Applied Physiology – Nathan Zuntz Professorship

The foundation professorship „Nathan Zuntz“ for space medicine and extreme environments at the Charité – University Medicine Berlin bears its name in memory of the Berlin physiologist Nathan Zuntz.

In July 2000, the Zentrum für Weltraummedizin Berlin (Center of Space Medicine Berlin, ZWMB) was founded as the result of an initiative partnership with the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR) as a merging of six working groups of the then existing university department of human medicine of the Free University of Berlin and the Charité (Humboldt University of Berlin). The prior aim of this association was and still is the investigation of the anatomical, physiological and psychological adaptations of man to weightlessness. This systemic fundamental research is carried out in cooperation with life scientists of the space agencies of Europe (ESA), the United States (NASA), Russia and Japan (NASDA). A further assignment of the Center of Space Medicine is the university education of the scientific offspring (oder einfach of students) in space medicine and adjoining fields. In the focus of the actual research at the Institute of Physiology are investigations on thermoregulation, salt-water balance, oxygen transport capacity (red blood cell mass) of the capillarization of muscle tissue and especially on the effects of stressors, like high working requirements, isolation and spatial confinement upon the physical capability of man in weightlessness. For the registration and assessment of the stressors influencing the autonomic nervous system, a special mobile system was developed for the astronauts on the ISS, the so-called HealthLab. This device is at the same time a decisive gain for terrestrial telemedicine. For the preparation of experiments in space, the Institute of Physiology is equipped with a climate chamber, an immersion facility as well as an LBNP (lower body negative pressure unit) provided by NASA.

undefined12. DLR-Parabelflug-Kampagne, 12. April 2008

undefinedCenter of Space Medicine (ZWMB)

Project management

Prof. Dr. Dipl- geol. Hanns-Christian Gunga


Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

CCM: Campus Charité Mitte

Charité Center Basic Sciences CC 2

Institute of Physiology

Center for Space Medicine and Extreme Environments

Postal address:

Charitéplatz 1

10117 Berlin

Internal address:

Virchowweg 6

t: +49 30 450 528511

f: +49 30 450 528920



ESA Innovation Exchange Initiative: When Space Meets Health


Prof. Dr. Dipl- geol. Hanns-Christian Gunga
t: +49 30 450 528511

Research Themes

  • Umweltphysiologie
     - Gravitationsphysiologie
     - Extreme Umwelten
       (Tropen, Wüste, Arktis)
  • Sportphysiologie
  • Paläophysiologie


  • European Space Agency,
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-  und Raumfahrt
  • Museum für Naturkunde, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin