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Dan M. Cooper, MD, founder of UC Irvine's Pediatric Exercise and Genomics Center

We know that exercise in childhood is the key to a lifetime of health.

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Shlomit Aizik, PhD, director of the UC Irvine Health Pediatric Exercise and Genomics Center.

Join us on our journey to improve children's health through exercise.

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xercise is key to building healthy young bodies, UC Irvine's Pediatric Exercise and Genomics Research Center has found.

UC Irvine moves to standardize childhood exercise training for physicians and educators, thanks to a $1.75-million gift inspired by UC Irvine School of Medicine alumnus.

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UC Irvine Pediatric Exercise Research Center

Exercise improves the health of children with muscle and nerve problems

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 happy little men

Exercise as medicine — powerful, personalized treatment for today’s children.


We all agree that exercise is good for kids. Yet, we know surprisingly little about why it works or how it can be prescribed to optimize growth and prevent adult diseases.

What kind of exercise is most effective for a child with asthma, a disability, injury or a serious illness? How much exercise is appropriate—and how often?

Here at the Pediatric Exercise and Genomics Research Center (PERC), our scientists believe the answers exist at the most fundamental level of human biology — the gene — and how it’s expressed.

PERC is one of the few centers in the nation attempting to make this connection between exercise and the epigenome (the intermediary between genes and the environment causing changes in how genes express themselves). Simply put, we’re gaining new knowledge about the human body’s response to exercise at the cellular level.

Our nationally renowned clinicians, exercise physiologists and researchers are driven to learn what type of exercise, how much and for how long, produces the most predictable, effective outcomes to improve childhood health.