Functional decline and dependence in older individuals portend poor outcome, and impose a large burden on health care services and costs. Therefore, function promoting anabolic therapies (FPATs) that improve physical function and reduce the burden of disabling functional limitations are desirable. The Boston Claude A. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC) with its thematic focus on functional limitations and FPATs will integrate 13 NIH-funded studies, 4 innovative pilot projects, and 2 developmental projects into a cohesive interdisciplinary program that is supported by a Leadership and Administrative Core, a Research Career Development Core (RCDC), a Pilot and Exploratory StudieSxCore, and three resource cores (Function Assessment Core, Muscle Progenitor Cell Core, and Systems Biology Core). The Boston OAIC is unique in its positioning across the entire spectrum of translational discovery research: 13 OAIC projects, and pilot and developmental projects will elucidate the epidemiology of functional limitations and mechanisms of FPAT action, help identify targets for FPAT discovery and biomarkers of FPAT action, and facilitate methods development, outcomes validation, and efficacy trials of leading FPATs. The RCDC will recruit the best candidates from several disciplines, induing Geriatrics and Gerontology, and train them through a structured didactic education and mentored research program. Integration across OAIC will be achieved by weekly interdisciplinary research meetings, biannual retreats, a website, common thematic focus, and the PROMOTE program aimed at promoting collaboration. Community outreach and dissemination of OAIC activities will be achieved through Ambassador's Program which will organize community events, a newsletter, and a Community Advisory Board. Unique strengths of OAIC include its focus on FPATs, emphasis on innovation, its extension across entire spectrum of translational research from mechanism elucidation to efficacy trials, a history of productive collaborations among its members, strong infrastructure and institutional commitment, and inclusion of several important epidemiologic investigations (FHS, MMAS, BACH, Centenarian Study, and BOKS), FPAT intervention trials, and mechanism-based FPAT discoveries. Boston OAlC's collaborative strategies should help expedite the translation of research results into evidence-based FPATs and nurture a new generation of aging researchers.

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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Boston Medical Center
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