Physiology of the Weight Reduced State (POWERS) Expansion to Assess Biospecimens

May 2022 Council

Lead Division/Office


Point(s) of Contact

Mary Evans, Ph.D.

Executive Summary

The purpose of this initiative is to expand the Physiology of the Weight Reduced State (POWERS) clinical trial consortium funded via RFAs DK-19-017 and -018, to allow for molecular analysis of tissues (blood, muscle, adipose and stool) collected during the study. Following intentional weight loss, physiological processes including appetitive adaptation leading to increased hunger, and metabolic adaptation resulting in efficiencies in energy expenditure, likely create a new physiological state characterized by the tendency toward regain of lost weight. POWERS is focused on elucidation of the metabolic, behavioral, and molecular mechanisms underlying individual variability in maintenance of reduced weight over time. A large variety of quantitative measures will therefore be used to characterize participants before and for 12 months after intentional weight loss. The RFA also required that tissue biospecimens be collected for molecular phenotyping. Applicants could propose mechanistic experiments with fresh tissues, but plans were also required to process and store biospecimens for future analysis using discovery approaches such as genomics, proteomics and/or metabolomics. Funding for such studies was not included in the original RFAs, and this initiative requests expansion of the POWERS study to include molecular phenotyping of participant biospecimens to complete the phenotypic description of the weight reduced state.