Overview. The overarching mission of the UCLA Pilot Exploratory Studies Core (PESC) is to promote innovative basic, clinical and translational research, conducted by collaborating teams of junior and senior investigators, that falls within the UCLA's research theme, "Preventing Disease and Disability in Vulnerable Populations: a Translational Approach". Pilot studies will address at least one of the following objectives: a) provide preliminary studies that inform larger basic or clinical investigations;b) develop new basic or clinical methods that surmount critical barriers to progress in a discipline, thus opening new research avenues;c) develop novel multi-disciplinary research approaches to address complex geriatrics research questions;d) accomplish bi-directional basic and clinical sciences translation;and e) identify diagnostic and/or treatment strategies that will bring discoveries to the bedside. Leadership. Gail A. Greendale, MD, Professor of Medicine/Geriatrics, who conducts research in menopause, osteoporosis, and physical functioning, will direct the PESC. The co-director will be Rita Effros, PhD, Professor of Pathology/Laboratory Medicine, who studies T-cell biology and immunosenescence. Pilot Processes. The PECS will continue its rigorous procedures for pilot selection, monitoring, and development n o independently funded research awards. Selection consists of a staged process that includes a request for proposals;request for full applications from meritorious applicants;and a series of reviews culminating with final selection by the. Executive Committee, External Advisory Board and External Selection Panel. Each pilot will be monitored by a PESC liaison;monitoring includes monthly reports;quarterly meetings with the liaison;annual presentations at the OAIC Seminar Series;and annual presentations to the External Advisors. In addition to awarding full pilots, the PESC will maintain its innovative rapid pilot program, which makes fast-turn-around awards of up to $10K to junior faculty and advanced trainees. Rapid pilots address a previously unmet need in the research development pipeline: quick access to funding for a discreet purpose, to allow the research of junior investigators to advance expediently. Pilots. Four full pilots are proposed: 1) Benefits of experience corps (a community-based, intergenerational intervention) in vulnerable, older minority adults;2) Do older adults experience greater health risks from living in disadvantaged neighborhoods?;3) Abnormal HDL function and atherosclerotic risk in rheumatoid arthritis;4) Identification of novel epigenetic and signaling targets for promoting p-Cell regeneration.

Public Health Relevance

The infrastructure provided by the PESC is an essential building block in the creation of a geriatrics-focused research environment. The PESC, by offering pilot funding and research mentorship, will foster the development and translation of emerging science, serve as a stepping stone for new researchers beginning a career in aging and attracting established researchers into geriatrics research. Thus, the PESC will play a critical role in the creation of new scientists and new science aimed at discoveries to help elders age better.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-8 (J1))
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles
United States
Zip Code
Wanagat, Jonathan; Ahmadieh, Nazanin; Bielas, Jason H et al. (2015) Skeletal muscle mitochondrial DNA deletions are not increased in CuZn-superoxide dismutase deficient mice. Exp Gerontol 61:15-9
Sacco, Paul; Burruss, Karen; Smith, Cristan A et al. (2015) Drinking behavior among older adults at a continuing care retirement community: affective and motivational influences. Aging Ment Health 19:279-89
Greendale, Gail A; Tseng, Chi-Hong; Han, Weijuan et al. (2015) Dietary isoflavones and bone mineral density during midlife and the menopausal transition: cross-sectional and longitudinal results from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation Phytoestrogen Study. Menopause 22:279-88
Irwin, Michael R; Witarama, Tuff; Caudill, Marissa et al. (2015) Sleep loss activates cellular inflammation and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) family proteins in humans. Brain Behav Immun 47:86-92
Jang, David J; Tarn, Derjung M (2014) Infrequent older adult-primary care provider discussion and documentation of dietary supplements. J Am Geriatr Soc 62:1386-8
Hoyt, Michael A; Marin-Chollom, Amanda M; Bower, Julienne E et al. (2014) Approach and avoidance coping: diurnal cortisol rhythm in prostate cancer survivors. Psychoneuroendocrinology 49:182-6
Lin, James C; Karno, Mitchell P; Grella, Christine E et al. (2014) Psychiatric correlates of alcohol and tobacco use disorders in U.S. adults aged 65 years and older: results from the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 22:1356-63
Bower, Julienne E; Greendale, Gail; Crosswell, Alexandra D et al. (2014) Yoga reduces inflammatory signaling in fatigued breast cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial. Psychoneuroendocrinology 43:20-9
Cohen, Erica; Bolus, Roger; Khanna, Dinesh et al. (2014) GERD symptoms in the general population: prevalence and severity versus care-seeking patients. Dig Dis Sci 59:2488-96
Tan, Zaldy S; Jennings, Lee; Reuben, David (2014) Coordinated care management for dementia in a large academic health system. Health Aff (Millwood) 33:619-25

Showing the most recent 10 out of 195 publications