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University of Florida Institute on Aging Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center . Marco Pahor, MD. UF Pepper Center 2007-2017. The theme Sarcopenia and prevention of disability

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University of Florida Institute on Aging

Claude D. Pepper Older Americans

Independence Center

Marco Pahor, MD

UF Pepper Center 2007-2017

The theme

Sarcopenia and prevention of disability

is being pursued using an interdisciplinary approach that traverses the entire spectrum of biomedical investigation, including molecular biology, animal studies, clinical research, behavioral sciences, epidemiology and health services

UF Pepper Center Mission

  • To assess the risk factors and better understand the biological mechanisms of physical disability in older adults

  • To develop and test effective prevention and rehabilitation therapies

  • To train future leaders and researchers in the arena of aging and disability

University of Florida Institute on Aging OAIC

in numbers – 2007 - 2013

  • 55 active research projects

  • 68 completed research projects

  • 15 pending grants

  • 50 funded investigators at 16 institutions

  • 45 trainees

  • 13 partnering UF colleges

  • 54,000 sq. ft. of office, research, clinical space

Interactions of the Pepper Center with Colleges,

Institutes, Centers & Other Organizations

Health Sciences Colleges

Other Colleges


Public Health

& Health Prof.


Liberal Arts

& Sciences

Health & Human








Journalism &





Institutes & Centers




Pepper Center








Cancer Center

Brain Institute




Fellows, Residents,

T-K trainees, Junior

Faculty, Study

Coordinators, Students




Pathogens Inst.


Institute on Aging Clinical Translational

Research Building – NIH C06RR029852

Institute on Aging

Health Promotion Research Center

UF Institute on Aging - Orlando

Lake Nona Academic & Research Center

Major Phase 3 randomized controlled trials with disability outcomes in older persons

  • The Life Study

  • The TTrial


Active clinical pilot studies
Active Clinical Pilot Studies outcomes in older persons

Automaticity of walking: Age-related impairment and functional implications (Clark)

  • To determine if peripheral sensory impairment increases cortical demand of walking and if increased cortical demand of walking reduces mobility function.

  • Test the hypothesis that electromyographic (EMG) measures are more sensitive than gait parameters to determine cortical demand using a dual-tasking paradigm in older adults.

Pending emerging clinical studies
Pending/Emerging Clinical Studies functional implications

Pepper junior scholars and affiliate pepper scholars
Pepper Junior Scholars and functional implications Affiliate Pepper Scholars

  • S. Someya Aging & Geriatric Research (9% RO1 Age-related hearing loss NIDCD)

  • K. Sibille, Community Dentistry (score 24 K-Award) (pain, OA, telomere biology)

  • D. Clark, Brain Rehabilitation Research Center, VA (VA Career Dev. Award)

  • A. Judge, Physical Therapy (RO1 funded on Basic Muscle Biology, not Aging, yet)

  • V. Dotson, Clinical & Health Psychology, Minority Supplement Funded/R21 pending

  • T. Buford, Aging & Geriatric Research (AHA and ADA grants submitted)

  • AM Joseph, Aging & Geriatric Research (Pepper Pilot Grant Funded)

  • Affiliated Scholars

  • Silvia Tornaletti (Pepper Pilot Grant funded)

  • Phil Efron (Pepper Pilot Grant funded)

  • Natalie Ebner (Department of Psychology) (Submitting RO1 in response to RFA)

  • Mark Wallet (Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine)

  • Peter Adhihetty (Department of Applied Physiology)

Rcdc activities

RCDC Activities functional implications

-Roundtable Discussion (Academic Topics/ Grant Review) Combined with CTSI Scholars

-Semi-Annual Discussion on Academic Progress

-regular mentee/mentor committee meetings & formal feedback

-Seminar Series


Grant Review

Specialty Area Workshops

-Travel and Pilot Grant Support

Induced pluripotent stem cells ( functional implications iPSCs): potential model to study mechanisms of human aging (Joseph, PhD and Terada, PhD)

iPSCs are a type of pluripotent stem cell artificially derived from a non-pluripotent cell - typically an adult somatic cell- by inducing a "forced" expression of specific genes.

Terada. Laboratory Investigation (2011) 91, 972–977

Continue: induced pluripotent stem cell ( functional implications iPSC) study

  • Establishment and characterization of human iPS cells for ES cell properties including stem cell markers, self-renewal, and pluripotency

  • In vitro differentiation of muscle cells from human iPS cells.

  • Determine the mechanisms of mitochondrial/autophagy alterations of iPS cells derived from individuals of disparate ages.

Role of mitochondrial DNA repair in aging and functional implications sarcopenia

(Silvia Tornaletti, PhD)

  • The present project aims at identifying molecular mechanisms associated with the age-related features of sarcopenia by studying the relation of mitochondrial DNA stability with DNA repair efficiency and TFAM binding.

  • We will investigate changes with declining physical function

Sepsis/Trauma in the Elderly (Efron, Scientist and ICU MD) functional implications

  • Prolonged ICU stays and Manageable Organ Dysfunctions

  • Recurrent Infections (Hits) and Persistent Acute Phase Response & Decreased Lymphocytes

  • Decreased Lean Body Mass – a Wasting Disease and Poor Wound Healing

  • Transfer to LTACs for Indolent Deaths

  • Older Adults 25% discharged to SNFs and 1/3rddead within one year.

  • Overall Mortality Sespsis patients 20% Elderly Mortality 40%

  • Majority will have Cognitive and Functional Impairments in survivors

Immune Mechanisms in the Elderly in Response to Severe Sepsis and Trauma. Animal Models Needed to Understand Trauma/Sepsis syndrome in the elderly

  • Characterize the emergency myelopoietic response during severe sepsis and severe polytrauma in the aged versus the young adult mouse.

  • Examine whether increased dysregulation and delay in the emergency myelopoiesis response after sepsis or trauma is responsible, in part, for the immune suppression that leads to increased susceptibility and/or mortality to secondary infections in the elderly as compared to the young.

Future Directions Sepsis and Trauma.

  • Impact of cognition, memory and pain on physical function and sarcopenia

  • Mitochondrial function

  • Pharmacological, nutritional and behavioral interventions to improve/maintain physical and cognitive function (LIFE-Extension Study, LIFE-ARISE prevention of AD, inflammation, vitamin D)

  • Multimodality intervention studies

Our OAIC Leaders Sepsis and Trauma.

M. Pahor, MD

S. Anton, PhD

C. Carter, PhD

R. Cohen, PhD

L. Crump, MPH

H. Doss, PhD

C. Leeuwenburgh, PhD

T. Manini, PhD

M. Marsiske, PhD

S. Nayfield MD

Pepper Junior Scholars Sepsis and Trauma. Our Leaders of Tomorrow

D. Clark, PhD

T. Buford, PhD

V. Dotson, PhD

A. Joseph, PhD

A. Judge, PhD

K. Sibille, PhD

S. Someya, PhD