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The department of Physiology represents a dynamic group of scientists, including post-doctoral researchers, PhD-students, technicians and various students. The group is headed by Prof. Dr Maria Hopman and has a long tradition in academic teaching (Medicine and Biomedical Health Sciences) and research in the field of physical (in)activity and development of (chronic) disease states in humans across the lifespan. The purpose of her research is to understand the mechanisms that relate to the development of physical inactivity-related chronic diseases.

Recent years, the Department of Physiology also focused on research during large athletic events. The aim is to improve insight into health problems associated with these events to provide better advice to participants and organisers of these events. Based on the dramatic events during the extremely warm 2006-edition of the 4-Day Marches, we started a large research project in 2007 to understand determinants of hyperthermia and dehydration during walking exercise. On July 8 2011, Dr. Thijs Eijsvogels successfully defended his thesis that dealt with the results from 2007-2010. Over the recent years, similar studies have been performed during the Nijmegen 7 Hills Run and the Eindhoven Marathon.

Finally, the Department of Physiology collaborates with national and international expert centres and participates since 2010 in the European Union Regions of Knowledge project AFRESH together with Health Valley and the Nijmegen City Council.

Vierdaagse Onderzoek Team Fysiologie

Prof.dr. Maria Hopman, physician-physiologist
Maria   Maria Hopman, MD, PhD, FACSM, is a medical doctor interested in cardiovascular regulation and adaptation to exercise training and inactivity/deconditioning in humans. Her research is focused on exploring the relationship between inactivity and chronic disease. She teaches medical students and biomedical students, exercise physiology, ventilation, circulation, movement and control, and she supervises a great number of students during their practical trainee, in and outside the country.
Dr. Thijs Eijsvogels, exercise physiologist
Thijs   As an exercise physiologist, Dr. Thijs Eijsvogels is interested in physiological responses during prolonged exercise. His research is focused on the thermoregulation, fluid- and sodium balance in athletes (running, the Seven Hills Run / Eindhoven Marathon) and in the general population (endurance walking, the International Nijmegen Four Days Marches). Furthermore, he aims to understand which factors contribute to exercise induced cardiac troponin release. He is also involved in teaching medical and biomedical students, and supervises a large number of students at the Integrative Physiology group.
Dr. Dick Thijssen, physiologist
Dick   The research from Dick Thijssen is focused on exploring the relationship between physical (in)activity and the development of cardiovascular diseases, specifically examining cardiovascular function and structure. He aims to understand and optimise the effects of exercise training to prevent morbidity and mortality in various (pathology) groups. His research is partly supported by the Netherlands Heart Foundation.He is also involved in teaching and supervision of practical traineeships at the Radboud University ((bio)medical students). Also, collaborates with the Liverpool John Moores University (www.ljmu.ac.uk), where he holds a Professorship in Vascular Exercise Physiology and his research is focused on physiological adaptations to physical (in)activity in humans.
Ir. Kjille Melis-Hoeben, project leader
Kjille   The department of Physiology represents the Nijmegen region of an EU project named 'Activity and food for regional economies supporting health' (AFRESH). Ir. Kjille Melis is project leader of this project for our department. Besides the Nijmegen region seven other regions, excelling in research on nutrition or physical activity, participate in this project. The aim of this project is to come to a joint research and innovation agenda that in the end will improve the wellbeing of European people. Kjille studied Industrial engineering and Innovation Sciences at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). After her studies she focused on project management in sports and health innovation.
Drs. Martijn Maessen, exercise scientist
Martijn   Drs. Martijn Maessen is recently graduated in Human Movement Sciences with a secondary specialization in Epidemiology. Martijn is interested in the relationship between physical activity and cardiovascular diseases. He also performs the statistical analysis of the Nijmegen Exercise Study and translates these results into lay summaries and newsletters.


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