The overall research theme of the Integrative Physiology section is human exercise and training physiology. In particular, the section studies the effects of exercise on the brain, heart, circulation, muscles and bones. The focus is on physiological mechanisms and on conducting studies of relevance to healthy people of all ages, sports professionals and patients.
The section performs complex human trials, and uses physiological and molecular biological techniques to study the integrated and isolated effects of physical activity and training. The investigations include among other things evaluations of motor function, muscle metabolism, cardiovascular regulation, capillary growth, insulin sensitivity, ion transport, performance, fatigue, muscle activation, thermoregulation and bone mineral density. Pharmacological interventions are often employed. Also, animal and cell culture models are used.
Currently, a particular focus lies on the importance of physical activity for women, before and after menopause, as well as the health-enhancing effect of ball games and other sports for different target groups, ranging from children to the elderly. Furthermore, the section has a strong focus on the physiology of elite athletes from a basic research and application-oriented perspective, as well as the development of physiologically based methods for detecting doping in sport.