Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core
Core Leader: Neal Fedarko, PhD
The overall goal of Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core (PESC) is to cultivate and support cutting edge pilot and exploratory studies that will advance the development of effective prevention and/or therapies for frailty and hence facilitate independence in older adults. The PESC provides funding, access to biostatistical, biological, and clinical research core resources, and mentoring and oversight to completion of pilot and exploratory studies. The PESC leadership is focused on the development, conduct and eventual translation of high impact pilot studies. Proposed studies must be novel, hypothesis-driven research that establishes potential mechanisms, etiologies, screening approaches or evaluates potential therapies to prevent or ameliorate the syndrome of frailty and related endophenotypes and hence maintain independence. It is expected that PESC supported studies will establish preliminary data that will lead to substantive, long term external funding that can bring this research to completion. The specific aims of this core are:
- To solicit, select, and support pilot and exploratory studies (PES) that advance the biological understanding of frailty, or studies that move OAIC biological discoveries related to frailty towards intervention development. This process will enable the PESC and other core leaders to identify areas of focus that are crucial to accelerating the progress of frailty-related research.
- To support development of well-designed and informative PES, by providing intellectual leadership that articulates the scientific vision, goals and priorities of the center, and ensures optimal study design and utilization of the extensive intellectual and research resources offered by other OAIC cores.
- To provide and conduct longitudinal mentorship and oversight, from conception to translation, for investigators whose pilot proposals are supported by the OAIC. This includes content and career mentorship, assistance in helping the awardee understand how the project fits into the overall theme of frailty-related research, facilitating successful, timely completion of projects, and guiding the awardee in developing further independent funding of PESC supported research.
- Guide the translation of pilot and exploratory study results developed within this core into a deeper understanding of the basic biology of frailty, or into interventions that will prevent or treat frailty and improve independence in older adults through fostering interdisciplinary communication and collaboration between supported investigators and participants in other OAIC cores.
- To expand the research environment and network of investigators focused on frailty research by bringing the scientific progress of pilot and other OAIC supported studies to the attention of individuals with the potential to contribute to the study of frailty, by helping awardees present their research at local and national forums, by placing awardees in contact with other individuals at Johns Hopkins and nationally whose interests intersect with the topic they are researching, and by encouraging discussion of frailty and the potential application of the pilot studies being supported in clinical, epidemiological and basic science forums throughout the medical institutions and nationally.
Pilot Core Investigators: