UCI ICTS AWARDED $7 MILLION TO TRANSFORM EXERCISE AS MEDICINE IN CHILDREN:
PROJECT REACH (Revamping Exercise Assessments in Child Health)
Drs. Shlomit Aizik and Dan Cooper of the Department of Pediatrics and the ICTS will serve as the principal investigators for this exciting new NIH study. Project REACH is funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) through a novel program, CTSA Collaboration Innovation Awards. Project REACH is designed to improve the lives of children with chronic disease using exercise and physical activity. Drs. Aizik and Cooper are collaborating with an exceptional team of investigators from the Ann and Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Northwestern University in Chicago and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (USC). Project REACH will transform how we measure physical fitness in children with chronic diseases and in healthy children. Our team consists of exercise scientists, clinicians, molecular biologists, and data scientists. This unprecedented translational research will focus on children with two of the most challenging chronic pediatric diseases, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease. We will follow cohorts of participants over a 3-5 year period during a critical period of growth and development. The knowledge gained will be shared immediately across the CTSA network. Discoveries will be used to create new standards and biomarkers to improve the health of all children and optimize the role of exercise across the lifespan by examining physical activity early in life.