Dr. Jeanne Wei, Director of the UAMS Reynolds Institute on Aging
The overall theme is “Translational research in cardiac and skeletal muscle dysfunction in aging and disease.” This theme encompasses the projects of the senior investigators and junior faculty members. We will pursue possible underlying mechanism(s), as well as support translational research that explores the potential role of nutrient supplementation in the prevention and management of age-related cardiac and/or skeletal muscle decline.
The Leadership and Administrative Core (LAC) will promote and augment these efforts by providing continuous direction and support via strong leadership to ensure the timely accomplishment of all of the stated goals.
Three major developments since the last application include the following:
- The receipt of an NIH-supported CTSA, called the Arkansas Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR), which will strengthen our OAIC cores through multilevel collaborations;
- The recent award of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Grant to establish and/or upgrade connections between UAMS and 474 health care and education sites around the state; and
- our receipt of a Reynolds Foundation award for our building expansion and for caregiver training programs at other Centers on Aging in rural areas of Arkansas.
One of the Arkansas OAIC’s most important goals is to provide an environment that supports and nurtures new and promising investigators, including geriatrician scientists while increasing the scientific community’s interest in committing to pursuing research in aging. We are partnering with researchers at our sister Reynolds Department of Geriatrics and Center on Aging at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) in order to make this OAIC stronger. This year we added four more floors to the Reynolds Institute on Aging building, which will substantially increase our laboratory, training, and administrative space for the OAIC investigators.
The overall LAC goals are to provide administrative infrastructure and foster collaboration, review resource allocation, and utilization, assess scientific opportunities for new uses of core resources and develop plans for collaborative research activities with OUHSC and other OAICs. LAC provides a centralized service to help recruit and retain subjects for pilot studies and ongoing Arkansas OAIC projects. It also helps investigators translate new information into clinical trials designed to improve cardiac and skeletal muscle function and the maintenance of independence in older Americans. This research will broaden our understanding of the underlying causes of weakness of the cardiac and skeletal muscle that occurs as a result of aging and/or age-related diseases. We are also exploring methods to prevent and treat this weakness with nutrient supplementation. Overall, our objective is to maintain functional independence and enhance heart and skeletal muscle health in older Americans.