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About Us 

The UC Irvine Health Pediatric Exercise and Genomics Research Center (PERC) is dedicated to unleashing the healing power of exercise. We know that improving health outcomes for children starts with research.

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. They also seek the biological mechanisms that trigger specific physiological responses to exercise.

PERC is one of the few centers in the nation exploring the 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 belief is that exercise is good medicine for all children, and especially for those with health challenges such as asthma, cerebral palsy and spina bifida. Our results are proving it. Large-scale and innovative investigations underway at our center are already helping kids move forward with their lives, despite the effects of their disabilities, illnesses or injuries.

Based within UC Irvine Health School of Medicine — one of the nation’s top medical schools for research — PERC is engaged in an array of pioneering exercise-science studies that can lead to breakthrough results for the next generation.

Our mission:

  • To advance pediatric exercise medicine through clinical and laboratory research
  • To provide an exercise plan for infants, children and young adults
  • To provide preventive and rehabilitative exercise programs
  • To promote and foster community partnerships to encourage physical activity in children