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Medicine in Extremes 2020
2020-01-31 to 2020-01-31

Expect a full day from 08.30 to 17.00 with several international speakers sharing their expertise on the physiological and psychological aspects of peak performers, great athletes, and adventurers. For a full description of the keynote speakers and subjects please scroll down below the brief program.

Program in brief

08:30 Registration

09:00 Opening and Welcome

09:05 Thru Hiking the Appalachian Trail- medical considerations for the endurance athlete, Jessica Gehner

09:45 Preparation for performance in the heat, Hein Daanen

10:30 Break

10:55 When water becomes too much of a good thing, Martin Hoffman

11:40 Cardiological aspect of endurance sports, from youngsters to master athletes, Jan Hoogsteen

12:25 Lunch

13:20 How diving takes us higher, Erika Schagatay

14:05 Altitude training: fact or fiction? Christoph Siebenmann

14:50 Break

15:15 To take or not to take? The endurance kit, Jessica Gehner

15:45 The curiously elastic limits of human performance, Alex Hutchinson

16:30 LIVE It’s all about Mentelity, Bibian Mentel

17:00 Final Remarks & Reception



Keynote speakers

Thru hiking the Appalachian trail- medical considerations for the endurance athlete

Jessica Gehner, MD

Jesse was taken to the ER of the Carilion Clinic after she was evacuated with a broken leg on the Appalachian trail. As fate would have it, she was accepted to the same facility on an Emergency Medicine Residency and their Wilderness Medicine Fellowship. Her research pursuits include Acute Mountain Sickness and Long Distance Hiker Health. Each year, she spends climbing season in the Everest region, teaching altitude medicine and wilderness first aid. Learners should be able to diagnose and treat common injuries and illnesses related to endurance activities, and compile a comprehensive, lightweight medical kit.


Preparation for performance in the heat

Hein Daanen, prof. dr.

Hein Daanen is professor in thermal physiology at VU University, senior scientist at TNO and professor in Fashion Research & Technology at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. His research interests focus on thermal physiology and 3D anthropometry. He has participated in at least 80 publications mostly on physiology. With the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic games in hot and humid conditions next year, his research on heat acclimatization is very relevant in achieving a maximum performance for participating athletes.

How diving takes us higher

Erika Schatagay, prof. dr.

Erika is doing extensive research into freediving, the diving response, the spleen effect, packing, and much more. She studied biology, focusing on physiology and marine biology, and completed a Ph.D. on human breath-hold diving. Last but not least, in her lecture at our conference: How Diving Takes Us Higher, Erika Schatagay will show us that our abilities for breath-hold diving and high altitude climbing are related, and how lessons from freediving physiology can help high altitude trekkers and climbers reach higher altitudes in better health.


When water becomes too much of a good thing

Martin D. Hoffman, MD

Martin Hoffman did a residency in physical medicine & rehabilitation. As a physician scientist, he focuses on helping others reach their physical performance goals, providing sports medicine care to patients across a wide spectrum, including elite endurance athletes. At the moment of writing, he has published over 150 original scientific publications mostly related to applied exercise physiology with focus on human locomotion, human performance and exercise-associated hyponatremia.


Cardiological aspect of endurance sports, from youngsters to master athletes

Jan Hoogsteen, MD PhD

Jan Hoogsteen, a keen endurance athlete, specialized in sports cardiology and arrhythmias. During his thesis, Cardiological aspects of endurance athletes he researched the causes of sudden cardiac death in elite athletes and structural heart disease. In 2009 and 2010 he was the medical director of the Rabobank pro cycling team and still fulfills a medical role in the Lotto pro cycling team. At the moment he works in Maxima Medisch centrum, contributes to the residency program of sports medicine and develops diagnostics tests to monitor and examine the health of endurance athletes.

Altitude training: fact of fiction?

Christoph Siebenmann, PhD, Physiologist

Hypoxia at altitude increases EPO production, increasing red blood cell volume and therefore physical performance. Simple logic, right?

2016: Letter to the Editor-in-Chief of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
The observed hematological changes (..during an 18-d live high–train low (LHTL) altitude training camp in normobaric hypoxia (NH) and hypobaric hypoxia (HH)..) differ in several key aspects from those typically observed at altitude and could simply reflect the greater training stimulus that accompanies a training camp.

In his talk altitude training: fact or fiction? Christoph Siebenmann will debate the evidence of altitude training. His research focus is on human physiology in hypobaric hypoxia and is currently employed by Eurac Research – Institute for mountain & emergency medicine, Bolzona, Italy.


The curiously elastic limits of human performance

Alex Hutchinson, Author, Journalist

Endurance is the struggle to continue against a mounting desire to stop.

Alex Hutchinson is an award-winning science journalist who writes about endurance and adventure travel in the New York Times and for Outdoor Magazine. Before, he worked as a postdoctoral physicist and competed for the Canadian national team as a long-distance runner. In 2018, his New York Times bestseller Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits entered the bookstores. The capacity to endure is the key trait that underlies great performance in virtually every field. What if we all can go farther, push harder, and achieve more than we think we’re capable of?