Care Act," Dr. Volpi said. "What this study is about is to try and rationalize primary care of older adults who are at risk for falling".

Balancing daily protein intake across meals increases muscle protein | Forbes | July 15, 2014

Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhDContinuing coverage: In a new paper published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers asked a simple question, assuming that a total of 90 grams per day would be best: Would human subjects make more muscle protein if their optimal intake was evenly split across the three meals when compared with typical protein intake patterns skewed toward a protein-heavy dinner? The study was conducted with a group of five men and three women between ages 25 and 55. The subjects were physically active, but not athletically trained, averaging 32 percent body fat and with an average body mass index in the normal range. The research team was led by Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD at UTMB and Donald K. Layman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Paddon-Jones and colleague, Blake Rasmussen, originally proposed in 2009 that the even ingestion of protein at each meal could reduce aging-related sarcopenia, the progressive 3 to 8 percent loss of muscle that we inevitably face with each decade after age 30. This is the first study testing that hypothesis in young and middle-aged adults.

5 things you've got all wrong about protein | Huffington Post | June 10, 2014

Continuing coverage: "Our research shows that eating about 30 grams of protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner is more beneficial for muscle protein synthesis than eating a large amount at dinner," explains Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD, professor of nutrition and metabolism at UTMB. The study, reported in the Journal of Nutrition found a 25 percent increase in muscle protein synthesis when protein is divided into three, 30-gram doses at breakfast, lunch and dinner compared to eating the same total protein (90 grams) but in this distribution pattern: 11 grams protein at breakfast, 16 grams at lunch and 63 grams at dinner.

UTMB research on muscle protein synthesis points out the need for new American eating habits | BioNews Texas | May 21, 2014

Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhD, muscle metabolism expert at UTMB, and one of the scientists involved in the research, explained that consuming proteins later in the day doesn’t allow the body to process it in the most effective way. “So we’re not taking enough protein on board for efficient muscle building and repair during the day, and at night we’re often taking in more than we can use.” The news also appears in HealthDay, the Times of India, Medical News Today, Bay Area Citizen, Science Daily, Medical Xpress, among other outlets. 

The new rules of protein | Outside Magazine| May 19, 2014

Blake B. Rasmussen, PhDA new study from UTMB found that a blend of soy, casein, and whey prolongs the delivery of nutrients after a workout, enhancing muscle recovery and growth better than whey alone can.

“This study sheds new light on how unique combinations of proteins, as opposed to single protein sources, are important for muscle recovery following exercise and help extend amino acid availability, further promoting muscle growth,” said Blake B. Rasmussen, PhD, chair, department of Nutrition & Metabolism at the University of Texas Medical Branch and lead researcher of the study.

Soy-Dairy Protein Blend and Whey Protein Ingestion After Resistance Exercise Increases Amino Acid Transport and Transporter Expression in Human Skeletal Muscle. Read the article at the Journal of Applied Physiology

The risk of high-protein diets | Wall Street Journal | March 12, 2014

Elena Volpi, MD, PhDResearch shows that a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates can help shed pounds and normalize blood-glucose levels, improvements that lower the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But will you live longer on a high-protein, low-carb diet? Two studies in the current edition of the scientific journal Cell Metabolism suggest the opposite. "High protein diets may be effective to lose weight rapidly," said Dr. Elena Volpi, a professor of geriatrics at UTMB. "But very high protein diets may also be harmful." Americans tend to consume the bulk of their protein at dinner, and the body isn't always able to process an entire day's worth in one sitting, said Volpi, who wasn't involved in either study. "It appears you can better use the protein you need if you distribute it across three meals, especially if you are a senior," she said.

Midlife nutrition: Helping women over 40 overcome nutrition challenges | Today's Dietician | March 2014

Douglas Paddon-Jones, PhDDouglas Paddon-Jones, PhD, a professor in the department of nutrition and metabolism at UTMB, says loss of lean body mass starts in the 30s and 40s. "Women need to understand the impact diet has on muscle loss the same way they understand how diet affects osteoporosis risk." Paddon-Jones explains that after age 40, women lose about 1 percent of their lean body mass per year if they're inactive.

Months after rehab, knee and hip patients keep improving | Chicago Tribune | Feb. 17, 2014

Kenneth Ottenbacher, PhD, OTRPeople who have had a knee or hip replacement reap the benefits of intense rehab months after they've returned home, according to a new analysis. "If you can get patients to a certain threshold level, they can do the rest of the rehabilitation on their own," coauthor Kenneth Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR told Reuters Health. "In a sense, these patients become their own physical therapists," he said. Ottenbacher directs the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences at UTMB.

Decoding 'the Hispanic Paradox' | Dallas Morning News | Jan. 17, 2014

Kyriakos S. Markides, PhDDr. Kyriakos Markides, a professor of aging studies at UTMB, coined the term Hispanic Paradox in 1986 while studying the health of Mexicans in the Southwest. "It's been many years since we discovered this, and people still haven't figured it out," he says. Back in the '80s, Markides' research showed that the health of Hispanics in the Southwest resembled that of Anglos, although Hispanics were poorer, were more likely to be unemployed and had less access to health care. "It was so paradoxical," he says. A recent study that found that Hispanics in Texas are usually diagnosed with cancer much later than Anglos. But even then, Hispanic immigrants are more likely than whites to survive cancer. It's yet another paradox. "It's a very puzzling fact," says Dr. James S. Goodwin, a doctor at UTMB, who led the cancer study. Goodwin agrees that the importance of family may lie at the heart of the Hispanic Paradox and that the survival advantage might be explained by the fact that Hispanics who are sick and hospitalized are more likely to be discharged home and taken care of by family, compared with other groups.

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