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Pilot and Developmental Projects Program

The Pilot / Exploratory Studies Core promotes scientific innovation by supporting new research.



  • Samuel Fagg, PhD, Department of Surgery, Does cell-free amniotic fluid prevent or reverse frailty of aging?
  • Wenbo Zhang, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, The mechanism of vision loss in tauopathy


  • Hoang T. Nguyen, PhD, School of Nursing, Functional Recovery of Asian Older Adults in Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Michael Sheetz, PhD, Department of Biochemistry & Microbiology, Rejuvenation of Senescent Cells In vitro and In vivo


  • Peter Cram, MD, Internal Medicine, Evaluating the Usability of a Novel Hip Fracture Web-app, My Hip-Fracture (My-HF)
  • Sagar Gaikwad, PhD, Neurology, Inflammaging: Role of HMGB1 mediated chronic inflammation in aging-associated cognitive dysfunctions and decreased lifespan
  • Tse-Chuan Yang, PhD, Preventive Medicine and Population Health, Neighborhood Structural Inequalities and Opioid Use Disorder among Older Adults: Before and During the COVID19 Pandemic Comparisons


  • Antonella Casola, MD, Pediatrics, Aging of the Endogenous Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Pathway: A New Therapeutic Opportunity for Viral Pneumonia in Older Adults
  • Rachel Deer, PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences, Post-COVID Recovery Clinic: Study on Long-Term Health and Wellbeing
  • Kimberly Hreha, EdD, OTR/L, Rehabilitation Sciences, Implementation of a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program for Stroke
  • Mansoo Ko, PhD, Physical Therapy, Strength Training Treadmill Exercise to Reduce Compensatory Walking Patterns in Post-Stroke Hemiparesis
  • Neil Mehta, PhD, Preventive Medicine & Population Health, Identifying the Causes of the Stagnation in National U.S. Cardiovascular Disease Mortality
  • Monique Pappadis, PhD, MEd, Rehabilitation Sciences, Life-Space and Readmissions After Stroke and Cardiovascular Disease in Mexican Americans


  • Tatiana Moro, PhD, Nutrition & Metabolism, Role of Skeletal Muscle Pericytes in the Angiogenic and Myogenic Response to Exercise in Older Adults
  • Andrew Murton, PhD, Surgery, Oral Deuterium Oxide Consumption as an Approach to Assess Changes in Habitual Metabolic and Cellular Function with Age


  • Roberto Garofalo, MD, Microbiology & Immunology, Pathogenesis of Lung Inflammation in RSV Infection
  • Ickpyo Hong, OTR, PhD, Department of Occupational Therapy, Development of a Cross-National Independence Measure for Asian Stroke Survivors
  • Elizabeth Lyons, PhD,  Nutrition & Metabolism, A Web-Based Active Video Games Intervention in Aging Breast Cancer Survivors
  • Vineet Menachery, PhD, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Parabiosis and Age-dependent Viral Pathogenesis
  • Andrew Murton, PhD, Surgery, The Impact of Age on an Obesity-Induced Muscle Anabolic Resistance and the Potential Benefit of Stimulating Lipid Oxidation


  • Rachel Deer, PhD Rehabilitation Sciences, Validating a Screening Tool for Sarcopenia Using a Model for BIA Analysis
  • Theodore Graber, PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences, Aging Skeletal Muscle and Sarcopenia in the Murine Model
  • Mansoo Ko, PhD, Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology, Initiating Gait with the Non-Paretic Limb Affects Walking Performance in People with Hemiparesis
  • Cynthia Li, PhD, Department of Occupational Therapy, Functional Trajectory and Successful Community Discharge in Older Adults


  • Emily Arentson-Lantz, PhD, Nutrition & Metabolism, Characterization of Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species Production in Skeletal Muscle of Older Adults during Inactivity
  • Brian Downer, PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences The Hispanic Dementia Risk Reduction Trial: A Dementia Risk Reduction Intervention for Hispanic Adults
  • Hemalkumar Mehta, PhD, Surgery Potentially Inappropriate Medications and Claims-Based Functional Status in Older Adults


  • E. Lichar Dillon, PhD, Endocrinology, Cycled Testosterone Therapy to Improve Physical Function in Frail Nursing Home Residents
  • Steven Fisher, PhD, Physical Therapy, Fall Risk Reduction in the Elderly Through the Physical Therapy Management of Incontinence
  • Christopher Fry, PhD, Nutrition & Metabolism, Satellite Cell Regulation of Fibrogenic/Adipogenic Progenitor Cell Activity in the Development of Skeletal Muscle Fibrosis during Aging
  • Lynne Hughes, PhD, PT, Physical Therapy, Effectiveness of a Physical Therapy Intervention in Patients with Pneumonia, COPD, and Hyperkyphosis
  • Sara Nowakowski, PhD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Effects of Inactivity and Rehabilitation on Sleep in Bedridden Older Adults

Call for Pilots

Proposals are encouraged from all investigators interested in initiating studies on aging.

Developmental Projects

  • Biostatistics & Data Management Resource Core
  • A non-parametric approach to predict the recruitment for a randomized clinical trial in an elderly inpatient setting
  • Alejandro Villasante-Tezanos, PhD and Xiaoying Yu, PhD
  • 2022-2024
  • Metabolism & Biology Resource Core
  • Is the 3D position of aging-related genes a biomarker for aging?
  • Guy Nir, PhD
  • 2022-2023