The central premise of the proposed San Antonio Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC) is that basic aging research has advanced to the point where scientifically validated, aging-modulating approaches are ready to be tested and translated into human therapies. We propose an Intervention Program that will advance discoveries obtained in rodents into the pre-clinical arena using a non-human primate model, the common marmoset, and from the pre-clinical arena into humans through clinical studies. Our Center will provide investigators with the scientific infrastructure and services that are requisite to translate innovative interventions that target the aging process and age-related diseases into humans. Initially, our major focus will be on pharmacological interventions, however, regenerative and gene transfer interventions also will be tested as they become available. The Specific Objectives of the OAIC are: 1. To provide, through Resource Core (RC-1), functional assessment (health span) services, and determine the effect of interventions on lifespan. This Core also will support pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamics, safety, and tolerability assessment of aging-modulating interventions. 2. To provide human clinical research and pharmacology services to studies of interventions aimed at preventing physiological decline and age-related diseases through Resource Core (RC-2). Services provided by this core will include study design, subject recruitment, subject retention, and procedures to assess physical performance, cognition, glucose metabolism, vascular function, atherosclerosis, exercise tolerance, gait, balance, imaging, and specimen (blood, muscle, fat) processing. This core will also perform pharmacokinetic studies in humans. 3. To provide, through the Biostatistics Core (RC3), expertise in data entry systems, data quality control, data security, and state-of-the-art quantitative and qualitative analytic and medical informatics strategies. 4. To provide assistance to faculty for developing research programs in gerontology and geriatrics. The Research Career Development Core (RCDC) will provide protected research time, research training, and mentorship to OAIC Scholars, while the Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core (PESC) will fund pilot projects to gather preliminary data that may guide the design of future studies. All scholars will have research projects, mentoring teams and specific short and long-term career goals.
The aging process plays an important role in the development of chronic disease and contributes to disability and the loss of independence. We propose a program that will develop and test interventions (such as drugs) that may promote healthy aging. This will help to maintain health and independence in older adults.
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