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Aging and Health

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Biological Mechanisms Core (OAIC Resource Core 2)
Core Leader: Aravinda Chakravarti, PhD
Co-Leaders: Dan Arking, PhD, and Jeremy Walston, MD

The rationale for the Biological Mechanisms Core (Resource Core 2, or RC-2) is to provide the expertise, technology access and infrastructure, mentoring, and training necessary to facilitate the highest quality etiologic research in frailty. RC-2-supported projects have made substantial scientific progress towards the elucidation of biological pathways critical to frailty and to highlighting biological pathways for intervention development. These findings have helped transform scientific thinking on the role of the angiotensin system, inflammation, and mitochondrial function as it impacts frailty.  The overall goals of this core are to provide the expertise for and access to the technologies and biological samples necessary to test biological hypotheses related to frailty, and to develop and apply important new technologies for frailty research. This core supports RCDC investigators, all pilot and exploratory studies, and a number of external projects.  In addition, an RC-2 development project aims to comprehensively study biological pathways in the frail mouse model using state of the art omic technologies.  The specific aims of the Biological Mechanisms Core are: 

  1. To provide state-of-the-art scientific expertise, technology and infrastructure necessary to facilitate cost-effective and efficient use of omics, other molecular approaches, and downstream computational technologies relevant to frailty research.
  2. To provide access to relevant biological samples from human subjects and animal models using either fresh or stored samples, and whole animals as needed to study frailty. 
  3. To facilitate the translation of RC-2 frailty research findings into intervention- or prevention-focused clinical studies in collaboration with the leadership of all other cores.
  4. To provide training, mentorship and guidance to the most promising junior investigators who can contribute to frailty research using molecular studies.
  5. To continue to provide institutional, national, and international access and visibility for RC-2-related science and activities.

Key Accomplishments
Past and Current Projects
Available Resources
Key Personnel

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Investigators from the JHU OAIC have recently published the following articles:

Drs. Jeremy Walston and Karen Bandeen-Roche, "Frailty: A Tale of Two Concepts," in the journal, BMC Medicine

Dr. Bandeen-Roche and colleagues, "Frailty in Older Adults: A Nationally Representative Profile in the United States" in the Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences (PubMed) (Press Release)

Dr. Damani Piggott and colleagues, "Frailty, Inflammation, and Mortality Among Persons Aging with HIV Infection and Injection Drug Use" in the Journals of GerontologyP Medical Sciences


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Please click here for more information about the online Frailty Assessment Tool.

The JHU OAIC is currently accepting proposals for research funding though its Pilot/Exploratory Studies Core, Biostatistics Core, and Biological Mechanisms Core.  Applications are due by July 10, 2015.

Please click here to learn about our Pepper Scholars Program, a monthly collaborative initiative for investigators interested in ongoing aging and frailty research at the Johns Hopkins OAIC.

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