Active Studies

Identifying Protective Omics Profiles in Centenarians and Traslating these into Preventive and Therapeutic Strategies (NECS)

Originating Department: Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Boston University School of Medicine
Principal Investigator: Sofiya Milman, MD, MS and Thomas Perls, MD, MPH

URL Co-Investigator: Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

This study if a collaboration between Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Boston University School of Medicine. Centenarians (age 100 or older) and their family members are eligible to participate. The study hopes to learn about how some people are able to live to a very old age and in some cases delay or escape aging-related disease like Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke and cancer. The URL will function as the carotid ultrasound training and reading center for both sites.


Neurobiology of Adults Health (NOAH) Project

Originating Department: University of Pittsburgh
Principal Investigator: Peter Gianaros, PhD

URL Co-Investigator: Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

The main goal of this research study is to understand how some of the differences between people relate to their heart health over nearly three-year period. This study focuses on how changes in heart health over this period relate to differences between people’s daily experiences, biological and social factors, lifestyle characteristics, behaviors, and their brain function and brain structure. The URL performs Pulse Wave Velocity and carotid IMT measures to assess arterial stiffness and cardiovascular risk.


Pathways from Late-Life Severe Worry to Alzheimer’s Disease (PALS)

Originating Department: University of Pittsburgh
Principal Investigator: Carmen Andreescu PhD

URL Co-Investigator: Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

This study explores the effect of severe worry on accelerated aging through two different but equally relevant pathways: hippocampal atrophy and vascular burden (both cerebrovascular and peripheral vascular burden). The URL performs carotid IMT and Pulse Wave Velocity to assess cardiovascular risk and arterial stiffness.


Dyslipidemia of Obesity Intervention in Teens DO IT! Trial (DO IT!)

Originating Department: University of Pittsburgh
Principal Investigator: Silva Arslanian, MD

URL Co-Investigator: Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

This study is finding out if a medicine use to lower cholesterol can improve artery health in young children with “combines dyslipidemia of obesity”, or CDO. The URL performs both carotid IMT and Pulse Wave Velocity measure to assess arterial stiffness and cardiovascular risk.


Subclinical Vascular Disease and AD Pathology in the Transition from Midlife to Old Age (Clinical protocol)  (HeartScore 500)

Originating Department: University of Pittsburgh
Principal Investigator: Annie Cohen

URL Co-Investigator: Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

This study is testing the hypothesis that midlife, systemic atherosclerotic (ATH) and arteriosclerotic (ART) vascular disease regardless of subsequent treatment are major factors affecting the risk to develop AD pathology and its clinical expression. The URL performs carotid IMT, Pulse Wave Velocity, and ABI measures to assess cardiovascular risk and arterial stiffness.


Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation V

Originating Department: University of Pittsburgh
Principal Investigator Coordinating Center: Maria Brooks, PhD

Principal Investigator Pittsburgh Site: Karen Matthews, PhD
EDC Project Coordinator: Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

SWAN V represents the competitive renewal of the ongoing multi-center, multi-ethnic longitudinal cohort study of the menopausal transition. The URL will be the training and reading site for carotid IMT measurements for four sites.


Long Life Family Study (LLFS)

Originating Department: University of Pittsburgh
Principal Investigator: Joe Zmuda, PhD and Anne Newman, MD, MPH

URL Co-Investigator: Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

The LLFS is a multi-centered proband study evaluating successful aging in an elderly cohort. Vascular aging will be assessed by carotid ultrasound to assess vascular structural changes. The URL will function as the carotid ultrasound training and reading center for three U.S. sites and the Denmark site.


A Novel Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease: The Insomnia-Short Sleep Phenotype (KINETICS)

Originating Department: University of Pittsburgh
Principal Investigator: Christopher Kline, PhD

URL Co-Investigator: Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

This is a case control study based on a K23 award to determine if insomnia or short sleep duration is associated with subclinical cardiovascular disease. The outcome measures are HOMA-based insulin resistance and brachial artery flow-mediated dilation with the hypothesis that those with insomnia and short sleep duration will exhibit lower insulin sensitivity and lower FMD. This study is partially funded by the URL.


In Vivo PIB PET Amyloid Imaging: Normals, MCI, and Dementia Program Project Grant Clinical Core III, Vascular Studies (PPG III)

Originating Department: University of Pittsburgh
Principal Investigator: Beth Snitz, PhD
URL Co-Investigator: Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

This Program Project Grant (PPG) Clinical Core III will perform vascular tests to assess overall vascular health. The research is being done to determine why a person with a certain amount of protein in their brain show no symptoms of memory loss, and another person with similar amounts may show more sever symptoms. The particular focus is the possibility that subtle deficiencies in the vascular system (blood supply) of the brain can determine whether a person will show memory symptoms or not. The URL performs ABI’s and IMT measures to assess the person’s vascular system.


Menopausal Vasomotor Symptoms and Brain Aging in Women (MS Brain)

Originating Department: University of Pittsburgh
Principal Investigator: Rebecca C. Thurston, PhD
URL Co-Investigator: Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

This is an R01 that will be the first to rigorously test the longitudinal relations between VMS, cognition, and brain health in a cohort of midlife women whose physiologic VMS, cardiovascular risk, and markers of brain and cognitive health will be prospectively characterized over time. The URL performs both carotid IMT and Pulse Wave Velocity measure to assess arterial stiffness and cardiovascular risk.


Tobago Cardiovascular Study (TCVS)

Originating Department: University of Pittsburgh
Principal Investigator: Allison Kuipers, PhD
URL Co-Investigator: Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

The TCVS is an ancillary study of the Tobago Health Study (THS) evaluating the association of ectopic fat (muscle, liver, abdominal and pericardial) with coronary artery calcification in 1200 African American men at high risk for type 2 diabetes in the Tobago Health Study. Dr. Kuiper’s study funded by K01 award will quantify the association between blood levels of Wnt pathway gene and protein expression with measures of subclinical CVD (Carotid IMT, PWV, CAC and AC) in a subsample of 365 men. This study is partially funded by the URL for carotid IMT reading.


Mechanism Underlying the impact of Stress and Experiences on Women’s Health (M.U.S.E. Women’s Health Study)

Originating Department: Emory University
Principal Investigator: Tene T. Lewis, PhD
URL Co-Investigator: Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

This is an R01 designed to determine whether a novel, racism-related stressor-“expectations of racism”- is a risk factor for early CVD in 400 African-American women aged 30-45. The URL is the reading center for this study.


Social Stressors and Atherosclerosis in African-American Women with Lupus (VISTA)

Originating Department: Emory University
Principal Investigator: Tene T. Lewis, PhD
URL Co-Investigator: Emma Barinas-Mitchell, PhD

This is an R01 designed to determine whether aspects of the African-American lived experience-i.e. social stressors such as discrimination, financial strain, inadequate social support and early adversity – contribute to atherosclerotic progression and inflammation (markers of early atherosclerosis) over a 2-year follow-up in 200 African-American women with SLE and 200 comparison women from similar environments.