ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 9, 2019 — You know exercise is good for you — but do you know why?
As it turns out, scientists don’t know either. So researchers are launching a major study to try and find out.
Known as MoTrPAC (Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity in Humans), the study’s goal is to discover why exercise helps the body’s cells and organs at the molecular level. It’s taking place at eleven sites around the country, including the Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes at AdventHealth Orlando. Other sites include Duke University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Alabama and the University of California-Irvine.
The $170 million project, funded by NIH’s common fund, will involve 1,500-2,000 participants nationwide over a period of three years. The TRI will provide 150-200 of those participants.
Bret Goodpaster, Ph.D., will serve as principal investigator for the TRI portion of the study. He has been involved in the planning for the study for the past few years, after publishing a white paper about science’s gaps in knowledge about the benefits of exercise.
“The study is not disease-specific, because we know exercise impacts all diseases,” Goodpaster said. “But we don’t know the answers to other basic questions: Why do we see variation? Why doesn’t everyone respond in the same way? Why do some respond better to exercise than others?”
In the initial phase, investigators will track healthy but sedentary volunteers, ages 18-80, ranging from normal weight to moderately obese. The volunteers will take part in a 12-week exercise program, and researchers will collect blood and tissue samples before and after exercise. The study will take advantage of emerging fields of study such as genomics.
This first phase will also set the framework for future studies on populations with specific diseases and conditions.
The tissue samples will be sent to scientists at MoTrPAC Chemical Analysis Sites, who will analyze a variety of molecules that change following exercise, and may transmit the benefits of physical activity even to areas of the body not directly involved in exercise.
More information about the TRI and studies being conducted there is available at Call407-303-7100.
Founded in 1908 by pioneering Seventh-day Adventists who believed in whole-person health — healing the body, mind and spirit — AdventHealth has grown into one of the largest nonprofit hospitals in the country, caring for more than two million patient visits per year. AdventHealth operates nearly 50 hospitals and hundreds of care centers in nine states, making it one of the largest faith-based health-care systems in the United States.
In Florida, AdventHealth ranges from the Tampa Bay area in the west to the Daytona Beach area in the east. It includes 30 hospitals, more than 30 CentraCare urgent-care centers; dozens of sport-rehab and imaging centers; and hundreds of physicians, ranging from primary care to a full spectrum of specialties.
AdventHealth Orlando, the Central Florida Division’s flagship campus, serves both as a community hospital and as a major tertiary referral hospital for the region, much of the Southeast, the Caribbean and Latin America.
AdventHealth Orlando is a designated statutory teaching hospital and trains physicians from around the world on the newest technology and procedures. The system provides a wide range of health services, including many nationally and internationally recognized programs in cardiology, cancer, women’s medicine, neurosciences, diabetes, orthopedics, pediatrics, transplant and advanced surgical programs.
The AdventHealth Research Institute Orlando has more than 250 investigators and more than 500 clinical trials in progress at any given time. AdventHealth Orlando is also home to the Translational Research Institute for Metabolism & Diabetes and the Nicholson Center for Surgical Advancement.