The goal of the Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core (P/EC) is to provide start-up support for high quality research proposals of high relevance to the Center's overall theme, exploring mechanisms underlying the disability phenotype in older persons and the functional and clinical responses to exercise rehabilitation interventions designed to slow the progression of disability and promote recovery. To accomplish this goal, the P/EC will select and fund the highest quality pilot and exploratory research studies to acquire information needed to select or design future projects that will optimize the recovery of individuals who are older and disabled following stroke or hip fracture. Each submitted proposal will first receive an evaluation for scientific merit by at least two external reviewers, and then be further evaluated by the Core Leadership Executive Committee (CLEC) and the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) for its relevance to Center objectives. The P/EC will assist P/EC investigators in accessing resources from other cores and institutional research programs and centers, monitor and evaluate the progress of PE/C studies, and ensure the safety and protection of human subjects enrolled in all P/EC studies. The UM-OAIC's former Research Development Core (RDC) has made 43 pilot grant awards since its inception in 1994. Many of these awards were to junior faculty members who have now established themselves as productive independent researchers in geriatric medicine and cognate disciplines. Five innovative and methodologically rigorous proposals have been selected for the current competitive renewal, including studies of (a) the mechanisms by which inflammation increases insulin resistance in stroke;(b) the functional recovery of older vs younger skeletal muscles after eccentric exercise in an animal model;(c) the effects of adaptive physical activity on functional measures in a non-medical community;(d) the effects of post hip fracture rehabilitation exercise on elders and (e) comparison of robotic and passive training approaches in individuals with chronic stroke. The P/EC will be directed by Dr. Mary Rodgers, who has served as director of the OAlC's Functional and Neuroplasticity Core, and will be co-directed by Dr. Jay Magaziner, who has served as co-Pi of the Pepper Center. Drs. Rodgers and Magaziner will work closely with the Directors of the RCDC to assist RCDC junior faculty as they develop plans for competitive Pilot Grant applications for P/EC consideration.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1)
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University of Maryland Baltimore
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Quinn, Charlene Connolly; Butler, Erin C; Swasey, Krystal K et al. (2018) Mobile Diabetes Intervention Study of Patient Engagement and Impact on Blood Glucose: Mixed Methods Analysis. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 6:e31
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