Exercise, metabolism and muscle in Xlab

We focus on Human Integrative Physiology in Health and Disease. We make every effort to understand the metabolic and muscle remodelling behind exercise training, physical activity and diseases- from the whole body across organs, tissues, and cells to the intracellular environment.

We specifically study:

  • Metabolic, cardiovascular and muscle regulations 
  • The whole body: across regions and organs, tissue and cells
  • The morphology, integrity and function of organelles and muscle fibres
  • The molecular signalling pathways and metabolic processes
  • The intracellular compartmentalization as regulators of metabolic pathways
  • The proteins (expression, location, functionality and abundance) in a systems biology approach.

We use:

  • State of the art techniques in metabolic, muscle & cardiovascular research, as well as biochemical, immunochemical, biophysical and molecular biology analyses.

 We focus on:

  • Human physiology/pathophysiology and carry out advanced phenotyping in healthy subjects and patients, young and old
  • Developing new methods to use high resolution light microscopy as a research tool in human physiology.

We collaborate with:

  • Clinical research groups to study human liver, heart, skeletal muscle and/or visceral adipose tissue obtained in clinical trials
  • Research groups that utilize animal experimental models, including horses, pigs, rats and mice
  • Life Sciences industry.





























Our research focuses on four main areas:

  • Training and physical activity
  • Mitochondrial physiology
  • Muscle physiology
  • Physical activity and Health: Exercise is Medicine

Training and physical activity

This research area overall focuses on training, fat oxidation, metabolic fitness and biological age:

  • The effect of muscle lipids and particularly the bioactive lipid species diacylglycerol and ceramide influence on insulin sensitivity in humans.
  • The effect of training and physical activity/inactivity on fat metabolism, metabolic fitness and flexibility.
  • The mechanisms regulating muscle adaptation to training and/or inactivity and the effects of age and sex.
  • Lifestyle intervention and maintenance of positive lifestyle changes.
  • The effects of extreme long term endurance exercise in man and the influence of age.
  • The application and measurement biological age in the lab and in real world.

If you would like more information, please contact Jørn Wulff Helge, jhelge@sund.ku.dk.

Mitochondrial physiology

Within this research area, we perform high quality measures of the mitochondrial functionality. Our primary measures are respiratory analysis, measures of free radicals production and of the inner mitochondrial membrane potential. Furthermore, we measure several different mitochondrial related enzymes, proteins and gene expressions.

The lab holds equipment that enables us to investigate the mitochondrial function in several different types of tissues (skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscle, adipose and hepatic tissue).

We focus on regulatory mechanisms of oxygen transport and utilization in humans at rest and during exercise in health and in various pathological states, and the adaptations to exercise training, diet intervention and environment.


  • Oroboros 2k, Innsbruck Austria (measures of oxygen consumption, membrane potential, ROS production)
  • Seahorse, Boston USA (measures of oxygen consumption and pH)
  • SAFAS, Monaco (flour spectrophotometer for measures of mitochondrial free radical production and mitochondrial membrane potential).

If you would like more information about the research or the equipment, please contact Steen Larsen stelar@sund.ku.dk.

Muscle physiology

Our research focuses on:

  • Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms causing acquired and genetic muscle disorders (eg congenital myopathies, muscular dystrophies, ageing syndromes)
  • Testing exercise as a countermeasure
  • Providing sufficient knowledge to identify drug targets and to design novel therapeutic interventions in preclinical animal models.

Our laboratory uses human and animal muscle samples, and techniques ranging from single-molecule biophysics to muscle cell physiology and from X-ray diffraction to high-resolution confocal/super-resolution microscopy

If you would like more information, please contact Julien Ochala, julien.ochala@sund.ku.dk

Physical activity and Health: Exercise is Medicine

In this line of research we study cardiovascular and metabolic adaptations to physical activity and inactivity, sport and physical training in healthy and diseased (e.g. type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome), young and old people.

We focus on cross-sectional and longitudinal human studies, using advanced physiological techniques, including methods for:

  • Blood and tissue (muscle and adipose tissue) sampling.
  • Body composition (weight, height, DXA scanning, Bio-impedance).
  • Cardio-respiratory fitness (V̇O2max).
  • Resting Metabolic Rate, substrate utilisation, maximal fat oxidation.
  • Muscle strength and power (handgrip dynamometer, Kin-Con (isometric-, isokinetic and-isotonic), Nottingham Power-rig).
  • Functional tests (6 min walk test, Chair-Stand-Test etc.).
  • Blood flow (strain gauge plethysmography, Ultrasound Doppler).
  • Arterio-venous catheterization (forearm, leg).
  • Eu-/iso- glycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp, hyperglycemic clamp, oral glucose or lipid tolerance test, meal test.

If you would like more information, please contact Flemming Dela, fdela@sund.ku.dk 




































Ongoing research projects in Xlab

Myosin dysregulation in congenital myopathies

Responsible: Alexander Sonne, PhD student
Project dates: 10/2020 – 09/2023
Summary: Whatever the mutation is, the project aims to prove that myosin dysfunction is a key regulator and contributor of the muscle symptoms

Exploring dual-filament regulation in vertebrate muscle

Responsible: Elise Thomsen, PhD student
Project dates: 02/2021 – 01/2024
Summary: The project aims to identify how myosin and actin have diversified across the vertebrate kingdom and whether their function/metabolic demand have also adapted

Mechanisms underlying nemaline myopathy

Responsible: Jenni Laitila, postdoc
Project dates: 10/2020 – 03/2022 (or 03/2024)
Summary: The project aims to decipher how sarcomeric proteins have maladapted in the context of the most common non dystrophic genetic muscle disease, nemaline myopathy

Epigenetics landscape in congenital myopathies

Responsible: Rob Seaborne, postdoc
Project dates: 09/2021 – 08/2023
Summary: The project aims to define whether epigenetic remodeling worsens muscle symptoms and is a disease modifier

Myosin binding protein C regulation in health and disease

Responsible: Chris Lewis, postdoc
Project dates: 04/2021 – 03/2024
Summary: The project aims to characterize the post-translational modifications on myosin binding protein C, whether they modify myosin function in diabetes and whether this constitutes a good therapeutic target for obesity

Myosin function in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Responsible: Anna Kruselj, Erasmus student
Project dates: 09/2021 – 01/2022
Summary: The project aims to identify whether myosin maladaptation contributes to the phenotype of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy using mouse models

Genetic and epigenetics of Greenland shark muscle

Responsible: Marlene Musial, Erasmus student
Project dates: 10/2021 – 06/2022
Summary: The project aims to explore the specificity of Greenland sharks (who have a life expectancy of more than 200 years) genome and epigenome

Do mavacamten and physical activity have similar consequences on myosin function and subsequent muscle metabolism?

Responsible: Lee Tabrizian, Master Student
Project dates: 11/2021 – 06/2022
Summary: The project is focusing on physical activity as a potential regulator of myosin conformation and subsequent muscle metabolism. It also aims to prove that mavacamten mimics physical activity.

GLP1-Exisecret: Interaction of aerobic exercise and GLP-1 receptor agonist treatment on beta cell function in T2DM

Responsible: Arthur Ingersen, PhD student
Involved: Malte Schmücker, PhD student/stud.med. Peter Sørensen, Master Student
Project dates: 09/2019 – 11/2022
Summary: The effect of physical training on insulin secretory capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes with and without simultaneous GLP1-RA treatment. 

TRAINAiD: Training adaptations in type 2 diabetes

Responsible: Maria Hansen, PhD student
Involved: Ida Blom MA student, Kristine Kjær Lange MA student.
Project dates: 10/2020 – 10/2023
Summary: The mechanism behind the insulin sensitizing effect of physical training explored by single nuclei transcriptomics from skeletal muscle

IFAST: Metabolic effects of alternate day fasting in obese patients with and without type 2 diabetes.

Responsible: Arthur Ingersen, PhD student; Hildegunn Rømma Helset, Master Student; Monika Calov, Bachelor Student, Elizaveta Chabanova, chief physician; Eva Gjerlevsen Nielsen, Master Student, Christina Jensen, Master Student.
Project dates:  – finish 01/2022
Summary: The role of occilations in energy stores on insulin action in obese people with and without type 2 diabetes

STATIN-STOP: The effects of 2 months of discontinuation of statin treatment on muscle strength, functional capacity, and blood lipid concentrations in elderly people.

Responsible: Morten Bruun Korsholm, MD; Sofie Kirstine Strømgaard, MD; Thea Winther Pødenphanth, MD; Christina Alexandersen, MA Student, Ida Blom MA student.
Project dates:  01/2020 – 02/2022
Summary: Muscle mass and function do not change with discontinuation of statins. Mitochondrial respiratory capacity await analyses.

TAW: Maximal fat oxidation in young and old trained and untrained women

Responsible: Ronni Sahl, PhD student; Ida Marie Dahlgaard Hansen, Julie Wismann, Involved: Johanne Modvig, Alba Blasco Lorente
Project dates: 5/20 – 12/22
Summary: Effects of age, fitness and obesity on MFO and adipose tissue macrophage inflammation and mitochondrial function.

Beetox: The effects of beetroot juice supplementation on oxygen availability and efficiency at whole-body, muscle and mitochondrial level at rest and during exercise in type 2 diabetes and ageing.

Responsible: Arthur Ingersen, PhD student, Malte Schmücker, PhD student/stud.med.
Project dates: Hopefully finishing January 2022
Summary: Effects of beetroot juice on mitochondrial P/O ratio

Mitochondrial energy expenditure in obesity

Responsible: Jens Frey Halling, postdoc
Project dates: September 2021 – August 2023
Summary:  This project will investigate how energy expenditure is regulated by post-translational changes in the mitochondrial proteome of human subjects with/without obesity as well as in a pre-clinical mini-pig model, which shows an extraordinary downregulation of BMR upon energy restriction.

12 months of Endurance training – effect on mitochondria and blood volume

Responsible: Steen Larsen
Project dates: January 2021 - ??
Summary: Multiple biopsies will be obtained over the 12 month period. Focus will be mitochondrial respiratory capacity and content.

Amylin and calcitonin receptor agonist (KBP-066A) treatment – effect on mitochondria

Responsible: Steen Larsen
Involved: Matthias Flensted-Jensen, MA student
Project dates: August 2021 – July 2022
Summary: It has been reported that KBP-066A has an effect on body weight where a significant loss is seen after treatment. This weight loss is seen without a reduction in energy intake, indicating that metabolism is increased. Focus will be on mitochondrial function in adipose tissue, liver and muscle.

Aging, NASH and mitochondria (GUBRA)

Responsible: Steen Larsen; Mathias Flensted-Jensen, RA; Cecilie H. Andersen, Master Student
Project dates: Jan 2021-Jan 2022
Summary: Effect of aging and fatty liver on hepatic mitochondrial function

MetBC: The risk of metabolic diseases after chemotherapy in women with breast cancer

Responsible: Linn Gillberg, postdoc; Ida Bager Christensen, Master student; Agnes Lindholm, Master student
Project dates: Dec 2019 – Jan 2023
Summary: Women treated for breast cancer have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. We investigate why this is the case by studying blood and tissue samples from breast cancer patients before their chemotherapy treatment and during 5 years thereafter.

iTAPH: Biological drug treatment of Psoriasis effect on inflammation

Responsible: Ronni Sahl, PhD student
Project dates: 6/2019 – 9/2022
Summary: The effect of biological treatment with anti-TNFalfa on adipose tissue inflammation in Psoriasis and Hidradenitis suppurativa patients.

CBMR project, EXPO (PI Christoffer Clemmensen)

Responsible: Ronni Sahl, PhD student
Project dates: 1/2019 - ?
Summary: The influence of overfeeding on appetite and metabolic regulation.

  1. The factors that determine maintenance of lifestyle modifications and weight loss (WB-longitudinal).
    Responsible: Jørn W Helge; Steen Larsen
    In writing.
    Summary: Factors influencing lifestyle and weight maintenance in a one-year follow up.
  2. Lifestyle intervention; effects on systemic and AT-inflammation
    Responsible: Ronni Sahl, PhD student
    Project dates: -> 3/23
    Factors influencing lifestyle and weight maintenance in a one-year follow up.
  3. Bioage validation. Validating measurement of Biological age at Ubberup
    Responsible: Karina Husted, PhD student; Involved: Tue Rømer, RA; Mikkel Thunestvedt Hansen, PhD student; Mathilde Fogelholm, MsC
    Project dates: 1/2021 – 7/2022
    Summary: Proof of concept by measuring biological age before and after lifestyle intervention at Ubberup
HiLoMFO: Maximal fat oxidation and fuel use during exercise

Responsible: Sofie Vestergaard, PhD student; Emilie Ahmt Pedersen, Master Student; Eloise Tarry, MsC; Mike C. Olsen, MsC
Project dates: 10/20 – 12/22
Summary: The effect of fat or carbohydrate rich diet on MFO.

Ventriject: Validation of method to determine maximal oxygen uptake at rest using Ventriject equipment and validated towards direct measurement of VO2max.

Responsible: Mikkel Hansen, PhD student; Tue Rømer, RA
Involved: Amalie Højgaard, Stud med
Project dates: 1/2020 – 3/2022
Summary: Validation of Ventriject methodology.

Proposition of an index estimating biological age from physiological biomarkers of healthy aging

Responsible: Karina Husted, PhD student; Mathilde Fogelholm, MsC; Pernille Hulst, MsC; Jens Christian Brings Jacobsen, Assoc Prof., all BMI. Andreas Brink-Kjaer, PhD student; Kaj-Åge Henneberg, Assoc. Prof.; Helge Bjarup Dissing Sorensen, Assoc Prof., all DTU
Project dates: 1/2019 – 3/2022
Summary: Methodology study to establish a new algorithm to estimate biological age.

Variation of Biological age measurement

Responsible: Karina Husted, PhD student
Involved: Mikkel Thunestvedt Hansen, PhD student; Tue Rømer, RA; Amalie Højgaard, Stud med
Project dates: 1/2020 – 9/2022
Summary: Measuring the variation in biological age estimation.

Soccer project

Responsible: Tue Rømer, RA, Mikkel Hansen, PhD student
Involved: Kristine Lange, MA student; Anders Ibh, BA student; Mikkel L. Petersen, BA student
Project dates: 10/2020 – 3/2022
Summary: Validation of ventriject and effect of training and player position on MFO in Danish subelite players.

The effect of Glycogen stores on MFO

Responsible: Tue Rømer, RA
Project dates: 1/2022 – 12/2022
Summary: The influence of glycogen stores on MFO

Validation of Seismofit® to determine VO2max in patients with med heart failure or ischemic heart disease

Responsible: Mikkel T. Hansen, PhD student
Involved: Morten Kjøbek Lamberts, Emil Wolsk, Samuel Schmidt, Tor Biering Sørensen 
Project dates: 3/2021 – 6/2023
Summary: Three studies validating application of SeismoFit in heart patients.

  1. Extreme exercise affects old and younger men differently
    Responsible: Jørn Helge; Jacob Frandsen, PhD student
    Involved: Ronni Eg Sahl, Tue Rømer, Mikkel Thunestvedt Hansen, Andreas Blaaholm Nielsen, Michelle Munk Lie-Olesen, Hanne Kruuse Rasmusen, Ditte Søgaard, Arthur Ingersen, Mads Rosenkilde, Steen Larsen, Flemming Dela
    Paper in review.
  2. Adipose tissue inflammation
    Responsible: Ronni Eg Sahl, PhD student
    Project dates: – 3/2023
    Summary: The effect of extreme exercise on systemic and adipose tissue inflammation
  3. Effect on heart function
    Responsible: Hanne Rasmusen
    Project dates: Old – 3/2023
    In writing.
  4. Effect on metabolomics, proteomics, myosin head status, microbiota
    Responsible: Jørn W. Helge
    Project dates: – 3/2023
    Summary: The effect of extreme exercise on metabolomics, proteomics, myosin head status, microbiota
CTD: Carnitine Transport Deficiency - Insulin effect, mito function and transport regulation

Responsible: Rannvá Dahl, PhD student
Project dates: January 2020 – May 2022
Summary: Investigate the effect of high insulin levels (clamp) on carnitine uptake in CTD patients.

































Major Grants (> DKK 500,000)

ddaThe Danish Diabetes Academy, DKK 1,500,000
3x1/3 PhD stipend salary (2014-2017, 2014-2017, 2016-2018)
Grant recipient: Jørn Wulff Helge

UCPH logoUCPH Excellence Programme for Interdisciplinary Research
(2016 Funds, University of Copenhagen) (2013). PI: Flemming Dela
Project: Living with Statins - high cholesterol values in the blood; a social, medical and personal perspective (LIFESTAT)
Interdisciplinary project: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities.

Logo danish council for independent researchThe Danish Council for Independent Research Individual Postdoc stipend
DKK 2,807,204 (2015)
Grant recipient: Steen Larsen

Logo Danish Council for Independent ResearchThe Danish Council for Independent Research | Medical Sciences,
DKK 2,839,608 (2012-2016)
Grant recipient: Flemming Dela
Project: Oscillations in skeletal muscle energy stores as a regulator of insulin resistance.

EU logoEU, 7th framework programme, EURO 6,000,000 (2011-2015)
Co-PI: Jørn Wulff Helge
Project: "META-PREDICT" - "Developing predictors of the health benefits of exercise for individuals".

Logo Danish Council for Independent ResearchThe Danish Council for Strategic Research, DKK 18,700,304 (2011-2015)
Grant recipient: Flemming Dela
Project: GASMITO: The effect of gastric bypass surgery on glucose and lipid metabolism and mitochondrial respiration.

Logo Danish Council for Independent ResearchThe Danish Council for Independent Research | Medical Sciences, DKK 2,992,680 (2010-2012)
Grant recipient: Flemming Dela
Project: Mitochondrial function in the failing human heart.

Hørslev Foundation logoHørslev Foundation
DKK 715,500 (2010)
Grant recipient: Flemming Dela
Project: Metabolic changes after weight loss with gastric bypass: studies of overweight people with and without type 2 diabetes.

Nordea Foundation logoNordea Foundation
DKK 150,000,000 (2009-2013)
Co-PI: Flemming Dela
Project: "Molekyler og celler: Muskel- og bindevæv".

Beckett Foundation logoBeckett Foundation
DKK 300,000 (2009-2011)
Grant recipient: Flemming Dela
Project: Metabolic changes after weight loss with gastric bypass: studies of overweight people with and without type 2 diabetes.

Logo Danish Council for Independent ResearchThe Danish Council for Independent Research | Medical Sciences
DKK 1,440,000 (2008-2010)
Grant recipient: Flemming Dela
Project: Mitochondrial function in healthy and insulin resistant human skeletal muscle and adipose tissue.

Købmand i Odense Johann og Hanne Weimann f. Seedorffs Legat
DKK 1,013,000 (2008)
Grant recipient: Clara Prats Gavalda
Two years postdoctoral Fellowship.

Logo Tryg FoundationTryg Foundation & Danish Ministry of Health
DKK 24,000,000 (2006-2009)
Co-PI: Jørn Wulff Helge
Project: KRAM - Investigation of the Health of Danes, DANHES.

Logo Danish Council for Independent ResearchThe Danish Council for Independent Research | Medical Sciences
DKK 840,000 (2006-2007)
Grant recipient: Flemming Dela
Project: Mitochondrial function in human skeletal muscle.

Lundbeck Foundation logoLundbeck foundation
DKK 1,000,000 (2005)
Grant recipient: Flemming Dela
Project: Mitochondrial function in human skeletal muscle.

Logo EU 6th framework programmeEU, 6th framework programme, EURO 600,000 (2004-2009)
Co-PI: Flemming Dela
Project: "EXGENESIS": Health benefits of exercise: identification of genes and signalling pathways involved in effects of exercise on insulin resistance, obesity and the metabolic syndrome.

Birthe & John Meyer Foundation
DKK 2,000,000 (2004-2006)
Co-PI: Jørn Wulff Helge
Project: Effekt af helkropstræning på arm og ben metabolismen.

Ministry of CultureMinistry of Culture. Committee on Exercise Sports Science Research
DKK 600,000, (2000)
Grant recipient: Flemming Dela
Project: Exercise and insulin action.

Logo Danish Council for Independent ResearchThe Danish Council for Independent Research | Natural Sciences; Technology by Highly Oriented Research (THOR), DKK 520,000 (1998)
Grant recipient: Flemming Dela
Project: Proteome analysis of insulin resistance.

Logo Danish Council for Independent ResearchDanish Medical Research Council - Danish Research Agency
DKK 523,200 (1998)
Grant recipient: Flemming Dela
Project: Insulin mediated regulation of human glucose and protein metabolism. Importance of physical activity and training.

Logo Team DanmarkTeam Danmark
DKK 1,150,000 (1993-1996)
Grant recipient: Jørn Wulff Helge
Project: Kostens betydning for adaptation til træning.

Grants < DKK 500,000

  • All@once EIT Health Education (2018)
  • Augustinus Foundation (2008, 2012, 2018)
  • Astra Zeneca (2005)
  • Beckett Foundation (2009, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Bjarne Jensens Foundation (2017)
  • Brødrene Hartmanns Fonden (2018, 2019)
  • Carl Ellen Hertz family legacy (2004)
  • Danish Diabetes Association (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007)
  • Danish Medical Association (1994, 1988).
  • Danish Medical Research Council (1988, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2003)
  • Ib Henriksens Foundation (1989, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2016)
  • J. Madsen and Olga Madsen Foundation (1990, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2010)
  • and H.C. Adolf Holms Memorial Legacy (2005)
  • and M. Wedell-Wedellsborgs Foundation (1991, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012)
  • EIT Health (2018)
  • Eva and Henry Frænkels Memorial Fund (2014)
  • Foundation of 1870 (1990, 1991, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2015)
  • Fonden til Lægevidenskabelig Fremme (A.P. Møller) (1987, 1988, 1996, 1997, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2019)
  • Gerda and Aage Haensch Foundation (1988)
  • Helsefonden (2018, 2019)
  • Kathrine and Vigo Skovgaards Foundation (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • King Christian X Foundation (1987, 1991, 1995, 2004, 2007, 2014, 2017)
  • Kurt Bønnelycke and Grethe Bønnelyckes Foundation (2010)
  • Lundbeck Foundation (2012)
  • Ministry of Culture (2005, 2019)
  • Ministry of Culture, Committee on Exercise Sports Science Research (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003)
  • Merchant Ernst Fischers legacy (2008)
  • Meyer Nielsens and wife memorial award (2010)
  • Miss P.A. Brandts legacy (2004)
  • Mogens and Jenny Vissings Foundation (1991)
  • Novo Nordisk Foundation (1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1998, 1999, 1990, 1995, 1994, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010)
  • Novo Nordisk Foundation, Nordic Research Committee (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005)
  • Novo Nordisk Foundation, Nordic Insulin Committee (2989, 1991, 1992, 1993)
  • Novo-Fab. V. Pedersen Memorial Legacy (2003, 2004)
  • Oda and Hans Svenningsens Foundation (2007, 2013, 2017)
  • Carl Petersens Foundation (1988, 1990, 1998, 2000, 2012, 2013, 2015)
  • Pharmacy Foundation
  • Research Academy (1994)
  • Simon Fougner Hartmanns Family Foundation (2005, 2013)
  • Snedkermester Jacobsens Foundation (2016)
  • Sophus and Astrid Jacobsens Foundation (2016)
  • SUND (2016)
  • Sygekassernes Helsefond (1991)
  • Team Danmark (1991, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2016)
  • The Danish Heart Association (1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2014)
  • The Ministry of Culture Committee on Sports Research (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2016)
  • University of Copenhagen Faculty of Health Sciences (1999)
  • Verner Richter and wife legacy (2003)
  • Aage Louis-Hansens Memorial Foundation (1990, 1997)
  • Aase and Ejnar Danielsens Foundation (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2019)


















Xlab is responsible for multiple events and courses. You can read about upcoming events and courses as well as past events and courses.

Upcoming Events and Courses

Past Events and Courses

  • Mitochondrial Physiology Summer School 2019 – From Organelle to Organism, 19-23 August
  • Mitochondrial Medicine Symposium, 9 March 2018
  • Cellular Bioenergetics Course 5-8 March 2018
  • Mitochondrial Physiology Summer School 2017
  • Mitochondrial Physiology Summer School 2015 - From Organelle to Organism
  • Mitochondrial Physiology Summer School 2013
  • Graduate Course 2010



Stine Dam Søndergård - PhD defence

“The production of reactive oxygen species in response to glutathione supplementation and acute exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes”

The defence took place on 1 April 2019

Supervisor: Associate Professor Steen Larsen

Anja Birk Kuhlmann - PhD defence

“The influence of statin use, CoQ10 supplementation and exercise on glucose homeostasis”

The defence took place on 13 December, 2018

Principal supervisor: Professor Flemming Dela

Co-supervisor: Professor Jørn Wulff Helge

Thomas Hoffmann Morville - PhD defence

“Glucose homeostasis and physical performance in Danish statin users in primary prevention”

The defence took place on 9 November, 2018

Principal supervisor: Professor Jørn Wulff Helge

Ditte Søgaard - PhD defence

“The influence of age and training on human muscle bioactive lipids and coupling to insulin resistance”

The defence took place on 11 January, 2018

Principal supervisor Professor Jørn Wulff Helge

Tine Lovsø Dohlmann - PhD defence

“Role of mitochondria in statin induced myalgia”

The defence took place on 21 December 2017

Principal supervisor: Professor Flemming Dela

Marianne Dalsgaard Kristensen - PhD defence

"Lipid stress and chronic low grade inflammation with obesity and weight loss - association with insulin sensitivity"

The defence took place on 7 September, 2017

Principal supervisor: Associate Professor Clara Gavalda Prats 

Co-supervisor: Professor Flemming Dela

Malene Maag Kristensen - PhD defence

"Influence of changes in levels of activity and weight loss on the expression of miRNAs in human adipose and muscle tissue"

The defence took place on 20 April, 2017

Principal supervisor: Professor Flemming Dela

Sune Dandanell - PhD defence

"Physiological factors that influence weight loss maintenance after a lifestyle intervention"

The defence took place on 23 March, 2017 

Principal supervisor: Professor Jørn Wulff Helge 

Co-Supervisor: Professor Flemming Dela

Merethe Hansen - PhD defence

"Effects of Exercise, Metformin, Diet and Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass on Glucose Homeostasis in Type 2 Diabetes Patients - Studies on different treatment approaches" 

The defence took place on 24 October, 2016

Principal supervisor: Professor Flemming Dela 

Co-Supervisor: Professor Jørn Wulff Helge

Cathrine Lawaetz Wimmelmann - PhD defence

"Psychological aspects of obesity and bariatric surgery: A prospective study of psychological factors among bariatric patients undergoing Roux-en Y gastric bypass"

The defence took place on 19 January, 2016

Supervisors: Professor Flemming Dela and Professor Erik Lykke Mortensen, Section of Environmental health, University of Copenhagen

Andreas Vigelsø Hansen - PhD defence

"The effect of 2 weeks’ immobilization and 6 weeks’ aerobic training on muscle function and metabolism in young and older men”

The defence took place on 4 June, 2015

Principal supervisor: Professor Jørn Wulff Helge

Co-Supervisors: Professor Flemming Dela and Associate professor Clara Prats

Jayson Reed Gifford - PhD defence (University of Utah, Dept. of Exercise and Sport Science)


The defence took place in 2015

Supervisors: Professor Flemming Dela & Professor Russ Richardson (University of Utah, Vascular Research Lab.)

Steen Larsen - Doctoral thesis defence

”Mitochondrial function in human skeletal muscle: Influence of age, physical fitness and insulin sensitivity”

The defence took place on 5 February 2014

Martin Gram - PhD defence

"Mitochondrial function in young and elderly men after immobilization and aerobic retraining"

The defence took place on 19 December, 2014

Principal supervisor: Professor Flemming Dela

Co-Supervisors: Postdoc Martin Hey-Mogensen, Sciences, Professor Jørn Wulff Helge

Michael Taulo Lund - PhD defence

“The influence of lifestyle interventions on glucose homeostasis”

The defence took place on 4 September, 2014

Supervisors: Professor Flemming Dela, Associate Professor Jørn Wulff Helge, and Karsten Bech, MD, DMSc, MPA, Centerchef ”Organkirurgisk Klinik”, Sønderjylland Hospital, Denmark

Dace Reihmane - PhD defence (University of Riga, Latvia).

“Inflammation in trained and untrained humans”

The defence took place in 2014

Supervisors: Professor Flemming Dela & professor P Tretjakovs University of Riga, Latvia.

Liselotte B. Christiansen - PhD defence (Dept. of Biomedical Sciences/ Dept. of Small Animal Research)

“Mitochondrial structure and function in feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – An animal model of spontaneous disease”

The defence took place December 17th , 2014

Supervisors: Professor Flemming Dela & Associate professor Jørgen Koch 

Thor Munch-Andersen - PhD defence

“Metabolic health in children and adult Greenlandic Inuit”

The defence took place on 11 December, 2013

Supervisor: Associate Professor Jørn Wulff Helge

Nis Stride - PhD defence

"Mitochondrial function in hear failure and cardiac ischemia"

The defence took place on 16 November, 2012

Supervisor: Professor Flemming Dela

Mette Skovbro-Grønvall - PhD defence

"The effect of high fat diet with or without concomitant exercise training on mitochondrial  function and insulin sensitivity in healthy human skeletal muscle"

The defence took place on 27 June, 2011

Supervisors: Professor Flemming Dela and Associate professor Robert Boushel

Pernille Nordby - PhD defence

"Exercise vs. dieting in improving health in overweight men"

The defence took place on 15 April, 2011

Supervisors: Associate professor Bente Merete Stallknecht, Associate professor Jørn Wulff Helge, Professor Flemming, and Professor Jens Juul Holst

Lise Højbjerre - PhD defence

"Physical inactivity, adipose tissue metabolism and inflammation in type 2 diabetes predisposition"

The defence took place on 2 December, 2010

Supervisors: Associate professor Bente Merete Stallknecht, Professor Flemming Dela, Professor Allan Vaag, Steno Diabetes Center

Iben Kynde - PhD defence

”Associations between dietary carbohydrates and metabolic risk factors in Danish children and adolescents” based on cross-sectional and prospective analyses of the European Youth Heart Studies I and II.

The defence took place on 11 February, 2010

Supervisors: Associate professor Jørn Wulff Helge, Professor Berit Lilienthal Heitman, Research Unit for Dietary Studies, Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, Professor Ib Christian Bygbjerg, Department of International Health, Immunology & Microbiology, Copenhagen University.

Celena Scheede-Bergdahl - PhD defence

Insulin action and endothelial function in type 2 diabetes: effects of a moderate intensity home-based training programme.

The defence took place on 23 September, 2009

Supervisor: Professor Flemming Dela

Mette Pauli Sonne - PhD defence

The effect of physical inactivity on insulin sensitivity and endothelial function in humans at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The defence took place on 15 June 15, 2009

Supervisor: Professor Flemming Dela

Rasmus Rabøl - PhD defence

Mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle in type 2 diabetes.

The defence took place on 9 January, 2009

Supervisor: Professor Flemming Dela

Danielle Battram - PhD defence (University of Guelph, Canada)

“The effect of caffeine on glucose kinetics”

The defence took place in 2006

Supervisors: Professor Flemming Dela & professor Terry Graham University of Guelph, Canada.





























Alle studieretninger – emner egnet til både BA og MA specialer.

Vi beskæftiger os med fysisk aktivitet og inaktivitet indflydelse betydning for organismens funktioner. Nedenfor ses en liste af emner/stikord som du måske kan genkende dig selv i?

  • Kardiovaskulær, metabolisk og morfologisk adaptation til fysisk træning og inaktivitet
  • Fysisk træning i forebyggelsen og behandlingen af Type 2 diabetes
  • Insulin sekretion og insulin resistens
  • Mitokondrie fysiologi – hvordan omsættes næringsstofferne til energi?
  • Intramuskulært fedt hos atleter og insulin resistente personer. Hvordan hænger det sammen?
  • FatMax – evnen til af forbruge fedt som brændstof under fysisk aktivitet
  • Mitokondrielle netværk i muskler hos patienter med diabetes og/eller fedme. Belyst ved avanceret mikroskopi
  • Carnitine transport regulation by insulin
  • Fysisk træning af ældre mennesker mhp. at forebygge tab af muskelmasse- og styrke
  • Sarcopeni – betydning, forebyggelse og behandling
  • Body-Age – er det rent fup?
  • Livsstilsintervention - fastholdelse af gode livsstilsvaner

+ Mange andre muligheder, gerne tilpasset dine interesser inden for fysisk aktivitet og sundhed.

Er du interesseret, så skriv til:

Professor Flemming Dela,fdela@sund.ku.dk
Professor Jørn Wulff Helge,jhelge@sund.ku.dk
Lektor Steen Larsen,stelar@sund.ku.dk
Lektor Clara Prats,cprats@sund.ku.dk

Specifikke projekter:

  • Metabolic and mitochondrial effects of Breast Cancer Treatment
    Kontakt postdoc Linn Gillberg
  • Physiological and Nutritional Effects on Maximal Fat Oxidation
    Kontakt: PhD Sofie Vestergaard


Location of Xlab

Xlab is part of the Department of Biomedical Sciences located in the Maersk Tower at floor 2.

How to get to Panum when arriving at the airport 

When you arrive at Copenhagen International Airport Kastrup, take the metro to Nørreport Station. This takes about 15 minutes. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket stand (DSB) located in the airport terminal.

From Nørreport Station take bus 6A, 42, 43, 150S or 185 to the bus stop Tagensvej/Blegdamsvej. This takes about 10 minutes, and you can use the ticket which you have bought in the airport. Use the journey planner to plan your trip

Taxi: A taxi fare from the airport to Panum costs about DKK 250. Taxi fares include VAT and tips, and you can normally pay by credit card.

How to get to Panum when arriving by train

From Copenhagen Central Station (Hovedbanegården) take bus 5A or 6A to the bus stop Tagensvej/Blegdamsvej. It takes about 20 minutes. Tickets can be purchased on the bus and cost about DKK 24. Use the journey planner to plan your trip.

Information to foreigners

When your start working at the Xlab, secretary Jacqueline van Hall can help you with practical matters.

By clicking at the links below, you can find some general information for foreign researchers and students working at the University of Copenhagen. Please note that the two sites are only meant to give you some preliminary guidance. You should always contact the relevant Danish authorities for the most updated and precise information.

Information for foreign researchers

Information for foreign students


Xlab is currently looking for participants for several studies

We are looking for both fit and unfit women for a study

We are looking for women who is either very fit or unfit in between the age of 18-35 years old, 50-65 years old and 70-80 years old. In the unfit group are we looking for women with normal BMI as well as BMI above 30. The aim of the study is to examine the effect of age, degree of fat and fitness level on the maximum fat oxidation in women.

Read more about participating in the study of maximum fat oxidation in women

We are looking for participants with type-2 diabetes for exercise study

We are looking for participants with type-2 diabetes for an exercise study. The aim of the study is to find out how physical exercise and medical treatment of your diabetes work together.

Read more about the exercise study

We are looking for male participants for a study

We are looking for participants for a study on the effect of beetroot juice on the oxygen delivery in the muscles during rest and work. The participant must be a male between the ages of 40-80.

Read more about participating in the study

We are looking for healthy and fit women for a study

We are looking for healthy and fit women between the age of 20-40 years old for the research project, ”Maximum fat oxidation; effect of fasting and relation to performance”, where we want to examine the effect of fasting on the maximum fat oxidation.

Read more about the "Maximum fat oxidation" study

We are looking for moderate to well trained male participants for the study from September 2020

We are looking for healthy and moderate to well-trained male participants for a study investigating the effect of a 3 days diet on the maximal fat oxidation during exercise. The participants have to be between 18 and 40 years old.

Read more about the requirements for participating in the study



























Senior researchers in Xlab

Name Title Phone E-mail
Flemming Dela Professor +45 353-27425 Email
Jørn Wulff Helge Professor +45 287-57506 Email
Steen Larsen Associate professor +45 211-51924 Email
Julien Ochala Associate professor Email

Xlab secretary


Jacqueline van Hall

Phone: +45 3532 7423

Group members

Name Title Phone E-mail
Amalie Hebel Andersen Academic Research Staff +4535327913 E-mail
Aske Wulff Helge Teaching Assistant   E-mail
Hanne K. Rasmusen Guest Researcher   E-mail
Jacqueline van Hall Research Group Secretary +4535327423 E-mail
Jeppe Bach Laboratory Technician. +4535327576 E-mail
Linn Gillberg Assistant Professor   E-mail
Maria Hansen PhD Student   E-mail
Mathias Flensted-Jensen PhD Fellow +4535320326 E-mail
Ronni Eg Sahl Research Assistant   E-mail
Thomas Nyegaard Beck Laboratory Technician.   E-mail

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