Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan (KTH)

The Royal Institute of Technology is responsible for one third of Sweden’s capacity for engineering studies and technical research at post-secondary level. The University has over 12,000 undergraduate students, 1,600 active post-graduate students and a staff of 3000. KTH is a public University, mainly funded by government grants. It conducts top-notch research of a broad spectrum, from natural sciences and life sciences to all branches of technology. The Department of Environmental Physiology at KTH (previously at the Defence Research Agency) has a staff of ten permanent researchers and several PhD students. It conducts experimental research in several fields of environmental physiology including acceleration physiology, hypo- and hyperbaric physiology, thermal physiology and also in exercise physiology. The research is predominantly performed on healthy humans, in the dept’s research facilities: the human-use centrifuge and the hypo- and hyperbaric pressure chambers. Together with JSI, the dept implemented a bedrest research program at the Orthopaedic Hospital Valdoltra in Slovenia, and have since then participated in several bedrest campaigns at this Hospital. During the last 3 years, the dept. has, in collaboration with JSI, also conducted several hypoxic containment campaigns at the Hypoxia facility in Planica, Slovenia.

Ola Eiken, M.D., Ph.D., is the Head of the Department of Environmental Physiology at KTH. During the last 10 years Ola Eiken’s research focus has been mainly on cardiovascular, respiratory and vestibular functions as influenced by increased gravitoinertial loading and simulated microgravity. In collaboration with Igor Mekjavic, he also conducts research concerning both temperature regulation and long-term effects of hypoxia. In 2001, Igor Mekjavic and Ola Eiken initiated the bedrest research program in the Orthopaedic Hospital Valdoltra, Sloveina. Since 2006, Ola Eiken is a member of the European Space Agency Bed Rest Steering Committee, and since 2009 he coordinates the ESA Topical Team on Lunar Habitat Simulations. Ola Eiken has >200 research publications of which >80 are published in peer reviewed journals.

Mikael Gennser, M.D., Ph.D., is researcher at the Department of Environmental Physiology at KTH. Gennser is heading the projects related to naval medicine and decompression physiology. Between 1996 and 2009 Gennser was a senior researcher at the Swedish Defence Research Agency, and in charge of the submarine escape project, which was partly carried out in cooperation with DERA/Qinetiq in the UK. Gennser has also experience in hypoxic confinements and was one of the lead investigators in three 14-day hypoxic confinement experiments carried out in the saturation chamber complex at the Swedish Naval Diving Center, Hårsfjärden.