Institute for Human Health and Performance
The UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance (IHHP) comprises a mix of clinician-academic and pure ‘basic scientists’. Its mission is to explore human physiology and pathophysiology - using the studies of one to inform the other. In general, genetic tools are used. In particular, the IHHP pioneered (with Prof. Steve Humphries’ group, Centre for Cardiovascular Genetics) the use of gene-environment interactions to explore human health and disease.
In terms of systems biology, the group has a special interest in:
• The role of renin-angiotensin systems (RAS), exploring its role in cardiac growth and physical performance. This has led to work mitochondrial biology, with Prof Mike Duchen’s group.
• The musculoskeletal response to exercise and disease, with themes addressing bone loss and muscle wasting at altitude and in the critically ill.
• The causes and responses to severe systemic inflammatory disease, such as that seen in acute pancreatitis.
• The human adaptive response to hypoxia. Such work ranges from human studies in critical care, studies of the physiological response to extreme altitude, and genetic studies of mountaineers, mice in Hawaii, and human populations in Tibet.