Inflammatory biology plays a central role in illness and disability among older people. The OAIC Inflammatory Biology Core (IBC) at UCLA will provide intellectual and technical support for the analysis of inflammatory dynamics in Pepper Center research programs. In addition to conventional blood-based measures of inflammatory markers, the IBC will also provide extensive molecular biology infrastructure for mapping upstream signaling processes that cause aberrant inflammation, and for defining the down-stream impact of inflammatory signaling on target tissues. IBC analytic infrastructure will expand information yield from six currently funded Pepper Center R01s (e.g., immune dysregulation in aging, effects of cancer therapy on cognitive function in the elderly, and cytokine effects on sleep in healthy elderly), and facilitate analysis of inflammatory dynamics in newly-developed Pepper Center research programs (pilot projects in the OAIC Pilot and Exploratory Core and new R01s emerging from the Center). The Core will generate new technical approaches for assessing molecular bases of inflammatory signaling during aging, measuring functional impacts of genetic polymorphisms, and monitoring the activity proinflammatory cytokines and hormones using genomics-based biomarkers. The OAIC IBC includes multi-disciplinary intellectual support (behavior, genetics, and immunology), vertical integration of inflammatory biology into the full range of research program development, training in molecular analyses of inflammation, and development of new strategies for assessing the sources and targets of inflammatory signals in aging individuals.
Three specific aims are proposed: 1) Expand and support the analysis of inflammatory biology in existing UCLA OAIC research programs and in new OAIC pilot projects and developing research programs;2) Develop new analytic approaches to facilitate in vivo analysis of inflammatory dynamics and their functional genomic impact on elderly individuals;3) Provide training in behavioral, immunologic, and molecular aspects of inflammatory biology in general, and as they pertain to the unique health and function issues in aging. This training will emphasize biological knowledge about the sources and targets of inflammatory signals, and their role in the health and functional independence of older people..
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