The WFU OAIC discovers and examines novel pathways that contribute to loss of physical function with age and that will identify predictors, preventive strategies, and interventions for disability. The Integrative Biology Core (IBC) works synergistically with other Cores to discover underlying biological and cell-based factors and pathways that may serve as novel targets for evaluating new therapies to prevent or reduce disability. The Core's expertise and services, its flexible and scalable administrative operation, and its emphasis on clinically relevant research offers OAIC researchers easily accessible opportunities to expand and leverage their research to include biological outcomes. In the prior cycle, this Core enabled measurement of systemic blood biomarkers;in vitro measures of skeletal muscle, adipose tissue histology, and gene and protein expression;and genetic factors. The proposed IBC will sustain this work and expand its scope to support discovery of cellular level mechanisms underlying disability. IBC leaders will integrate these basic biological models and outcomes with other physiologic and clinical data, provide and leverage resources, contribute scientific guidance and expertise, continue to develop and extend new services and cutting-edge techniques, and provide educational and training opportunities to support novel research in line with our theme of "Integrating pathways affecting physical function for new approaches to disability treatment and prevention". The IBC provides our OAIC with the infrastructure of cutting-edge biological scientific expertise and methodologies required to accomplish our Core's scientific objectives, which are to;1) Advance understanding of the cellular, tissue-level, and systemic biological factors underlying aging-related changes in body composition, physical function, and onset of disability;2) Determine whether specific behavioral and pharmacological interventions will modify these biological factors to prevent or treat disability;&3) Offer a biospecimen resource, and develop new assays and Core services that will catalyze novel research using innovative methodologies to address research questions relevant to the OAIC theme. In the initial year, we will support new research in 3 pilot studies, 7 externally-funded studies, and a Research Development Project. We will also support, educate, and train research fellows and junior faculty in the methodologies and techniques used for the study of cellular, tissue-level, and systemic biological factors, and offer educational opportunities to foster translational research and communication of WFU OAIC Core-supported research findings.
Many factors contribute to aging-related disability and loss of independence. The research supported by our integrative Biology Core focuses on identifying the biological factors that lead to aging-related changes in body composition, physical function, and onset of disability so that new therapies can be discovered and used to prevent disability and maintain independence for older adults.
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