Colo. – The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus will
be one of seven clinical centers nationwide to participate in an initiative of
the National Institutes of Health to improve understanding of molecular changes
during physical activity.
addition, Wendy M. Kohrt, PhD, professor of medicine at the CU School of
Medicine and the Nancy Anschutz Endowed Chair in Women’s Health Research, has
been named to be the inaugural chair of the national steering committee that
will guide the effort. Dr. Kohrt, who will be the principal investigator on the
grant establishing the clinical center at CU, is a leading researcher in
exercise science with a focus on geriatrics. She serves a director of research
in the division of geriatric medicine and the Center on Aging at the School of
National Institutes of Health Common Fund announced today the first awards for
Transducers of Physical Activity in Humans Program, which will allow
researchers to develop a comprehensive map of the molecular changes that occur
in response to physical activity.
total, 19 grants will support researchers across the country to collect samples
from people of different races, ethnic groups, sex, ages, and fitness levels.
The samples will be analyzed to uncover how physical activity changes the
chemical molecules within our bodies, which could lead to people engaging in
more targeted and optimized types of activity.
awards total approximately $170 million through fiscal year 2022. The awardees
will work as a consortium to develop plans for recruitment into clinical
trials, identification of methods to analyze tissue samples, and selection of
animal models to best replicate human studies. The animal models will allow
researchers to search for changes in tissues not easily accessible in human
patients, such as the brain, lungs, and kidneys.
clinical centers across the country (six for adult participants, and one for
those younger than 18 years of age) will recruit people from diverse racial and
ethnic groups beginning in 2018. They will examine how molecular signals are
altered following changes in exercise patterns. Information about the sites is
available at commonfund.nih.gov/MolecularTransducers/overview.
announcing the awards, National Institutes of Health Director Francis S.
Collins, MD, PhD, said: “We have long understood that exercising is beneficial
to our overall health, but don’t fully understand the impact of exercise at the
molecular level. The development of a so-called molecular map of circulating
signals produced by physical activity will allow us to discover, at a
fundamental level, how physical activity affects our health. This knowledge
should allow researchers and doctors to develop individually targeted exercise
recommendations and better help those who are unable to exercise.”
learn more about the program, the NIH posted a video interview from Dr. Collins.