Human Integrative Physiology

Research Overview

The Human Integrative Physiology (HIP) laboratory is focused on enhancing the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic diseases in at-risk groups. We use innovative, multidisciplinary approaches to enhance our understanding of cardiometabolic diseases, especially those that are characterised by exercise intolerance. To better understand exercise intolerance, our lab uses state-of-the-art imaging-based approaches (MRI, echocardiography and vascular ultrasound), classic invasive hemodynamic monitoring techniques, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, big data and bioinformatics and other novel techniques.

Our team are international leaders in the field of 'exercise medicine'. We develop individualised, targeted exercise program to prevent and treat cardiometabolic dysfunction. The HIP lab conducts rigorous, randomised clinical trials in a range of clinical populations to test the benefits of these interventions. The group has a particular interest in the role of 'exercise medicine' for oncology patients (breast and haematology cancers) and patients at risk of heart failure. We are evaluating the efficacy of interventions via both patient-related and physiological outcomes and have a particular focus on understanding the mechanisms that are associated with cardioprotective effects of exercise.



  • A/Prof Andre La Gerche
  • Prof Tom Marwick
  • Dr Guido Claesen
  • Prof Justin Lawley
  • Dr Kate Weeks


World Cancer Research Fund (2019-2022)

National Heart Foundation (2020-2023)

Medical Research Future Fund (2021-2023)

University of Melbourne, Department Cardiometabolic Medicine Seed Funding (2021)

World Cancer Research Fund (2019-2022)

Research Publications

Howden EJ, Ruiz-Carmona S, ... Claessen G. Oxygen Pathway Limitations in Patients with Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension. Circulation 2021; 143:2061-2073

Dillon HT, … Howden EJ., “The effect of posture on maximal oxygen uptake in active healthy individuals” European Journal of Applied Physiology; 121(5): 1487-1498.

Howden EJ, … La Gerche A. Traditional markers of cardiac toxicity fail to detect marked reductions in cardiorespiratory fitness among cancer patients undergoing anti-cancer treatment.  EHJ Cardiovascular Imaging 2021; 22:451-458

Sarma S, Howden EJ, …Levine BD. Central Command and the Regulation of Exercise Heart Rate Response in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction. Circulation, epub 18 November 2020.

Howden EJ. ... La Gerche A. Exercise as a diagnostic tool for prevention of cardiovascular dysfunction in breast cancer patients. European Journal of Preventative Cardiology 2019; 26(3) 305-315. Published with editorial.

Howden EJ, … Kingwell BA. Standing up to the Cardiometabolic Consequences of Hematological Cancers. Blood Reviews; 201832(5):349-360

Howden EJ, … Levine BD. Reversing the Cardiac Effects of Sedentary Aging in Middle Age – A Randomized Controlled Trial. Circulation 2018; 137(15):1549-1560

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects

School Research Themes


Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Head of Laboratory Dr Erin Howden

Department / Centre

Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health

Unit / Centre

Human Integrative Physiology

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