Dr. Sayer?s career goal is to become an independent translational obesity scientist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with a research program focused on the development of pragmatic and adaptive weight loss interventions that can be rapidly implemented in clinical and community settings. The proposed K01 training plan and research project will provide the knowledge, skills, and abilities to launch his independent research career in pursuit of his long-term goals. Dr. Sayer?s training plan includes a combination of formal didactic training available through the UAB Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education (directed by Dr. Kenneth Saag, Co-Mentor) as well as rigorous hands-on and personalized training through the NIH National Rehabilitation Research Resource to Enhance Clinical Trials (directed by Dr. Marcas Bamman, Co-Mentor), UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center (directed by Dr. James Hill, Primary Mentor), and UAB Comprehensive Center for Health Aging (directed by Dr. Cynthia Brow, Co-Mentor). The proposed K01 research is a pilot Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial (SMART) using a high protein diet and resistance training to promote the retention of fat free mass during weight loss in men with obesity aged 50 and older. The primary objectives of the research are to provide critical preliminary data on 1) the feasibility of conducting a full-scale SMART, 2) estimates of intervention effects and their variances, and 3) moderators or predictors of intervention responsiveness that may serve as tailoring variables for a full-scale SMART. Dr. Sayer will leverage data and training resulting from the proposed K01 to successfully compete for R01-level research funding to develop and rigorously evaluate a full-scale SMART designed to construct an optimal adaptive treatment strategy using a HP diet and RT for preventing and/or treating sarcopenic obesity.
Aging is associated with a progressive accrual of body fat and loss of skeletal muscle mass that causes a vicious cycle of increasing metabolic disease risk and loss of functional capacity. Intentional weight loss improves metabolic health but loss of skeletal muscle during weight loss may cause the development of sarcopenia. The proposed K01 research will use an pilot Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial to begin investigating the separate and combined effects of a higher protein diet and resistance training on the retention of fat free mass during weight loss in adults ?50 years.