Winter School: Exercise Physiology in Health & Disease

Application deadline

The application deadline is now closed. We appreciate all the submissions received within the specified timeframe.

We look forward to hosting our Winter School again next year, and interested individuals are welcome to reach out to us for future opportunities.


The course is taught in English.


31.01.2024 1st Virtual session    

09.02.2024 2nd Virtual session    

25.02.2024 - 01.03.2024 Program (on site)                                                           

08.03.2024 3rd Virtual session and closing


PMU Campus, Strubergasse 21, 5020 Salzburg, Austria

Erasmus+ grant

Students can apply for an Erasmus+ short-term mobility grant; university staff can apply for an Erasmus+ staff training grant. Please contact the Erasmus+ coordinator at your home institution for application. 

Registration fees

Student: € 549,-
Non-student: € 699,-

Winter School: Exercise Physiology in Health and Disease

Winter School Physiology


We define exercise physiology as the human body’s response to different types of exercise and how it adapts over time. Therefore, exercise physiology has broad individual and public health relevance, considering its value for exercise performance, disease prevention and treatment.

The course will provide a comprehensive overview of human exercise physiology and its connection to health and disease. International and leading scientists from Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Norway will provide participants with overviews and in-depth insights into the cardiovascular system, blood, metabolism, skeletal muscle, endocrine system, nutrition, and environmental modulators like hypoxia or heat. A special feature of the course will be the constant alternation between theoretical content and practical exercises, in which attendees will get to know methods such as cardiopulmonary exercise testing, inert gas rebreathing, resting and exercise cardiac ultrasound, CO-rebreathing, endurance and sprint performance testing or indirect calorimetry and will be theoretically introduced to tracer-based assessments of metabolism.

Draft program:


The course is of an advanced level and is intended for students of master courses (i.e. at least B.Sc. graduated) in life sciences (e.g. medicine, molecular medicine, sports science, physiotherapy, etc.), PhD candidates and licensed physicians or post docs who want to deepen their knowledge and experience in exercise physiology.


Course language is English. The course will be held from Sunday, Feb 25 (6 p.m.) to Friday, Mar 1, 2024 (4.p.m.) at the Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria. Salzburg is a highly attractive city and can be reached easily by plane, train, and car.

Erasmus+ eligibility

This course awards 3 ECTS and follows a BIP-style format. Students can therefore apply for Erasmus+ funding at their home institutions for a blended short-term mobility. The PMU can also sign an Erasmus+ bilateral agreement if required by the student's home university. University staff can also apply for an Erasmus+ grant for staff training. For information about the grant application, applicants should contact their respective home university.  

DFP points

Medical doctors in Austria can obtain 42 DFP points upon successful completion of the course.

Registration fee

Registration fee includes tuition, laboratory work, three social events including opening dinner on Sunday, lunches, coffee/tee for the week, and certificate of participation at the end. Additional meals, travel, and accommodation are not included and must be arranged for by the participants.

Student: € 549,-
Non-student: € 699,-

We will confirm your place in the course within three weeks after receiving your application and send you an invoice including payment instructions.

If you identify as a student, you will be required to submit a copy of your official confirmation of enrolment. If you identify as a PhD student with maximum 50% employment, you need to additionally submit a confirmation of your employment status. Documents must be emailed as a pdf file to

Insurance requirement

Please note that laboratory as well as outdoor activities will be carried out as part of the program. By submitting the online application form, you confirm that, if you are accepted to the course, you will have sufficient accident and liability insurance during the entire program.

Course Lead

PD Dr. Gunnar Treff, PhD, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg
Institute of Molecular Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation


PD Dr. Dr. Mahdi Sareban, MD, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg
University Institute of Sports Medicine, Prevention and Rehabilitation


Prof. Dr. Sebastian Gehlert, University of Hildesheim

Professor Gehlert is an Exercise Physiologist and investigates primarily molecular and biochemical aspects of skeletal muscle adaptation in response to resistance- and endurance exercise. A specific topic is the acute regulation of muscle damage and its role for mechanoprotection of skeletal muscle by exercise-induced preconditioning. His research also covers applied aspects of performance diagnostics in elite sports and specifically the role of lactate in aerobic and anaerobic metabolism. He is a member of the German Council for Fitness. Sebastian was a former research associate at the Institute for Circulatory Research and Sports Medicine at Deutsche Sporthochschule. Since 2018, he is a university professor for the biosciences of sports at the University of Hildesheim.



Prof. Dr. Gerrit van Hall, University of Copenhagen

Professor Gerrit van Hall is a physiologist/biochemist specialized in whole body and tissue in vivo metabolite and protein kinetics by using stable isotope labelled metabolites and proteins (tracers) referred to as functional metabolomics & proteomics in combination with measurements across tissues and tissue biopsies. In addition, Gerrit is director of the Clinical Metabolomics Core Facility with advanced mass-spectrometers to quantify this in vivo kinetics in humans. Originally, the research focus was on basic exercise physiology and the roles of the various tissues herein within the Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre that included basic energy & protein metabolism, high altitude/hypoxia, the role of lactate, and acquired and inherited muscle diseases. Since 2010, the focus has shifted, but with the same methodology, to study the metabolic derangement(s) and the role of treatment and drugs in a variety of patients such as diabetes, morbid obesity, cancer and in paediatric patients.

Prof. Dr. Karsten Köhler, Technical University of Munich

Professor Koehler’s research focuses on the integration of nutrition and physical activity towards optimizing health and physical performance. His experimental research includes controlled nutritional and exercise interventions where he applies physiological, endocrine and psychological methods. After being an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he became a Professor of exercise, nutrition and health at the Department of Sport and Health Sciences at the Technical University of Munich - Germany in 2019. He has contributed more than 80 scientific publications on topics related to nutrition, energy metabolism, body composition, and physical activity and works with individuals across the whole activity spectrum from elite athletes to couch potaties.

Prof. Dr. Carsten Lundby, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer

Professor Lundby is a Danish exercise physiologist. His research interests are the human adaptations to external stimuli such as exercise, altitude, heat, physical activity or bed rest. One of his main areas is the regulation and assessment of blood volume and hemoglobin mass, ranging from elite athletes to clinical populations. Carsten's education started in Copenhagen with Prof. Bengt Saltin and after holding positions as a Professor in Zurich and Copenhagen he is now a Professor at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer and Honorary Professor at University of Southern Denmark. Professor Lundby is an internationally renowned scientist and has published more than 200 scientific articles.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Josef Niebauer, MBA, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg

Professor Josef Niebauer MD, PhD, MBA, is specialist in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Sports Medicine, Sports Cardiology, Rehabilitation. He is Chief and University Chair of the Institute of Sports Medicine, Prevention and Rehabilitation, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria, Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Digital Health and Prevention, Director of the Rehab Center Salzburg, President of the Austrian Association of Prevention and Rehabilitation, Past-President of the Austrian Society of Sports Medicine and Prevention as well as Past-Chair of the Sections of Sports Cardiology of the Austrian, German and European Societies of Cardiology. His research interest lies in the fields of exercise training in cardiovascular, pulmonary and metabolic diseases, effects on endothelial function, oxidative stress, metabolism, muscular adaptation, and preparticipation examination in athletes. He is author of >350 manuscripts in national and international journals, and editor of 5 books.

Prof. Dr. Markus Ritter, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg

Professor Ritter's main research interests are molecular and cellular ion transport mechanisms, especially with respect to the mechanisms of cell volume regulation and their functional sequel. Being the Director of the Gastein Research Institute, Salzburg/Bad Gastein, Austria, and a PI at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Arthritis Research, his work also includes chondrocyte and arthritis research. Markus has covered lead positions in several prestigious institutions such as Austrian Physiological Society. He published more than 150 scientific articles and authored several books and book chapters, including text books for medical students and is Editor-in Chief of the Journal Paracelsus Proceedings of Experimental Medicine (PPExMed)

PD Dr. Dr. Mahdi Sareban, MD, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg

Dr. Mahdi Sareban is a senior cardiologist and sports physician at the University Institute of Sports Medicine, Prevention and Rehabilitation in Salzburg. His research covers cardiovascular adaptation to exercise training in endurance athletes and patients with cardiovascular diseases. Mahdi has comprehensive clinical and scientific experience in resting- and exercise echocardiographic imaging and cardio-pulmonary exercise testing. He is also a co-investigator at the Ludwig-Boltzmann Institute for Digital Health and Prevention in Salzburg where he is leading validation studies of wearable devices. He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and 3 book chapters.

Prof. Dr. Hermann Schwameder, Paris Lodron University, Salzburg

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Hermann Schwameder: Professor Schwameder is Head of Department of Sports and Exercise Science of the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, Austria, where he is also leading the biomechanics group. Before, he was a Professor for Biomechanics at the well-known Karlsruhe Institute of Technology  (KIT) in Germany. Hermann has been involved in several bio-mechanical research projects including gait analysis, running, mountaineering and ski-jumping. He has published more than 300 scientific articles, conference papers and book chapters and delivered more than 90 scientific lectures in the field of biomechanics.

PD Dr. Gunnar Treff, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Gunnar Treff is an exercise physiologist and sports scientist. His research focuses on systemic, especially cardiovascular responses to training in diverse populations ranging from elite athletes to cancer and cardiac rehabilitation patients. He contantly published validation studies of CPET and blood gas analysers, ergometers, and wearables. Gunnar has also been working in high performance sports for three olympic cycles and was a research associate at the Division of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Ulm. Since 2021 he is a senior post doc at the Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg where he increasingly focuses on rehabilitation and clinical aspects of exercise physiology. He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and 3 book chapters.

Prof. Dr. Henning Wackerhage, Technical University of Munich

Professor Henning Wackerhage is a Molecular Exercise Physiologist and has published several textbooks and more than 100 scientific publications in this field. He is head of the Exercise Biology group of the TU Munich which is generally interested in the molecular mechanisms by which exercise improves our performance, fitness and health. Specific research projects are effect of exercise on thermogenic adipose tissue and on the blood metabolome and proteome, the role of Hippo proteins in adaptation to exercise and aerosol emission and infection risk. Furthermore, his research group investigates how muscle hypertrophy reprograms metabolism and how this affects metabolic health. Henning studied and obtained his doctorate at the German Sport University in Cologne, became a lecturer in sports physiology at the University of Central Lancashire before moving to the University of Dundee and then as senior lecturer and reader to the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Since 2016 he is Associate Professor of Exercise Biology at the TUM.

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