The Biolmaging Resource Core (BIRC) provides leadership, scientific expertise and instrumental supportin quantitative imaging techniques, including MRI, CT, DXA and PET, critical to the WFU OAlC's researchtheme: Integrating pathways affecting physical function for new approaches to disability prevention. TheBIRC is well integrated with all WFU OAIC cores and leads the development and implementation of imagingtechniques and protocols to quantify and characterize body composition, particularly skeletal muscle andtotal, regional and organ-specific adipose tissue and to obtain non-invasive measures of vascular andneuromuscular function. The Core also supports a large image repository that it developed during thepresent cycle in order to facilitate cross-study comparisons and exploratory analyses of established imagingoutcomes as well as rapid development and validation of new imaging phenotypes. Methods developedduring the current cycle have been demonstrated to be robust and of high precision in both human researchand in translational models using rodents and nonhuman primates. During the present cycle, the BIRC hasstrongly contributed to the strong success of the OAIC by supporting 3,431 image acquisitions (DXA, CT, MRIand PET) in 10 externally-supported studies, 8 pilot studies and 3 research development projects.
The specific aims of the Biolmaging Resource Core are to: 1) determine the associations of age anddisease-related changes in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue depots with biological, genetic, co-morbid,psychosocial and behavioral factors, and other outcomes relevant to physical function; 2) measure the effectsof interventions (dietary/nutritional, exercise, pharmacologic, and combinations) on adipose and skeletalmuscle tissue depots; 3) use in vivo bio-imaging to enable bi-directional translation of key findings betweenhumans and animal models (including nonhuman primates) in support of mechanistic research; 4) developand validate novel non-invasive imaging metrics which allow improved characterization of skeletal muscle,adipose tissue and vascular function in older adults to be integrated with a standardized battery of physicalfunction and laboratory/molecular assessments.The BIRC leadership team are highly experienced and successful investigators who have strategicallycomplementary skill sets and strong records of collaborative scientific and administrative achievements. Inthe initial year, the BIRC will support 7 externally-funded projects, 2 pilot projects and 1 developmentalproject. The BIRC will also provide training and mentoring to RCDC-supported faculty to develop expertise inimaging techniques and to advance their development as independent translational research scientists.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-8 (J1))
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Wake Forest University Health Sciences
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