Prof. Hanns-Christian Gunga

Center for Space Medicine Berlin

Charité Cross Over
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin

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+49 (0)30 450 528 536


Prof. Hanns-Christian Gunga is the head of the work group space medicine and extreme environments  since 2003. He studied geology, palaeontology and human medicine at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster and Berlin. Finishing medical school, he wrote his doctoral thesis about the famous German physiologist Nathan Zuntz (1847-1920).

In 1997 he wrote his habilitation thesis about the regulation of erythropotein in humans in extreme environments.

As a student of Prof. Karl Kirsch at the Free University Berlin, Department of Physiology, he he first encountered the topic of  human adaption to extreme environments. Karl Kirsch initiated this research field in the late 70’s, as a student of Prof. Otto Gauer.

Prof. Gunga’s main interests are evolutionary physiologythermo-physiologygravitational physiologycardio-vascular physiologyhigh altitude and polar medicine as well as the history of sciences.

From 2004-2009 Prof. Gunga was the holder of the Nathan Zuntz Professorship.


  • ISEMSI’90 (Co-Investigator, Autonomic Nervous System, Prof. Dr. Kirsch)
  • EXEMSI’92 (Co-Investigator, Autonomic Nervous System, Prof. Dr. Kirsch)
  • MIR’92 (Co-Investigator, Tissue Thickness, Prof. Dr. Kirsch)
  • MIR’92 (Co-Investigator, Volume Regulating Hormones, Prof. Dr. Röcker)
  • D-2 (Co-Investigator, Tissue Thickness, Prof. Dr. Kirsch)
  • D-2 (Co-Investigator, Volume Regulating Hormones, Prof. Dr. Röcker)
  • ALTAIR (Co-Investigator, Tissue Thickness, Prof. Dr. Kirsch)
  • EUROMIR’94 (Principal Investigator, CVP-Erythropoietin)
  • EUROMIR’94 (Co-Investigator, Tissue Thickness, Prof. Dr. Kirsch)
  • ESA-CNES L-TBR’94 (Principal Investigator, Erythropoietin)
  • HUBES’94 (Co-Investigator, Autonomic Nervous System, Prof. Dr. Kirsch)
  • MIR’97 (Principal Investigator, Erythropoietin-Serum Transferrin Receptor)
  • Neurolab 2000 (Principal Investigator, Psycho-Physiology)
  • Berlin Bed Rest Study 2003/04 (Principal Investigator, Red blood cells)
  • Parabolic Flight Campaign 2005 (Principal Investigator, Thermoregulation)
  • Parabolic Flight Campaign 2006 (Principal Investigator, Thermoregulation)
  • Berlin Bed Rest Study 2007/08 (Principal Investigator, Thermoregulation, Red Blood Cells)
  • Parabolic Flight Campaign 2007 (Principal Investigator, Fluid Shift and Thermoregulation)
  • Parabolic Flight Campaign 2008 (Principal Investigator, Thermoregulation and Cardiovascular Adaptation)
  • ISS Experiment THERMO
  • NASA Bed Rest Study 2008, Galveston, U.S.A.
  • ThermoLab Study 2009-2012 (Principal Investigator), ISS
  • Mars500 2010-2011 (Principal Investigator), Moscow
  • “Core temperature and circadian rhythms in humans during long term spaceflights (Circadian Rhythms)”, (Principal Investigator, DLR/ESA), 2011-2014


  • Member of Wissenschaftskommission beim Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung (BMLV) (Austrian Ministry of Defense)
  • Member of the NATO expert council „Man in Extreme Environments”
  • Expert in the GoSpace-Team on Industrial Research under Microgravity in Life Science
  • Associate Director of the Institute of Physiology atCharité – University Medicine Berlin
  • Member of the Scientific Program Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • Member of Medical Advisory Board of the Military Medical Service of the German Federal Ministry of Defense
  • Member of the International Academy of Astronautics
  • Member of the European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC) in the European Science Foundation
  • Member of the Advisory Board of the European Journal of Applied Physiology


• O. Opatz, T. Trippel, A. Lochner, A. Werner, A. Stahn, M. Steinach, J. Lenk, H. Kuppe, H.C. Gunga: Temporal and spatial dispersion of human body temperature during deep hypothermia. In  Br. J. Anaesth. first published online June 25, 2013 doi:10.1093/bja/aet217

• M. Steinach, J. Staedt und A. Wirz-Justice: Zirkadiane Rhythmik . In Lichttherapie (Eds.) R. Krause, R. Stange 2012, Springer

• M. SteinachH.-C. Gunga: Circdian Rhythm and Stress. In Stress Challenges and Immunity 
Chouker, A.(Ed.) 2012, Springer

• A. Werner, H.-C. Gunga: Monitoring of Body Core Temperature in Humans. In Stress Challenges and Immunity Chouker, A.(Ed.) 2012, Springer

•  Opatz O , Stahn A , Werner A , Gunga HC . Determining core body temperature via heat flux – a new promising approach. Resuscitation 81, 1588-1589 (2010)

•  Stahn A, Gunga HC, Terblanche E (in press). Use of bioelectrical impedance analysis: general principals and overview. In V.R.Preedy (Ed.), Handbook of Anthropometry: Physical Measures of Human Form in Health and Disease New York: Springer.

•  Stahn A, Gunga HC, Terblanche E. (in press). Selected applications of bioelectrical impedance analysis: body fluids, blood volume, cell and fat mass. In V.R.Preedy (Ed.), Handbook of Anthropometry: Physical Measures of Human Form in Health and Disease New York: Springer.

•  Sander PM, Christian A, Clauss M, Fechner R, Gee CT, Griebeler E-M, Gunga H-C, Hummel J, Mallison H, Perry SF, Preuschoft H, Rauhut OWM, Remes K, Tütken T, Wings O, Witzel U. Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs: the evolution of gigantism. Biological Reviews 86, 117-155 (2011)

•  Lipnicki DM, Gunga HC , Belavy DL, Felsenberg D. Decision making after 50 days of simulated weightlessness. Brain Res. 2009 Jul 14;1280:84-89.

•  Gunga HC , Werner A, Stahn A, Steinach M, Schlabs T, Koralewski E, Kunz D, Belavý DL, Felsenberg D, Sattler F, Koch J. The Double Sensor-A non-invasive device to continuously monitor core temperature in humans on earth and in space. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2009 Oct;169 Suppl 1:S63-68.

•  Franz R, Hummel J, Kienzle E, Kölle P, Gunga HC , Clauss M. Allometry of visceral organs in living amniotes and its implications for sauropod dinosaurs. Proc Biol Sci. 2009 May 7;276(1662):1731-1736.

•  Schobersberger W, Toff WD, Eklöf B, Fraedrich G, Gunga HC , Haas S, Landgraf H, Lapostolle F, Partsch H, Perschler F, Schnapka J, Schobersberger B, Scurr JH, Watzke H. Hall consensus development group. Traveller’s thrombosis: international consensus statement. Vasa.2008 Nov;37(4):311-317.

•  Lipnicki DM, Gunga HC Physical inactivity and cognitive functioning: results from bedrest studies. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009 Jan;105(1):27-35.

•  Frassl W, Kowoll R, Katz N, Speth M, Stangl A, Brechtel L, Joscht B, Boldt LH, Meier-Buttermilch R, Schlemmer M, Roecker L, Gunga HC Cardiac markers (BNP, NT-pro-BNP, Troponin I, Troponin T, in female amateur runners before and up until three days after a marathon. Clin Lab. 2008;54(3-4):81-87.

•  Gunga HC , Sandsund M, Reinertsen RE, Sattler F, Koch J. A non-invasive device to continuously determine heat strain in humans. J Therm Biol 2008;33:297-307.

•  Boldt LH, Fraszl W, Röcker L, Steinach M, Noack T, Gunga HC . Changes in the haemostatic system during after thermoneutral and hyperthermic water.Eur J Appl Physiol. 2008;102:547-554.

•  Gunga HC , Suthau T, Bellmann A, Stoinski S, Friedrich A,Trippel T, Kirsch K, Hellwich O. A new body mass estimation of Brachiosaurus brancai Janensch, 1914 mounted and exhibited at the Museum of Natural History (Berlin, Germany). Fossil Record. 2008;11;28-33.

•  Gunga HC , Kirsch KA, Roecker L, Kohlberg E, Tiedemann J, Steinach M, Schobersberger W. Erythropoietin regulations in humans under different environmental and experimental conditions. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2007; 158 : 287-297 .

•  Gunga HC , Suthau T, Bellmann A, Friedrich A, Schwanebeck T, Stoinski S, Trippel T, Kirsch K, Hellwich O. Body mass estimations for Plateosaurus engelhardti using laser scanning and 3D reconstruction methods. Naturwissenschaften. 2007; 94 : 623-630 .

•  Mittermayr M, Fries D, Gruber H, Peer S, Klingler A, Fischbach U, Gunga HC , Koralewski E, Faulhaber M, Simmer M, Schobersberger W. Leg edema formation and venous blood flow velocity during a simulated long-haul flight. Thromb Res. 2007; 120 : 497-504 .

•  Schobersberger W, Mittermayr M, Fries D, Innerhofer P, Klingler A, Faulhaber M, Gunga HC , Streif W. Changes in blood coagulation of arm and leg veins during a simulated long-haul flight. Thromb Res. 2007; 119 : 293-300 .

•  Roecker L, Kowoll R, Fraszl W, Battal K, Brechtel L, Brachmann S, Meier-Buttermilch R, Gunga HC , Stangl A, Kiesewetter H. Observation of serum erythropoietin concentrations in female athletes for up to eight days after a marathon run. Clin Lab. 2006; 52 : 511-513 .

•  Greie S, Humpeler E, Gunga HC , Koralewski E, Klingler A, Mittermayr M, Fries D, Lechleitner M, Hoertnagl H, Hoffmann G, Strauss-Blasche G, Schobersberger W. Improvement of metabolic syndrome markers through altitude specific hiking vacations. J Endocrinol Invest. 2006 Jun; 29 : 497-504 .

•  Valenti G, Fraszl W, Addabbo F, Tamma G, Procino G, Satta E, Cirillo M, De Santo NG, Drummer C, Bellini L, Kowoll R, Schlemmer M, Vogler S, Kirsch KA, Svelto M, Gunga HC . Water immersion is associated with an increase in aquaporin-2 excretion in healthy volunteers. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006; 1758 : 1111-1116 .

•  De Santo NG, Cirillo M, Kirsch KA, Correale G, Drummer C, Frassl W, Perna AF, Di Stazio E, Bellini L,Gunga HC . Anemia and erythropoietin in space flights. Semin Nephrol. 2005 Nov; 25 : 379-387 .

•  Kirsch KA, Schlemmer M, De Santo NG, Cirillo M, Perna A, Gunga HC . Erythropoietin as a volume-regulating hormone: an integrated view. Semin Nephrol. 2005; 25 : 388-91 .

•  Schobersberger W, Greie S, Humpeler E, Mittermayr M, Fries D, Schobersberger B, Artner-Dworzak E, Hasibeder W, Klingler A, Gunga HC . Austrian Moderate Altitude Study (AMAS 2000): erythropoietic activity and Hb-O(2) affinity during a 3-week hiking holiday at moderate altitude in persons with metabolic syndrome. High Alt Med Biol. 2005; 6 : 167-177 .

•  Schobersberger W, Hoffmann G, Gunga HC . Interaction of hypoxia and haemostasis–hypoxia as a prothrombotic factor at high altitude? Wien Med Wochenschr. 2005; 155 : 157-162 .

•  Appenzeller O, Gunga HC , Qualls C, Furlan R, Porta A, Lucas SG, Heckert AB, Kirsch K, Costa-Junqueira MA, Guillén SE, Sander M, Schneider T, Blottner B. A hypothesis: autonomic rhythms are reflected in growth lines of teeth in humans and extinct archosaurs. Auton Neurosci. 2005; 117 : 115-119 .

•  Rudnick J, Püttmann B, Tesch PA, Alkner B, Schoser BG, Salanova M, Kirsch K, Gunga HC , Schiffl G, Lück G, Blottner D. Differential expression of nitric oxide synthases (NOS 1-3) in human skeletal muscle following exercise countermeasure during 12 weeks of bed rest. FASEB J. 2004; 18 : 1228-1230.

•  Mittermayr M, Fries D, Innerhofer P, Schobersberger B, Klingler A, Partsch H, Fischbach U, Gunga HC , Koralewski E, Kirsch K, Schobersberger W. Formation of edema and fluid shifts during a long-haul flight. J Travel Med. 2003; 10 : 334-339 .

•  Brugger H, Sumann G, Meister R, Adler-Kastner L, Mair P, Gunga HC , Schobersberger W, Falk M. Hypoxia and hypercapnia during respiration into an artificial air pocket in snow: implications for avalanche survival. Resuscitation. 2003; 58 : 81-88 .

•  Schobersberger W, Fries D, Mittermayr M, Innerhofer P, Sumann G, Schobersberger B, Klingler A, Stöllnberger V, Fischbach U, Gunga HC . Changes of biochemical markers and functional tests for clot formation during long-haul flights. Thromb Res. 2003; 108 : 19-24 .

•  Schobersberger W, Schmid P, Lechleitner M, von Duvillard SP, Hörtnagl H, Gunga HC , Klingler A, Fries D, Kirsch K, Spiesberger R, Pokan R, Hofmann P, Hoppichler F, Riedmann G, Baumgartner H, Humpeler E. Austrian Moderate Altitude Study 2000 (AMAS 2000). The effects of moderate altitude (1,700 m) on cardiovascular and metabolic variables in patients with metabolic syndrome. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003; 88 : 506-514 .

•  Gunga HC , Fries D, Humpeler E, Kirsch K, Boldt LE, Koralewski E, Johannes B, Klingler A, Mittermayr M, Röcker L, Yaban B, Behn C, Jelkmann W, Schobersberger W. Austrian Moderate Altitude Study (AMAS 2000) – fluid shifts, erythropoiesis, and angiogenesis in patients with metabolic syndrome at moderate altitude (congruent with 1700 m). Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003; 88 : 497-505 . Schobersberger W, Hauer B, Sumann G, Gunga HC , Partsch H. Traveler’s thrombosis: incidence, etiology, prevention. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2002;15; 114 : 14-20 .

•  Gunga HC , Kirsch K, Beneke R, Böning D, Hopfenmüller W, Leithäuser R, Hütler M, Röcker L. Markers of coagulation, fibrinolysis and angiogenesis after strenuous short-term exercise (Wingate-test) in male subjects of varying fitness levels. Int J Sports Med. 2002; 23 : 495-499 .

•  Titze J, Maillet A, Lang R, Gunga HC , Johannes B, Gauquelin-Koch G, Kihm E, Larina I, Gharib C, Kirsch KA. Long-term sodium balance in humans in a terrestrial space station simulation study. Am J Kidney Dis. 2002; 40 : 508-516 .

•  Wittels P, Johannes B, Enne R, Kirsch K, Gunga HC Voice monitoring to measure emotional load during short-term stress. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2002; 87 : 278-282 .

•  Röcker L, Hinz K, Holland K, Gunga HC , Vogelgesang J, Kiesewetter H. Influence of endurance exercise (triathlon) on circulating transferrin receptors and other indicators of iron status in female athletes. Clin Lab. 2002; 48 : 307-312 .

•  Cerretelli P, Gunga HC , Villiger B. La fonction des tissus cutanes superficiels en tant que réserve de volume et leur importance particulière en montagne. In: Villiger B: Effects de la moyenne altitude sur les mécanismes physiologiques et pathophysiologiques. Forum Alpino, Bergamo. 2001;172-17.

•  Kirsch K, Gunga HC . Mensch und Schwerkraft. Sonderausgabe des DLR/BMBF zum Jahr der Lebenswissenschaften: Internationale Raumstation (ISS). BMBF/DLR Newsletter. 2001;2:13-14.

•  Kirsch K, Gunga HC . Die Bekleidung auf Reisen. Flug- und Reisemedizin.2001. 8: 35-38.

•  Kirsch K, Gunga HC : Changes to human physiology in space, and space medicine. Seibert G (ed) A world without gravity. ESA Special publication. 2001;(SP-1251):35-47.

•  Kirsch K , Gunga HC . Perspektiven humanphysiologischer Forschung: Mensch und Schwerkraft. In: Rahmann, H., Kirsch, K. (Hrsg.) Mensch Leben Schwerkraft. Perspektiven biowissenschaftlicher Weltraumforschung in Deutschland. Verlag Günter, Heimbach. 2001;210-228.

•  Schmidt P, Humpeler E, Schobersberger W, Lechleitner M, Hoppichler F, Baumgartner H, Hörtnagl H,Gunga HC , Klingler A, Fries D, Spiesberger G, Pokan R. Höhenexposition und kardiovaskuläre Adaptation. Promed. 2001;10: 46-51.

•  Fries D, Mittermayr E, Humpeler E, Gunga HC , Jelkmann W, Schobersberger W, AMAS-Forschungsteam. Die Beeinflussung der Erythropoiese und des Eisenstoffwechsels durch mittlere Höhenlagen bei Patienten mit metabolischem Syndrom. Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Alpin- und Höhenmedizin. 2000;71-84.

•  Hochachka PW, Gunga HC , Kirsch K. Unser physiologischer „Urtyp“: eine Anpassung an Hypoxietoleranz und Ausdauerleistungsfähigkeit? Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Alpin- und Höhenmedizin. 2000;101-124.

•  Lechleitner M, Hoppichler F, Humpeler D, Fries D, Klingler A, Gunga HC , Schobersberger W, AMAS-Forschungsteam. Die Auswirkungen eines Aufenthaltes in mittlerer Höhenlage auf den Glukose- und Lipidstoffwechsel bei Patienten mit metabolischem Syndrom. Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Alpin- und Höhenmedizin. 2000;33-40.

•  Johannes B, Salnitski VP, Gunga HC, Kirsch K. Voice stress monitoring in space–possibilities and limits. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2000; 71 : A58-A65 .

•  Röcker L, Günay S, Gunga HC , Hopfenmüller W, Ruf A, Patscheke H, Möckel M. Activation of blood platelets in response to maximal isometric exercise of the dominant arm. Int J Sports Med. 2000; 21 : 191-194 .

Other publications

•  Titze J, Larina IM, Garib K, Kirsch KO, Maye A, Lang R, Gunga HC , Johannes B, Gochlen-Koch H, Kim E. Studies of sodium balance in human during long-term isolation in ground-based space station model. Fiziol Cheloveka. 2003; 29 : 90-101 . Russian.

•  Gunga HC , Kirsch K, Boldt L, Koralewski E, Johannes B, Röcker L, Yaban B, Behn C, Fries D, Humpeler E, Schobersberger W. AMAS 2000 – Körperzusammensetzung und Ödembildung bei moderater Höhenexposition – die Bedeutung des Interstitiums als Volumenspeicher beim Menschen. Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Alpin- und Höhenmedizin. 2002;53-70.

•  Gunga HC , Kirsch K, Rittweger J, Clarke A , Albertz J, Wiedemann A, Wehr A, Heinrich WD, Schultze HP. Dimensions of Brachiosaurus brancai, Dicraeosaurus hansemanni and Diplodocus carnegei and their physiological implications for gravitational physiology. Adaptation Biology and Medicine. 2002;3: 156-169.

•  Gunga HC , Kirsch K, Röcker L, Behn C, Koralewski E, Davila EH, Estrada MI, Johannes B, Wittels P, Jelkmann W. Erythropoietin and vascular endothelial growth factor in humans humans under normobaric and hypobaric-hypoxic conditions. Adaptation Biology and Medicine. 2002;3: 46-61.

•  Schmid P, Humpeler E, Schobersberger W, Hörnagl H, Gunga HC , Klingler A, Fries D, Spiesberger R, Pokan R, AMAS-Forschungsteam. Herzfrequenz- und Blutdruckverhalten während eines 3-wöchigen Aufenthaltes in mittleren Höhen bei Patienten mit metabolischem Syndrom. Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Alpin- und Höhenmedizin. 2002;41-52.

Books and Monographs

•  Gunga HC . Nathan Zuntz. His life and work in the fields of high altitude physiology and aviation medicine. American Physiological Society, Elsevier 2009.

•  Gunga HC , Steinach M, Kirsch K. Weltraummedizin und -biologie. In: Ley W, Wittmann K, Hallmann W (eds): Handbuch der Raumfahrttechnik. Hanser, München. 2007; Chapter 7.6: 575-588

•  Gunga HC, Steinach M, Kirsch KA, Werner A. Space Medicine and Biology. In: Ley W, Wittmann K, Hallmann W (eds): Handbook of Space Technology. Wiley, Chichester. 2009; Chapter 7.6: 606-621.

•  Gunga HC . Wärmehaushalt und Temperaturregulation. In: Deetjen P, Speckmann EJ (eds): Physiologie. Urban & Schwarzenberg, München-Wien-Baltimore. 2003; Chapter 13:669-698.

•  Gunga HC , Kirsch K, Schobersberger W, Roecker L. Adaptation to altitude and exercise. In: Jelkmann W (ed): Molecular biology and clinical use of erythropoietin. FP Graham Publishing Co, Mountain Home, USA. 2002; Chapter 4:219-244.