Core Facility Human Studies

Head of Core Facility Human studies

Prof. Dr. Thomas Skurk

Tel: +49 8161 71 2007
skurk[at]tum.de

Picture: Allan Richard Tobis

The core facility has its main focus on human studies in the field of nutritional medicine. Data acquisition of various body characteristics are the basis for the description of the fitness and health condition. This is accomplished with elementary determinations such as body weight or waist circumference combined with blood analysis and physiologic examinations e.g. ergospirometry. Conclusions can be drawn from different questionnaires about lifestyle and information obtained about potential health risks.

 For this purpose the core facility is well equipped with a quantity of technical devices. Body composition is determined by bioimpedence analysis with the seca mBCA 515-scale and body density with the cosmed BodPod. For special investigations radiographical techniques (DEXA) are used, which also can be used for bone mineral density measurements. Information about the basal metabolic rate is essential for numerous studies which is performed using indirect calorimetry. Via the measurement of oxygen uptake rate and carbon dioxide exhalation rate it can be calculated how much energy is expended at rest. Energy expenditure and the ability to adapt to physical stress is conducted with the ergospirometry. The protocol is similar to that of an exercise electrocardiography. But additionally oxygen and carbon dioxide is measured to test the volunteers fitness levels. Measurement of blood pressure (also 24 hours), pulse wave velocity, and endothelial function via ultrasound are further routine examinations.

For all applied methods SOPs are available and all members of staff are trained. A high value is set on the correct preanalytic handling of biosamples with standardized protocols for centrifugation and freezing. External inquiries for studies are assisted during preparation of the study protocol and the application at the ethical committee. Members of staff regularly participate in further training for a proper execution of studies (GCP-good clinical practice)

In close cooperation with the chair of Nutritional Medicine (Prof. Dr. Hans Hauner) main focuses are, beside general issues of nutritional medicine, in particular metabolic disturbances like diabetes mellitus, lipometabolic disorders, hypertension, and obesity.