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Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center - Research

Aging affects the body, the mind, physical functioning, and the person’s role in society. Scientific research is the key to understanding these processes and to using the knowledge to keep people as healthy and active as possible as they age.

Research overview

The research focus of Eastern Colorado GRECC is:

  1. Consequences and treatments of obesity in older adults
  2. Gender differences in health (focusing on women’s health)

These are both areas of significant existing research interest, resources, strengths, and achievements within the University of Colorado School of Medicine Division of Geriatric Medicine. These areas are of consequence due to the increasing number of female Veterans and greater understanding of the multiple functional, metabolic, and cognitive risks of obesity. However, they have received only modest attention to date from existing GRECCs.

In 2010, the VA Women’s Health Services Research Conference identified complex chronic conditions, aging, and long-term care as a focus area for defining the future direction of VA women’s health research and its potential impact on practice and policy. Research priorities identified under this initiative included advancing the understanding of aging issues of women Veterans in such areas as menopause, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, and heart failure.

This page show 2 different ways to understand the research being conducted at Eastern Colorado GRECC. The first is through the research categories used to describe each research grant. When a grant is awarded it is tagged with various categories that describe the work being done. The categories below can be used to find the EC GRECC investigators working in each area.

Also on this page, you can find the research funding sources for each grant we have received. The funding source can be useful in understanding the priorities of funders and investigators. For persons looking for post-doctoral positions it can be used to find a mentor for future grant writing.

Research team

Our research team is made up of 13 investigators whose research interests are noted in the categories below. All of our investigators are available to mentor research fellows. Listed alphabetically with their primary research area:

Research studies

This is a sampling of current research projects:

Enhancing Skeletal Adaptations – PTH and Exercise (ESkAPE)

Purpose: We want to know if exercise training impacts how certain bone markers in your blood respond to exercise over time.

To participate: You must be:

  1. a Veteran of any branch of the US Military;
  2. be between the ages of 25-45 years OR 55- 75 years and in generally good health;
  3. are used to some exercise but are not regularly exercising;
  4. no history of cardiovascular disease or type I diabetes

Contact: If you are interested in the ESkAPE study, contact Sarah Wherry at 303-704-8054 or sarah.wherry@va.gov.

PI: Wendy M. Kohrt, PhD; COMIRB # 21-3163

Exercise and Bone Biomarkers (EBB)

Purpose: We want to know if the type of exercise (stationary cycling versus walking on a treadmill) impacts how certain bone markers in your blood respond to exercise.

To participate: You must be:

  1. a Veteran of any branch of the US Military;
  2. be at least 60 years old and in generally good health;
  3. are used to regular exercise lasting at least 1 hour;
  4. not taking osteoporosis medication;
  5. no history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Contact: If you are interested in the EBB study, contact Sarah Wherry at 303-704-8054 or sarah.wherry@va.gov.

PI: Sarah Wherry, PhD; COMIRB # 21-2580

Improving health self-management using walking biobehavioral intervention for people with dysvascular lower limb amputation (DASH)

Purpose: Our ultimate goal is to optimize quality of life and minimize disability for people with dysvascular lower-limb amputation through improved health self-management. An initial step toward that goal is to test a walking biobehavioral intervention in the context of conventional post-amputation care.

Participants receive:

  • Four physical function and activity examinations at home or in the rehabilitation clinic
  • Financial compensation
  • Direct interaction with an expert therapy team

You may qualify if you:

  • Are 50-85 years old
  • Have a recent lower limb amputation
  • Plan to pursue walking with a prosthesis

Investigator/COMIRB #: Cory Christiansen/#19-0534

Contact: Emily.hager@cuanschutz.edu, 303-724-6035

Mode of Exercise Training on the Bone Response to Exercise in Older Veterans (MoVe)

Purpose: We want to know if the mode of exercise training (resistance exercise versus endurance exercise) impacts how certain bone markers in your blood respond to exercise.

To participate: You must be:

  1. a Veteran of any branch of the US Military;
  2. be at least 60 years old and in generally good health;
  3. are used to some exercise but are not regularly exercising;
  4. no history of cardiovascular disease or type I diabetes

Contact: If you are interested in the MoVe study, contact Sarah Wherry at 303-704-8054 or sarah.wherry@va.gov.

PI: Sarah Wherry, PhD; COMIRB # 21-4742

Study Name: Optimizing gait rehabilitation for Veterans with non-traumatic lower limb amputation (GEM)

Purpose: Our ultimate goal is to optimize walking ability and reduce disability for Veterans with non-traumatic lower limb amputation by improving gait pattern quality and limiting potential negative secondary effects of increased walking activity.

Participants receive:

  • Three examinations measuring residual limb health and walking symmetry over 4 months
  • Eight treadmill walking training sessions over 4 weeks
  • Financial compensation
  • Direct interaction with a physical therapist and a prosthetist with knowledge about lower limb amputations and walking patterns

You may qualify if you:

  • Are at least 50 years old
  • Have a below the knee amputation between 6 months and 10 years ago

Investigator/COMIRB #: Cory Christiansen/#19-0996

Contact: Emily.hager@cuanschutz.edu, 303-724-6035

Optimizing Physical Activity Outcomes for Veterans After Total Knee Arthroplasty (ART)

Purpose: The primary objective of this randomized controlled trial is to determine efficacy of physical activity behavior-change telerehabilitation on improving physical activity after total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

Participants receive:

  • Four examinations measuring physical function and activity for 9 months after surgery at the participant’s home
  • Financial compensation for time to participants
  • Direct interaction with a therapist with expertise on physical activity behavior change over the first 6 months of the study

You may qualify if you:

  • Are 50-85 years old
  • Have a planned total knee arthroplasty

Investigator/COMIRB #: Cory Christiansen/#17-0079

Contact: Emily.hager@cuanschutz.edu, 303-724-6035

Research categories

The number associated with the category is the number of grants included in that category. The research categories that have been tagged in 80 Eastern Colorado GRECC grants include:

  • Prevention (39)
  • Aging (38)
  • Nutrition (32)
  • Behavioral and social science (26)
  • Clinical trials and supportive activities (25)
  • Obesity (22)
  • Rehabilitation (20)
  • Physical rehabilitation (13)
  • Diabetes (12)
  • Neurosciences (12)
  • Arthritis (10)
  • Bioengineering (10)
  • Cardiovascular (10)
  • Chronic pain (10)
  • Estrogen (9)
  • Comparative effectiveness research (8)
  • Osteoporosis (4)

Research funding sources

This next list shows the funding sources for our grants:

  • National Institute on Aging (25)
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (24)
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs (11)
  • National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (8)
  • National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (7)
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (3)
  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (3)
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (3)
  • Arthritis Foundation (2)
  • Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (2)
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2)
  • National Cancer Institute (2)
  • National Institute of Nursing Research (2)
  • American Diabetes Association (1)
  • American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) (1)
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences (1)
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) (1)

Current grants

Advancing Rehabilitation Paradigms for Older Adults in Skilled Nursing Facilities

Principal investigator: Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley
Grant number: R01AG072693
Funding amount: $617,000.00
Start/end date: July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2026
Funder: National Institute on Aging
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10226727

Effectiveness of Engaging in Advance Care Planning Talks (ENACT) Group Visits Intervention in Primary Care for Older Adults with and without Alzheimer's Dementia

Principal investigator: Hillary Lum
Grant number: R01AG066804
Funding amount: $780,725.00
Start/end date: March 15, 2021 - February 28, 2026
Funder: National Institute on Aging
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10100456

Diminished Sex Hormone Levels Stimulate Production of Inflammatory Bone Marrow-Derived Adipocytes

Principal investigator: Dwight Klemm
Grant number: I01BX005135
Funding amount: $0.00
Start/end date: April 1, 2021 - March 31, 2025
Funder: United States Department of Veterans Affairs
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10017066

Pragmatic Implementation Science Approaches to Assess and Enhance Value of Cancer Prevention and Control in Rural Primary Care

Principal investigator: Russell E. Glasgow
Grant number: P50CA244688
Funding amount: $2,861,735.00
Start/end date: September 20, 2019 - August 31, 2024
Funder: National Cancer Institute
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10251988

Workforce Development Engages Diverse Older Adults to Catalyze Innovative Approaches for Enhanced Recruitment and Retention

Principal investigator: Kathryn Nearing
Grant number: 1R24AG071459
Funding amount: $558,329.00
Start/end date: September 30, 2021 - June 30, 2024
Funder: National Institute on Aging
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10170897

Improving health self-management using walking biobehavioral intervention for people with dysvascular lower limb amputation

Principal investigator: Cory L. Christiansen
Grant number: R01NR018450
Funding amount: $1,171,746.00
Start/end date: August 1, 2019 - May 31, 2024
Funder: National Institute of Nursing Research
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10151652

Optimizing Gait Rehabilitation for Veterans with Non-Traumatic Lower Limb Amputation

Principal investigator: Cory L. Christiansen
Grant number: I01RX003237
Funding amount: $0.00
Start/end date: November 1, 2019 - 10/31/2023
Funder: United States Department of Veterans Affairs
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10049200

Engaging Medically Complex Veterans in Tele-Rehabilitation Using a Biobehavioral Approach: A Pilot Study of Feasibly and Acceptability

Principal investigator: Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley
Grant number: 1I21RX003730
Funding amount: $0.00
Start/end date: July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2023
Funder: United States Department of Veterans Affairs
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10251603

Novel Strategies for Personalized Clinical Decisions in Knee Arthroplasty

Principal investigator: Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley
Grant number: R01HS025692
Funding amount: $1,067,362.00
Start/end date: September 1, 2018 - June 30, 2023
Funder: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/9965906

Comparison of Exercise Mode on Disruptions in Calcium Homeostasis

Principal investigator: Sarah J. Wherry
Grant number: I21RX003593
Funding amount: $0.00
Start/end date: July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2023
Funder: United States Department of Veterans Affairs
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10255684

Bioenergetic and Metabolic Consequences of the Loss of Gonadal Function

Principal investigator: Wendy Kohrt & Dwight Klemm
Grant number: U54AG062319
Funding amount: $4,536,882.00
Start/end date: September 20, 2012 - May 31, 2023
Funder: National Institute on Aging
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/9984225

Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium - Colorado Clinical Center

Principal investigator: Wendy Kohrt
Grant number: U01AR071124
Funding amount: $8,868,509.00
Start/end date: December 6, 2016 - November 30, 2022
Funder: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10108941

Optimizing Physical Activity Outcomes for Veterans After Total Knee Arthroplasty

Principal investigator: Cory L. Christiansen
Grant number: I01RX002417
Funding amount: $0.00
Start/end date: February 1, 2017 - November 30, 2022
Funder: United States Department of Veterans Affairs
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10067376

IMPlementation to Achieve Clinical Transformation (IMPACT): The Colorado Training Program

Principal investigator: Russell E. Glasgow
Grant number: K12HL137862
Funding amount: $2,937,246.00
Start/end date: September 5, 2017 - June 30, 2022
Funder: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10229571

Movement pattern biofeedback training after total knee arthroplasty

Principal investigator: Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley
Grant number: R01AG056585
Funding amount: $2,733,944.00
Start/end date: September 15, 2017 - April 30, 2022
Funder: National Institute on Aging
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/9924429

Progressing Home Health Rehabilitation Paradigms for Older Adults

Principal investigator: Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley
Grant number: R01NR016209
Funding amount: $2,374,799.00
Start/end date: July 1, 2016 - April 30, 2022
Funder: National Institute of Nursing Research
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/9691496

Cardiovascular Consequences of Hypogonadism in Men

Principal investigator: Kerrie Moreau
Grant number: R01AG049762
Funding amount: $3,269,267.00
Start/end date: February 1, 2016 - January 31, 2022
Funder: National Institute on Aging
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/9849152

Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center

Principal investigator: Wendy Kohrt & Edward L. Melanson
Grant number: P30DK048520
Funding amount: $25,539,568.00
Start/end date: March 15, 1995 - July 31, 2025
Funder: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
NIH website: https://reporter.nih.gov/project-details/10189558