The Biochemical Pathways Core (RC2) provides a centralized resource for biomarker analyses in support of Duke Pepper OAIC projects in their work to understand and modify multiple pathways of functional decline. The Core provides the expertise to advise investigators on the biological and technical feasibility of assaying specific biomarkers and biomarker profiles for their utility as mediators and predictors of function and functional decline. For this funding cycle of the Duke OIAC, the RC2 Core will focus on assays of biochemical and inflammatory biomarkers related to the physical performance, metabolic health and longevity aspects of aging and functional status. The Core will provide this analytic expertise (performing ~2,000 assays annually) to Pepper projects. With the exciting new addition of Pathways Analysis (Ingenuity Systems) to our capabilities, we can aggregate our rapidly expanding biomarker data with published datasets of metabolomic, proteomic, and genomic findings to identify potential biological networks involved in the functional decline of aging. During the development phase of new studies, we will also serve as a resource for consultation about biomarkers and study designs to optimize grant preparation and the insights that might be achieved with biomarker analyses. The overall goals of this Core Facility will be to generate data on biomarkers of functional decline and their association with specific diseases;to incorporate Ingenuity Pathways Analysis to identify potential networks linking metabolomic, proteomic, and genomic markers;to develop new biomarkers of age-related oxidative stress;to determine if specific biomarkers and biological pathways identify individuals at risk for functional decline;and to monitor the efficacy of interventions designed to combat functional decline in aging. Supported projects include: Pilot Projects (one in Year 1), Pepper Research Career Development awardees (three in Years 1-3), External Projects (eight in Years 1-5), and future pilot and career development projects as they are selected and initiated. Of the external projects, three will characterize biomarkers related to successful aging through the lifespan, and five interventional projects will critically address the modifiability of pertinent biomarkers with treatments aimed at improving function. The application of biomarkers and pathways analysis to these intervention projects will provide objective insights into the efficacy and mechanisms of action of interventions .
This Core Facility provides analytic expertise to develop and validate biomarkers with the goal of understanding functional decline with aging at a molecular level. The long-range goal is to identify and validate biomarkers able to predict risk for functional decline and to monitor the efficacy of interventions targeted toward improving physical function, metabolic health and longevity.
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