The goal of the Pilot/Exploratory Studies Core (PESC) is to promote innovative multidisciplinary research focused on the mechanisms underlying disability, recovery and prevention in older persons and the functional and clinical responses to rehabilitation. The PESC manages the process of promotion, application, review, award and monitoring for Pilot and Exploratory Studies (PES). Priorities for awards include relevance to the OAIC theme, potential for independent funding, new multidisciplinary collaboration and translational potential. The priori 5-year history of outstanding research productivity and academic accomplishments of pilot investigators attests to our excellent environment, mentors and academic resources in support of PES. This OAIC has made 58 pilot grant awards since its inception in 1994. Success of PESC is demonstrated by the 23 pilots funded in the 2000-2005 OAIC for $460,000 that have yielded over $2.8 million in extramural funding. During the last 5 years, PESC invested $371,000 in 16 pilot studies that have to date generated 25 publications and ~ $2.9 million in extramural funding. PESC funding and mentorship of junior faculty and others in the conduct of PES's is essential to improve the rehabilitation outcomes and recovery of older people with chronic disabling diseases and advance the field of exercisebased rehabilitation with new academic leaders. Proposed first year pilot studies include PES-1: Improving walking symmetry and functional mobility in stroke survivors with split-belt treadmill training;PES-2: Aerobic exercise to improve regulation of EPCs and vascular function in T2DM;PES-3: Effects of Vitamin D Repletion (D) with and without Multicomponent Lifestyle Exercise Training (MLife) on Muscle Function, Inflammation and Glucose Metabolism in D Deficient OlderAdults;PES-4: Resistance Training (RT) and Protein (Pro) Supplementation to Improve Muscle Physiology and Reduce Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors;PES-5: A High-Density Electroencephalography (EEG) Neural Decoding Study of Dynamical Cortical Mapping of Gait in Humans After Stroke.

Public Health Relevance

PES's are essential to stimulate new interdisciplinary collaborations and to attract new and established investigators from relevant disciplines to study rehabilitation science, human physiology, neuropsychology and metabolism- related research. They will contribute to the fulfillment of Healthy People for older Americans to prevent the progression of chronic disease and disability with aging and enhance the functinnal indepedence of older people with progressive disability.

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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University of Maryland Baltimore
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Stookey, Alyssa D; Katzel, Leslie I; Steinbrenner, Gregory et al. (2014) The short physical performance battery as a predictor of functional capacity after stroke. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 23:130-5
Barton, Joseph E; Sorkin, John D (2014) Design and evaluation of prosthetic shoulder controller. J Rehabil Res Dev 51:711-26
Addison, Odessa; Young, Patricia; Inacio, Mario et al. (2014) Hip but not thigh intramuscular adipose tissue is associated with poor balance and increased temporal gait variability in older adults. Curr Aging Sci 7:137-43
Prior, Steven J; Ryan, Alice S; Stevenson, Troy G et al. (2014) Metabolic inflexibility during submaximal aerobic exercise is associated with glucose intolerance in obese older adults. Obesity (Silver Spring) 22:451-7
Landers-Ramos, Rian Q; Jenkins, Nathan T; Spangenburg, Espen E et al. (2014) Circulating angiogenic and inflammatory cytokine responses to acute aerobic exercise in trained and sedentary young men. Eur J Appl Physiol 114:1377-84
Ge, Shealinna; Ryan, Alice S (2014) Zinc-?2-glycoprotein expression in adipose tissue of obese postmenopausal women before and after weight loss and exercise + weight loss. Metabolism 63:995-9
Inacio, Mario; Ryan, Alice S; Bair, Woei-Nan et al. (2014) Gluteal muscle composition differentiates fallers from non-fallers in community dwelling older adults. BMC Geriatr 14:37
Verceles, Avelino C; Corwin, Douglas S; Afshar, Majid et al. (2014) Half of the family members of critically ill patients experience excessive daytime sleepiness. Intensive Care Med 40:1124-31
Koldobskiy, Dafna; Diaz-Abad, Montserrat; Scharf, Steven M et al. (2014) Long-term acute care patients weaning from prolonged mechanical ventilation maintain circadian rhythm. Respir Care 59:518-24
Prior, Steven J; Blumenthal, Jacob B; Katzel, Leslie I et al. (2014) Increased skeletal muscle capillarization after aerobic exercise training and weight loss improves insulin sensitivity in adults with IGT. Diabetes Care 37:1469-75

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