The overall goal of Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core (PESC) is to cultivate and support cutting edge pilot and exploratory studies that will advance the development of effective prevention and/or therapies for frailty and hence facilitate independence in older adults. The PESC Core leaders, in close collaboration with other core leaders, set scientific goals for the next stages of frailty research, and then work to identify investigators whose expertise and career goals would be applicable to furthering our knowledge in these target areas. These leaders search for pilot and exploratory studies that can help to establish frailty mechanisms, etiologies or novel treatment and screening approaches, and those that provide data needed to select or design next stage frailty-focused clinical trials. Studies chosen to be funded in the first year of this cycle that aim to gain data necessary for future clinical trials include a phase II safety and efficacy study of losartan in prefrail older adults necessary and a MR spectroscopy study that aims to determine the difference in skeletal muscle energy production between frail and non-frail humans subjects. Additional funds will help explore the feasibility of a mitochondrial specific drug delivery system.
The specific aims of the PESC are to 1) advance the science and translation of frailty research by providing intellectual leadership necessary to identify targeted areas of research and investigators that can best accomplish the translational goals of this OAIC, 2) to support the development of well designed and informative pilot studies, 3) to provide and conduct longitudinal mentorship to supported investigators through completion of the pilot award, 4) to further guide the translation of any pilot study results, and 5) to expand the research environment and network of frailty focused investigators needed to accomplish the overall OAIC goals.
These aims will be carried out in very close collaboration with biostatistics, biological mechanisms, and clinical translational and recruitment core leaders to ensure optimal design and access to core resources needed for study success. This core will guide the translation of pilot work into a deeper understanding ofthe basic biology of frailty and into interventions that will prevent or treat frailty and help maintain independence.

Public Health Relevance

This pilot and exploratory core aims to identify and then fund small scale studies that either help identify crucial mechanisms that cause frailty or help gather critical data that enables the development of larger scale clinical studies that target frailty and the loss of independence. This approach will help bring treatments and preventions for frailty forward more quickly, and hence potentially help more older adults stay healthier and more independent for longer periods of time. :

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-8)
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Johns Hopkins University
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