The objective of the Pilot/Exploratory Studies Core (PESC) of the Duke Pepper OAIC is to conduct pilot studies to acquire information needed to design more definitive, larger studies to understand and modify multiple pathways of functional decline.
The specific aims are to generate novel ideas for pilots studies;to solicit, select and provide research funding for the highest quality pilot studies;to facilitate successful completion of the pilot studies and their development into externally funded, larger grants;to attract promising junior investigators to aging research;to foster multi-disciplinary/translational research;to educate developing investigators about the logistics and science of pilot studies via an innovative Pilot Studies Workshop, to share our expertise with the Pilot Studies Workshop to other Pepper OAlCs in collaboration with the OAIC Coordinating Center at Wake Forest University, to use small exploratory pilot monies as a rapid response mechanism to take advantage of cutting edge areas;and to contribute to other important NIA pilot mechanisms. The PESC solicits and selects high quality pilot studies from across Duke University Medical Center using rigorous external peer review. The PESC monitors study progress and assists in the development of larger grant proposals from pilot study findings. Three pilot studies are proposed in the first two years. PES-1 examines the role of skeletal muscle changes to different training regimens and evaluates the contribution of these changes to functional performance in the older adults. PES-2 addresses the problem of severe sepsis and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome by determining the effects of exercise on organ and immune cell mitochondrial biogenesis during sepsis. PES-3 addresses how the functional trajectory of patients with an index disease (diabetes for this study) is worsened by the presence of co-existing medical conditions (cognitive impairment). The PESC impacts public health by performing studies that develop knowledge to maintain or restore independence in older Americans.

Public Health Relevance

The pilot study research performed in the Duke Pepper OAIC PESC will generate the preliminary information needed to conduct the best studies of more effective ways to maintain or restore independence in older persons. The PESC supports research and training directed towards improving the health, independence, and quality of life of older Americans.

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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Duke University
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