Ylva Hellsten

Ylva Hellsten


  • Integrative Physiology

    Nørre Allé 51, 2200 København N, August Krogh Bygningen, Universitetsparken 13, 2100 Københav, Building: 2 sal

    Phone: +45 35 32 16 16Fax: +45 35 32 16 00

Ylva Hellsten Is Professor in Cardiovascular and Exercise Physiology at The Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She completed her undergraduate (BA) at Hampshire College, MA, USA and her PhD in Exercise Physiology at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. She subsequently worked as post-doctoral fellow and was then appointed as assistant-, associate- and full professor at The Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at The University of Copenhagen.


Professor Hellsten has 30 years of research experience and has been a research group leader for 25 years. She is currently the leader of The Cardiovascular Research group in the section of Integrative Physiology. The group currently consists of 3 Post- Doc fellows, 5 PhD students, 2 laboratory assistants and 8 master students.   Her research focuses on mechanisms underlying the influence of physical activity and inactivity for cardiovascular health with the aim to identify signalling pathways of importance for the adaptations.  Her work encompasses human intervention studies involving invasive techniques such as muscle microdialysis, muscle biopsy sampling and catheterization of femoral artery and vein for blood sampling, as well as cell culture work and detailed molecular analysis. Her lab is world leading in the area of exercise, microvascular function and regulation of angiogenesis in human skeletal muscle. She collaborates with a large number of national and international research groups. She is editor of Translational Sports Medicine, has over 200 scientific publications and an H-index of 50.

Current research

Brief personal background

Ylva Hellsten is group leader of Cardiovascular Research within The Integrative Physiology section The Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sport, University of Copenhagen. She is Professor  in Cardiovascular and Exercise Physiology. She received her undergraduate training at Hampshire College and University of Massachusetts, USA and her doctoral training at Karolinska Institute, Department of Physiology, Stockholm Sweden. The current research group consists of three post-doctoral students, four PhD students, a number of masters’ students and technical staff.  Main research interests lies within the area of cardiovascular physiology and physical activity and inactivity  (for current projects see below).  In their research the group focuses on human studies but also conducts cell studies to further understand molecular mechanisms.

Current research projects address.

  • The influence of estrogen loss i women on vascular health and the effect of physical activity
  • The role of endothelial  and smooth muscle cell mitochondria in vascular function
  • The role of pericytes in skeletal muscle angiogenesis
  • The importance of the Pannexin-1 channel and sympathetic nerve activity in essential hypertension
  • Remote ischemic preconditioning and the mechanisms underlying its effect on the cardiovascular system
  • Physical activity, platelet function and thes risk of blood clot formation



  • Cardiovascular Physiology
  • Exercise and training phsyiology
  • Effect of physical training on cardiovascular health

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