New UTHSC Leadership Hopes To Move Aging Studies Into Clinical Trials

Sep 3, 2013

The UT Health Science Center has a new leader for its studies on aging. Dr. Nicolas Musi was recently named as director for the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies and said he plans to encourage research to move into clinical studies.

Musi said he wants to create a comprehensive program that moves the research from the lab to the bedside. One area he’s eager to study on human subjects is exercise interventions.

"We know that exercise is beneficial to improve metabolism and muscle function. So we want to understand at the molecular level how exercise works," Musi said. "If we know that, we could design medications that have an exercise-like effect."

Such medications that would deliver the benefits of exercise he said, would be useful to certain populations who can’t exercise, who have disabilities or diseases, have had a stroke, or have severe arthritis.

Musi, who has served as director of the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center in the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, and is the Sam and Ann Barshop Endowed Chair in Translational Research, will also direct 10 graduate students and six postdoctoral fellows under a $3.4 million grant from the National Institute on Aging.

The school also received $4 million in funding from the state to create the Translational Aging Research Program at the Barshop Institute. Dr. Musi said the overarching goal of the program is to realize the vision of a world where people live long and enjoyable lives.