04 July 2017

Researcher profile of the month: Jørn Wulff Helge


Professor Jørn Wulff Helge conducts research on physical activity and health. He recently became a part of the new Department Leadership Team (ILT) as a representative for postgraduate education.

With a background in sports, Professor Jørn Wulff Helge, who is a part of Xlab and affiliated with Center for Healthy Aging, has long been interested in physical activity and the impact of training on the organism: “My primary research focus is the importance of physical activity or inactivity for obesity and type 2 diabetes including prevention and treatment” Jørn says.

Jørn frequently works on projects outside the Department. He has recently been behind the research project “Palermo”, where a group of younger and older men cycled from Copenhagen to Palermo. The aim of the project was to find out if there is a difference between how a younger and an older body respond to cycling 3,050 km in 15 days. Back in 2014, Jørn also carried out a large project in collaboration with Ubberup Højskole, where his group in a three-year project examined the ability to maintain lifestyle changes and weight loss.

Jørn Wulff Helge has also worked on a project emerging from a conversation with a consultant doctor from the Blood bank, who had a relatively simple and practical question: “I was asked how long it takes from donating blood until you can perform to the maximum in a race. We have previously published this in relation to men, where the results showed that it takes about 2-4 weeks. Now, we have investigated this in women where the performance ability is back to normal after 3-4 weeks” says Jørn.

Part of ILT as a representative for postgraduate education As of 1 May, Professor Jørn Wulff Helge became part of the new ILT at BMI after the change of organisational structure at the Department. Jørn was former Section Manager for the Section of System Biology research for a period of ten years.

In the new ILT, Jørn is a representative for postgraduate education, a function closely related to his position as Head of Graduate School at SUND: “As Head of Graduate School I help to ensure that the scientific administrative part of the PhD programme is functioning. I focus on giving the PhD student as good conditions and courses as possible. I am exempt from teaching as long as I am Head of Graduate School, but I still prioritize to supervise master’s students and some bachelor’s students. The master’s students contribute significantly to our research projects and are a good group to recruit future PhD students from” says Jørn.