The goal of the OAIC Pilot/Exploratory Studies Core is to support the planning of future independently funded studies with a high potential to advance our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of and preventive interventions for sarcopenia and physical disability in older Americans. This goal is achieved by soliciting and selecting promising innovative pilot and exploratory studies that address the overall OAIC research theme of 'sarcopenia and prevention of disability'. The core fosters pilot and exploratory studies by ensuring the availability of optimal infrastructure, environment, funding, expertise, and instrumentation. The core leaders monitor study progress, assist in the analysis and interpretation of results, and provide guidance in translating pilot data into high quality and original research study proposals that successfully compete for independent extramural funding. The provision of funds for pilot and exploratory studies supports Junior Scholars in their efforts to develop research careers in aging. The core also allows accomplished investigators in the area of aging to gather data which extend and broaden their focus. Finally, the core serves as a vehicle to encourage and facilitate experienced investigators traditionally working in other research fields, such as biomechanics, physiology or pulmonology, to expand their research focus on aging. This broadens the pool of talent contributing to advances in understanding and preventing sarcopenia and disability. We are highly successful in translating findings from our pilot and exploratory studies from the previous funding cycle. Of a total of 19 directly supported or jointly supported pilot studies, 13 have garnered additional funding through NIH, VA and foundation sources;and the remaining 6 are still in the data collection phase, or have grants pending and in preparation. One exploratory and two pilot studies, are proposed in this application. The resultant portfolio of pilot/exploratory study proposals provides a broad variety of interdisciplinary approaches in addressing the OAIC research theme.
All pilot and exploratory studies test novel research hypotheses related to the common OAIC research theme 'sarcopenia and prevention of disability'. In addition, their findings will lead to new information that is necessary in developing interventions to avert sarcopenia, physical function decline and possibly disability in older people.
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