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Applied Physiology & Mechanisms Resource Core (RC2)

Chronic disease and cardiovascular and musculoskeletal deconditioning accelerate the onset and severity of age-related functional declines which predispose to increased risk of disability from falls, hip fracture, stroke, and additional comorbid disease.  The disproportionate increase in disability and chronic disease burden in the rapidly expanding older population exacerbates the socio-economic impact of functional disability.  The overarching goal of the UM-OAIC is to develop, implement, and evaluate strategies to improve and restore functional independence in older persons with disabling conditions. To accomplish this, Applied Physiology and Mechanisms Core (RC-2) will support and accelerate the development and study of meaningful interventions to delay or prevent functional declines and promote the enablement of disabled older people.

To achieve this goal, we have implemented the following specific aims:

Advance research focused on the mechanisms of functional decline in older persons with disability and the mitigation of decline with exercise or activity-based or multi-modal rehabilitation through:

  • Patient medical assessments and cardiovascular screening of research participants to ensure patient safety and eligibility for research protocols.
  • The development and testing of novel exercise-based and other interventions (e.g. aerobic, resistance, multi-modal training, or other strategies) for clinical centers, and home and community settings.
  • Cardiometabolic and functional phenotyping of participants and biochemical study of blood and tissue.
  • Studies in pre-clinical aging rodent models and the effects of exercise training or other interventions, phenotyping of neuromuscular performance in vivo, and function and tissue properties measures in vitro.

Provide mentoring and training to REC Scholars, affiliated faculty, and UM-OAIC researchers in the performance of aging research relevant to exercise and rehabilitation-based restoration of function and the prevention of functional declines in older people with chronic disabling diseases through:

  • Mentoring and interdisciplinary educational and consultative resources to REC Scholars and junior faculty on research design, implementation, conduct, and interpretation of studies.
  • Clinical applied training in the conduct of translational research and the cardiovascular and physiological outcomes of exercise, activity-based, or other interventions of rehabilitation in aging.
  • Laboratory training in pre-clinical methodologies for exercise training, neuromuscular phenotyping in vivo, the measure of function and tissue properties in vitro, and cellular and molecular assays in human and animal tissue to facilitate translational research. 


Core Leader

Alice Ryan, PhD
Telephone: 410-605-7851

Core Co-Leaders

Les Katzel, MD, PhD
Telephone: 410-605-7248

Chris Ward, PhD
Telephone: 410-706-3618



Brock Beamer, MD
Telephone: 410-605-7000 ext.54870

Brajesh Lal, MD
Telephone: 410-328-5840

Joseph Stains, PhD
Telephone: 410-706-2494