In support of the Wake Forest School of Medicine's Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC), the Pilot/Exploratory Studies Core (PESC) develops key information to select and design original and independently-funded studies that can advance our insight into the pathways that affect physical function.

The Pilot/Exploratory Studies Core solicits and selects, with the assistance of the joint scientific review panel, innovative and promising pilot and exploratory studies which address the OAIC research theme.

The PESC fosters pilot and exploratory studies by providing:

  • Infrastructure
  • Environment
  • Funding
  • Expertise/Mentoring

The core also promotes tight integration of pilot and exploratory studies with the resources available from other OAIC cores and throughout Wake Forest University. 

Recent Pilot Awards

  • “Relation of Senescent Cell Burden to Physiologic Function in Aging and HFpEF,” Jamie Justice, PhD and Tina Brinkley, PhD (Geriatrics)
  • “ASPIRE Pilot: A Study Promoting Critical Illness Recovery in the Elderly,” Rita Bahkru, MD (Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Immunological Sciences)
  • “Assessing the Relationship of Neurocognitive Dysfunction to Physical Disability and its Improvement with Caloric Restriction and Exercise Training in Older Patients with Heart Failure and Preserved Ejection Fraction,” Christina Hugenschmidt, PhD (Geriatrics)
  • Ignition Funding: “Mobility Assessment Using Surrogates,” Sunghye Kim, MD, Rheumatology